Course Catalog

The Course Catalog includes course descriptions of all courses offered by the Undergraduate School at Babson College. For descriptions of the courses offered in the current or upcoming semesters, please see the Course Listing.

 Undergraduate Course Catalog




ECN2000 Principles of Macroeconomics (Intermediate Liberal Arts Elective) Analyzes the conceptualization, measurement, and determinants of key variables for any economy: output, employment, prices, interest rates, exchange rates, and their fluctuation with the national economy over the business cycle. Inflation, deflation, recessions, trade imbalances, as well as diverse social challenges such as poverty and income inequality are examined. Students will learn about the banking system, money creation, and the tools of monetary, fiscal, and trade policies used by governments to manage sustainable growth in the context of the international economy. Prerequisites: None


ECN3615 Money, Banking, and the Economy (Advanced Liberal Arts Elective) This course builds on the Foundations of Economics core, examining the macroeconomy. It explains in greater detail the banking system, credit, money and interest rate determination, as well as exploring the interrelationship between domestic and international financial markets and institutions. For anyone in business, it is important to understand the influence that domestic and global financial markets have on the business environment and its associated volatility. Students learn to interpret the business and financial press and inform decision-making through a deeper understanding of the banking system, macro policy debates, and the drivers of interest rates, exchange rates, international trade and capital flows, prices, and employment stability. This course is required for any student who wishes to participate in the College FED Challenge. Prerequisite: ECN2000 This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall, Spring and Summer I


ECN3620 Econometrics (Advanced Liberal Arts Elective) Econometrics is a science of estimation and evaluation of economic models by applying mathematics, statistical inferences, and economic theory. In addition to economic analysis, this course provides students with valuable knowledge base for management decision making, conducting market research, and carry out in-depth financial data analysis. The course also enhances students' quantitative and computer skills which are relevant for other disciplines. Linkage: finance, market research, management Prerequisite: (SME2031) and (QTM1010) This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring


ECN 3625 - Economic and Political Integration in the European Union Advanced Liberal Arts Elective 4 Credits This course examines the history and development of the economic and political integration of the European Union from its establishment in 1958 to the present. Beginning with a detailed review of the treaties and agreements upon which the EU is based, we look at the institutional structure of the EU including the Commission, the Court of Justice, the European Council, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. We will also focus on the EU budget process, the policy process, agricultural policy, external relations between the EU and non-member nations, and on the key questions of EU enlargement, common defense, national sovereignty and economic integration and doing business in the EU. Students will prepare blog posts, in-class presentations and a term project. There are three tests and a final exam. The course is both reading and writing intensive, and is recommended for students interested in international trade, international finance, global management. The course carries four (4) advanced economic credits toward the economics concentration. Prerequisite: ECN2000 and SME2031


ECN3630 Industrial Organization & Public Policy (Advanced Lib Arts) This course explores how market structure and the inter-relations between industries influence the performance of firms, and how an understanding of these linkages enables firms to identify opportunities and challenges. Strategic decisions on a wide range of issues such as entry, entry deterrence, threats and opportunities in the supply chain, outsourcing and vertical integration, diversification, mergers and acquisitions, product positioning for acquiring competitive advantage as well as managing innovation for sustaining competitive advantage are addressed. Public policy and its role in industrial organization is discussed. Game Theory is introduced in the course and its application in various aspects of strategic business decision making is discussed. Cases from a wide range of industries are used to illustrate successful business strategies. Prerequisite: SME2031


ECN3645 Business and Economic Policy in Developing Countries (Advanced Liberal Arts). This course discusses the latest research in economics on the two fundamental questions of economic development: 1) why are some countries rich and some poor and what can be done about it, and 2) why are some individuals poor and remain poor for generations, and what can be done to alleviate poverty. In answering these questions, the course introduces students to the economic and political environment in poor countries. Topics include measures of development, economic growth, macroeconomic poverty traps (such as conflict, being landlocked, and low quality of institutions), foreign aid, and microeconomic poverty traps (such as poor nutrition and health, low educational endowments, and incomplete markets). The course introduces empirical strategies in economics to identify causal effect, such as randomized controlled trials, instrumental variable, difference-in-differences and regression discontinuity. Prerequisite: SME2031 and ECN2000


