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
PRINCIPLES OF MACROECONOMICS
ECN2000 Principles of Macroeconomics
(Intermediate Liberal Arts)
Understanding the economy requires knowing what affects key variables such as output, employment, prices, interest rates and exchange rates, how these variables are measured, and how they fluctuate with the national economy over the business cycle. Students in ECN2000 will master these concepts, as well as understand the impact of inflation, deflation, recessions and trade imbalances on the economy. Students will be introduced to social challenges such as poverty and income inequality. They will also gain an introductory understanding of 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.
ECN2611 - SOCIOECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS AND DISASTER RES
SOCIOECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS AND DISASTER RES
ECN2611: Socio-Ecological Systems and Disaster Resilience
4 advanced liberal arts credits
**NST2011/ECN2611:Socioecological Systems and Disaster Resilience will be co-taught by Prof. Winrich and Prof. Way as a single course.**
**These are two separate courses and students are held responsible to register for the course that they would like to receive credit for.**
Natural disasters can affect us wherever we go. Disasters might be localized or far-reaching, and may come from severe weather, seismic events, biological catastrophe, or outer space. Natural disasters may seem random, but their impact on people and their communities is not. While natural systems spark an event, like an earthquake, the "disaster" is often the result of economic, political and social systems. And in the case of climate change, the economic system itself may be the catalyst for ever-more-destructive natural forces such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires, potentially creating a negative feedback loop that leads toward more destructive events, both natural and man-made. This course looks at the rising number of natural disasters in the context of the economic systems that impact the environment and put communities in harms' way. It investigates the connections between humans and the environment when they are impacted by anticipated and unanticipated natural events, and how they plan for the future. It explores resilience planning for more survivable, sustainable communities in the face of disasters. It specifically looks at the role of economic systems and how these systems can either worsen or mitigate the severity of natural disasters themselves.
Prerequsites: AHS1000 and RHT1000 and NST1
ECN3605 - ENTREPRENEURIAL ECONOMICS
ENTREPRENEURIAL ECONOMICSECN3605 Entrepreneurial Economics 4 Advanced Liberal Arts credits Today more than ever, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders have the opportunity to use data to improve strategic decision making. Often, their problem is not how to access or gather data, but how to use the data to help guide decisions around pricing, production decisions and investments. Entrepreneurial Economics enables students to apply economic principles to data effectively in the common situations faced by entrepreneurs of all kinds. Students will be encouraged to think about the strategic implications of decisions and to use both theory and data to support, validate and revise decisions as needed. They will also consider ethical implications of customer data usage. Entrepreneurial leaders are challenged in the global marketplace to effectively communicate not only the results of analysis but the rationale for decisions. Through both individual and group work, students will conduct market analysis and present the results while also interacting with their peers to provide constructive practical critiques. Topics Applied demand and elasticity analysis for decision-making Strategic competitor response in an entrepreneurial context Cost structure analysis Linkages between market structure and strategy for new entrants and established firms Pricing strategy in the context of different firm objectives, startup to mature. Potential conflicts between the economic objectives of different stakeholders in a firm. Incorporating risk and uncertainty into business decision making in a systematic way. Assessing and responding to changes in a dynamic market environment. Game theory for market entry decisions. Game theory for predictions about how individuals and firms will react to strategic decisions made by the firm. Ethical issues arising from decisions made by the firm such as pricing, distribution, product development, externalities, and data usage. Prerequisites: SME2031
ECN3615 - MONEY, BANKING & THE ECONOMY
MONEY, BANKING & THE ECONOMYECN 3615 Money, Banking, and the Economy (Advanced Liberal Arts Elective) Central Banks exert a tremendous influence over the economy and financial markets. Anyone interested in investing in or running a business should have a firm grasp on the effects of their policies and a general ability to predict their actions. Moreover, the behavior of central banks has radically changed over the last decade, implementing in practice experimental polices that were largely theoretical previously (e.g. quantitative easing) if not unfathomable (e.g. negative interest rates). In this class, we will focus on how and why central banks implement these polices and adjust interest rates, and how those policies affect the economy. We will also focus heavily on central banks' interactions with bond markets, stock markets, and foreign exchange markets. In studying these asset markets, we will also discuss general frameworks for thinking about how financial prices are determined, including potential behavioral influences. Prerequisite: ECN 2000. This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall, Spring
ECN3620 - ECONOMETRICS
