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College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience 2013-2014

Economics



EC 020A ~ Economics of Space
CRN: 91583

Instructor: William Gibson the John Converse Professor of Economics More . . .

This course examines the costs and benefits of manned and unmanned space exploration. We address the question of the economic and scientific opportunities afforded by space exploration, and the trade-offs involved with social programs on Earth. The central focus of the course is on the public policy question of the proper relationship between NASA as a government agency and the emerging private launch industry. Students will be introduced to a range of basic economic tools and concepts, such as opportunity costs, cost-benefit analysis, and public goods. The course will cover space vehicle technology, an introduction to orbital mechanics, and cutting-edge technologies such as carbon nanotube space elevators, scam jets, and solar sails. The Russian space program, successes and failures, is covered in some detail.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Science course
Meets: TR 4:00pm-5:15pm


EC 045A ~ D2: Latin American Development
CRN: 92096

Instructor: Catalina Vizcarra Associate Professor of Economics More . . .

Why is Latin America a relatively poor region in spite of its abundant natural resources? Why does the region have the most unequal distribution of income in the world, and why are there so many Hispanic immigrants in the United States? In this course we will discuss whether the roots of Latin America's relative underdevelopment lie in its colonial experience, in subsequent foreign intervention, or in misguided domestic economic policies. We will also learn about the benefits and challenges that the most recent wave of globalization poses to the more than 500 million Latin Americans. In the process of addressing these questions, students will be introduced to a number of economic theories central to the analysis of the development process.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Science course and non-European Cultures
Meets: MWF 9:35am-10:25am


EC 095A ~ Gender and the Economy
CRN: 93628

Instructor: Stephanie Seguino Professor of Economics More . . .

In the United States and in the rest of the world we observe different economic outcomes for men and women that are both significant and persistent. This course uses economic theory and analysis in an attempt to explain why gender leads to different outcomes in education, family roles, wealth, earnings, and health. We will seek answers to questions such as: Why are men paid more than women? Why do women and men work in different occupations? How do norms of masculinity and femininity contribute to gender inequality? Why do men and women marry? Why are there now more women than men enrolled in college? Course pedagogy will emphasize active learning. This course assumes no prior background in economics, so some class time will be devoted to teaching basic economic concepts as needed.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Science course
Meets: TR 2:30pm-3:45pm

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