ECN3650 Contemporary Economic Systems (Advanced Liberal Arts Elective) At the heart of contemporary economic debates is the question: what role should government play in the economy? This course provides a framework for understanding the real world implications and outcomes of these debates in the context of economic theories, policies and systems. The course begins with an exploration of the major economic theories as they have emerged through time and the problems each theory has sought to address. The course explores the big ideas in economics from free markets to communism to managed markets, and covers the core debates surrounding the relevance of fiscal, monetary, trade and policy/regulatory policies. The course then uses several policy and country case studies to explore the application of these ideas to pressing issues such as structural unemployment, inequality, civil conflict, climate change and the impacts of trade, focusing as well on the potential role of businesses and entrepreneurs in addressing these issues. Emphasizing fact-based analysis in assessing the goals and outcomes of diverse policies, the course builds critical thinking skills and helps prepare students for leadership roles in a dynamic global business environment. Prerequisite: SME2031 and ECN2000


ECN3655 Managerial Economics (Advanced Lib Arts) Whereas ECN3615 provides a more thorough understanding of the financial institutions, which are a very important sector of the macro economy, ECN3655 provides the analytical tools for managerial decision making and policy formulation for businesses and governments. Quantitative skills are emphasized and strengthened throughout the course of study. Many of the skills learned in this course are applicable to marketing research, financial analysis, and management strategy. Prerequisite: ECN2000 and SME2031 This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring and Summer I


ECN3660 International Trade Theory and Policy (Advanced Liberal Arts Elective) This course explores the theory behind international trade relationships, exchange-rate mechanisms and trade policies among the various major trading economies of the world. As international trade becomes a more important consideration for all countries, it is important to understand the rationale, costs, and benefits of trading relationships, as well as the incentives (often conflicting) behind trade policies. This course combines very nicely with ECN3665 for a more complete coverage of international economics. Prerequisite: SME2031 This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall and Spring


ECN3662 Political Economy of Latin American Development and Underdevelopment (Advanced Liberal Arts Elective) This course is for any individual interested in the political, financial, historical, and social determinants of economic development in Latin America. Both theoretical and policy issues in development are covered. Analyzing the characteristic volatility of the region's business environment, the course provides an in-depth examination of the workings of Latin America's economies, which in combination with courses in the liberal arts, leads to a greater appreciation of this region's global distinction and diversity. Prerequisite: (ECN2000) and (SME2031) This course is typically offered in the following semester: Fall


ECN3663 Economics of Education 4 credit advanced liberal arts Education plays a critical role in a country's growth, development, and economic well-being, as well as providing substantial personal benefits. Human capital development constitutes a critical and complicated social investment. Economic theories and methods provide a powerful way to analyze issues in education and education policy. This course will apply economic theory to educational problems, discuss policy context and implications, and explore how entrepreneurs may innovate in educational settings. Prerequisites: MCE2312 or SME2031


ECN3664: College Fed Challenge 2 Advanced Liberal Arts Electives This course exposes selected students to a rigorous exploration of advanced macroeconomic and monetary economic concepts, with a special emphasis on the conduct of monetary policy by the U.S. Federal Reserve. During the semester, students will research appropriate economic topics and make policy oriented presentations. All aspects of the course will emphasize teamwork. The culminating experience of the course will be participation in the College Fed Challenge where students will present a fifteen minute monetary policy recommendation to a panel of local economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The presentation is followed by a 15 minutes question and answer session. Prerequisites: ECN3615


ECN3665 INTERNATIONAL FINANCE (Advanced Liberal Arts) This course provides broad and deep exposure to the (a) global financial institutions and markets, (b) quantitative and analytical tools, which are valuable for firms operating in the global marketplace, and (c) the costs and benefits of living in an increasingly interdependent world. This is a very valuable course for anyone with international interests and/or anyone who would like to work in a globally oriented job. Prerequisite: ECN2000 This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall, Spring and Summer I