ECONOMETRICSECN3620 Econometrics (Advanced Liberal Arts Elective) This hands-on course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the field of Econometrics. The course will be applied in nature and will be directed to undergraduate students that seek to further their understanding of how to use economic and statistical theory to develop economic models and forecast key financial and economic measures of performance while learning to assess the strengths and weaknesses of those models. These techniques can improve corporate financial planning, marketing, sales forecasts, production planning, legal consulting and many other decisions where better predictions in light of uncertainty can reduce costs, raise profits and lead to better decision making. Prerequisite: (SME2031) and (QTM1010) This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring
ECN3625 - THE EU TODAY: ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL INTEGRATION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
THE EU TODAY: ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL INTEGRATION IN THE EUROPEAN UNIONECN3625 Economic and Political Integration in the European Union (Advanced Liberal Arts Elective) The European Union is the most important experiment in liberal democracy since the founding of the United States almost three hundred years ago. The question is, will it ultimately succeed in its goals of eliminating trade barriers and increasing political unity in order to promote economic growth and ensure peace. From the "Brexit" movement in the UK, to the rise of right-wing populism in Hungary, Poland and Italy, to the massive influx of migrants from North Africa and the Middle East, the EU faces potentially shattering challenges to its authority and its institutions. Students will learn about the history of the EU, the institutional structures, the democratic nature of decision-making and legislation, the economic foundations of the single market and the impact of adopting a single currency, the Euro. With this knowledge in hand, students will examine the current crises and the future challenges for the success of the European Union experiment. Prerequisite: (SME2031) and (ECN2000). This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring
ECN3630 - INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZN & PUBLIC POLICY
INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZN & PUBLIC POLICYECN3630 Industrial Organization & Public Policy. (Advanced Liberal Arts Elective) Strategic decisions that firms make on a wide range of issues such as market entry, entry deterrence, supply chain development, outsourcing and vertical integration, diversification, mergers and acquisitions, product positioning and managing innovation are the topics of this advanced course in the economic analysis of markets. Industrial Organization teaches students how market structure (or the nature of competition in a market) and the inter-relations between industries influence firm performance, and how understanding these linkages enables firms to identify opportunities and risks. Public policy and its role in industrial organization, through anti-trust enforcement for example, is important for entrepreneurs and business leaders trying to understand the rules of competition for their industries. Students will also learn to apply basic Game Theory to various aspects of strategic business decision making. Cases from a wide range of industries are used to illustrate successful business strategies. Prerequisite: SME2031. This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall and Spring
ECN3645 - BUSINESS & ECON POLICY IN DEVEL COUNTRY
BUSINESS & ECON POLICY IN DEVEL COUNTRYECN3645 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
CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC SYSTEMSECN3650 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
MANAGERIAL ECONOMICSECN3655 Managerial Economics (Advanced Liberal Arts Elective) Successful business decision-making requires the systematic analysis of a firm's internal factors and external market forces. Managerial Economics uses applied microeconomics to prepare students to perform these quantitative analyses, both internally, looking at cost structure and scale, for example, and externally, to understand consumer preferences and demand, price sensitivity, the nature of competition, and the regulatory environment. Students will leave this course able to evaluate firms' pricing, product attributes, production and output decisions, in the context of the competitive environment and constraints on the firm. Students will also hone quantitative skills that help them face challenges arising in dynamic markets where data can help entrepreneurs and managers mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities. Prerequisite: SME2031 This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring and Fall
ECN3660 - INTERNATIONAL TRADE THEORY & POLICY
INTERNATIONAL TRADE THEORY & POLICY
ECN3660 International Trade Theory and Policy
(Advanced Liberal Arts Elective)
Global trade is of great importance to business strategy and economic development, in terms of both the opportunities for new markets and supply chains and the challenges of import competition and changing government policies. This course explores the theory behind international trade relationships, the pattern of imports and exports 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.
This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall and Spring
ECN3662 - POLITICAL ECON LATIN AM DEV/UNDRDEV
POLITICAL ECON LATIN AM DEV/UNDRDEVECN3662 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
ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION
ECN3663 Economics of Education
Aadvanced Liberal Arts
Human capital development is a critical and expensive social investment, leading to intense debates about education policies, such as public funding for private schools, access to "free" community college, and college student-loan burdens. We will examine education's critical role in growth, development, equitable outcomes, and economic well-being for individuals and societies. We will apply economic theories, methods, and frameworks to analyze educational problems, considering potential goals of efficiency, adequacy, and equity; to discuss policy context and implications; and to explore innovation in educational settings.
ECN3664 - COLLEGE FED CHALLENGE
COLLEGE FED CHALLENGE
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.