ECN3667 Strategic Game Theory Advanced Liberal Arts Game theory provides a simple, but rich, framework for analyzing once-off and repeated interplay between people or firms, where the manner in which each reacts depends upon the other's reaction: strategic interaction. These interactions occur in markets, in organizations, and in the household. This course-through lectures, experiential learning, and computer simulations-will attempt to provide students with understanding of many interactions they may encounter as managers, including price wars, wars of attrition, the value of cooperation interactions, and the value of information. Prerequisite: ECN2000 and SME2031


ECN3671 The Economics of Labor Markets Labor is the key factor of production for virtually all firms, and households' sale of their labor provides most household income, driving the U.S. economy and economies around the globe. The theoretical foundations for analyzing labor demand and supply will be the starting point for examining a range of labor market topics such as human capital investment, wage determination and inequality, the choice between work and household production, the effect of unions on the labor market, labor mobility and migration, labor market discrimination, and the effects of taxation, regulation, unemployment insurance and other government policies on labor market outcomes. Prerequisite: SME2031


ECN3675 Environmental Economic - Policy and Analysis Provide students with the knowledge, skills, and tools for building an environmentally sustainable economy. Basic aim is to educate students about economic systems and human choices as they relate to environmental resources and business operations. It aims to identify and provide an understanding of the tradeoffs inherent in managing natural systems, particularly within the global framework. Finally, we will concentrate on how markets and policies affect economic and environmental outcomes. Prereq: (ECN2000) and (SME2031)


ECN 3677 Regional Economies-Prospects and Tensions in Latin America's Southern Cone 4 credit advanced liberal arts credit Program fee and group international airfare is paid to Glavin Office – program fee includes accommodations, breakfast, airport transport, group round-trip flight from Boston to Uruguay/Argentina , ferry transportation from Uruguay to Argentina, program planned meals, and cultural excursions. Not included: tuition, visa costs, additional meals and personal expenses. This course provides an introduction to the Latin American business environment, with special focus on Uruguay and Argentina. In Uruguay, we explore the dilemmas of the country’s contrasting development opportunities, promoting tourism and sustainable enterprise built on its natural beauty, while pressured to accept environmentally threatening extractive industry investments in mining, pulp, and petroleum. Additional themes include environmental and water rights debates, regional infrastructure investment, and review of South-South trade initiatives. In Argentina, we examine the country’s emergence from the volatile swings of agricultural commodity booms, international debt, and financial turbulence. We explore the challenges of the recently elected Macri government to promote economic development through entrepreneurial initiative directed by market fundamentals. What happens when entrepreneurs design government policy and roll back the state? In addition we examine regional e-business competition, the “Tango” as a cultural artifact of early economic development, concluding with an appraisal of the region’s prospects in the wake of the adversity of a global financial crisis. We will explore these Southern Cone economies through extensive country site visits and classroom sessions at host institutions, Universidad ORT (Uruguay) and Universidad San Andrès (Argentina). Prerequisites: SME2031 and ECN2000


SME2031: Microeconomics Intermediate Core (3 credits) Microeconomics examines the decisions made by consumers, firms and governments in allocating scarce resources. Raw materials are not available in infinite quantities; neither are human labor and productive capital. Managers must deal with real-world constraints in making decisions about production and pricing, while consumers are subject to the constraints of income and prices in satisfying their needs and wants. Governments must set basic rules for an economy, provide certain goods and services, and deal with issues of taxation, income distribution and inequality when determining how a country’s resources will be used and who benefits from those resources. The Microeconomics curriculum introduces us to the rules and principles that help guide allocation decisions, and focuses particularly on the role of markets. Topics include the interaction of supply and demand in the determination of prices, demand and supply elasticities, rational choice theory, costs and efficient methods of production, market structure, wage determination, game theory for understanding firm interdependence, pricing strategy, and the role of government in correcting externalities and addressing other market failures. Prerequisites: None