Chair: Sudipta Sarangi
Professors: R. Ashley, S. Ball, N. Bose, H. Haller, D. Salehi-Isfahani, S. Sarangi, A. Spanos, and T. N. Tideman
Associate Professors: E. Bahel, R. Cothren, A. Dominiak, S. Ge, X. Li, K. Tsang
Assistant Professors: M. Fox, A. Habibnia, M. Kovach, S. Luo, M. Miller, B. Rosa, A. Smith, S. Trost, and G. Tserenijimid
Professor Emeritus: A. Kats
Instructors: G. Gebremariam and Z. Yang
Undergraduate Advising/Career Advisor: E. Perdue (231-7726)
Economics is a social science that studies how people make decisions in order to pursue their goals in the best possible way and how this affects aggregate social outcomes. It studies how individuals, families, groups, markets behave as well as other types of formal and informal institutions and the interactions between them. Economists use mathematical modeling, data techniques and experimental methods to understand the causal underpinnings of behavior. Economic analysis is directed at a wide range of economy-wide problems including inflation and unemployment, monetary policy and interest rates and taxation decisions. Regulatory and antitrust problems, race relations and their history, environmental problems like greenhouse gas emission abatement, education and health policies are key policy questions tackled by economists. Statistical and econometric modeling, forecasting, big data techniques and using experiments for causal inference form an important part of the economist's toolkit. Individual decision-making, what drives cooperative behavior and altruism, managerial decision-making pricing and advertising behaviors of firms, voting and elections, strategic reasoning and several different types of logical paradoxes associated with human behavior fall within the purview of economics. Finally, economics also studies why some nations are richer than others, what drives sustainable development, international trade flows and the causes and consequences of globalization.
The Department of Economics at Virginia Tech not only has strengths in the core of areas of economics like microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics but also in new and emerging areas like Neuroeconomics, Decision Theory, Behavioral Economics and Big Data. Students can choose a variety of courses on topics like Development Economics, Health Economics, Economics of Gender and Race, Economic History of Race Relations, Game Theory, Economics of China and the Middle East, and the Application of R and Python to economics issues. Students opt for the regular degree in Economics or pursue a degree in Economics with the Business option. The Department strongly believes in providing all majors and minors individualized attention.
Specialization in economics prepares a person for a wide variety of careers that emphasize the methods and consequences of analytical decision-making in business and government and a broad understanding of the operation of the economy. Research shows that students with economics training perform better in cognitive tests. Economics prepares students for a variety of private sector jobs that require analytical skills including positions in consulting, marketing, data analytics, business analytics and finance. They are routinely employed in the federal, state, and local governments as well as in the non-profit sector and international organizations. Undergraduate education in economics also provides an excellent background for further study in law, political science, urban planning, and business administration.
The graduation requirements in effect during the academic year of admission to Virginia Tech apply. Requirements for graduation are listed on checksheets. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion. The university reserves the right to modify requirements in a degree program.
Please visit the University Registrar's website at https://www.registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/checksheets.html for degree requirements.
Science majors can declare a Business option which is designed to provide students an opportunity to explore introductory courses in traditional business subjects. It should be noted that this option is not a degree in the College of Business.
The requirements to earn a minor in economics can be found on its checksheet by visiting the University Registrar website at http://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.html.
5-Year B.A. / M.A.
The department offers a 5-year combined bachelor's and master's degree for students with a GPA of at least 3.5. See the undergraduate advisor for details.
The department also offers an honors degree. See the undergraduate advisor for details.
University policy requires that students who are making satisfactory progress toward a degree meet minimum criteria toward the General Education (Curriculum for Liberal Education) (see "Academics") and toward the degree.
Satisfactory progress requirements toward the B.A. and B.S. in Economics can be found on the major checksheet by visiting the University Registrar website at http://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.html.
1104: ECONOMICS OF GENDER Economic approach to the causes and consequences of male/female gender differences in economic outcomes. Tools in microeconomic analysis and empirical work. Woman, family choices and labor markets. Gender gap in earnings. Employment and wage policies related to women. (3H,3C)
1204: ECONOMICS OF RACE Causes and consequences of racial disparities in economic outcomes including education, health, housing, entrepreneurship, and earnings. Tools in microeconomics and statistics as applied to the study of racial issues. Historical and institutional contexts of racial problems. Change in racial gaps across generations. Impact of public policies to address racial discrimination in labor markets. Does not count toward ECON major. (3H,3C)
1214: ECONOMIC HISTORY OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Economic analysis of topics concerning diversity and inclusion. Emphasis on Virginia and surrounding states. Introduction to the basic principles of economic analysis and economic history, with a special emphasis on models of institutional change, economic growth, discrimination, inequality, migration, and indigenous economic systems. Impact of institutions, environment, and technological change on labor markets, asset markets, and standard of living. Consideration of the role of data in understanding diversity and related ethical issues. (3H,3C)
2005-2006: PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS 2005: Introduction to microeconomics. The economic approach to decision-making. Model of supply and demand. Elasticities. Consumer behavior. Firm behavior under varying industry structures. Sources and consequences of market failure. Costs and benefits of international trade. The role of government in the economy. Economic, ethical, and social ramifications of issues such as pollution, missing information, and income inequality. 2006: Introduction to macroeconomics. The measurement of economic activity. Macroeconomic problems (such as unemployment and inflation). The monetary system. Effects and limitations of monetary and fiscal policies. International economics. Social and ethical issues related to macroeconomic policy. (3H,3C)
2025H,2026H: HONORS PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS 2025H: Microeconomics. Consumer behavior and demand, firm behavior and supply, price determination and market equilibrium under varying industry structure. Applications to labor and financial markets. 2026H: Macroeconomics. Measuring aggregate economic activity, macroeconomic problems (such as unemployment and inflation), the monetary system, effects and limitations of monetary and fiscal policies. (3H,3C)
2894 (PHIL 2894) (PSCI 2894): INTRODUCTION PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS, AND ECONOMICS Integrated study of philosophy, politics, and economics. Trains students to make decisions that are not only economically sound, but also socially, ethically, and politically informed. Topics included: models of human nature, rational choice theory social cooperation, distributive justice, markets, and democracy. (3H,3C)
2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
2974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY Honors section. Variable credit course.
2984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
2994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Variable credit course. X-grade allowed.
2994H: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Variable credit course. X-grade allowed.
3004: CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC ISSUES The economic analysis of current issues and problems. This course may be repeated with different topic. Pre: 2006 or 2115 or 2125 or 2026H. (3H,3C)
3024: ECONOMIC JUSTICE This course explores how different assumptions regarding the basis of claims for access to economic resources lead to different outcomes. Students will explore a variety of theories and examine their own beliefs about economic justice. Pre: (2005 or 2025H), (2006 or 2026H). (3H,3C)
3034: ECONOMICS OF POVERTY AND DISCRIMINATION Poverty and inequality in the United States and around the world. Sources of poverty. Antipoverty policies. Definition, empirical evidence, and causes of discrimination. Emphasis on ethical human behavior and policy analysis. Pre: 2005. (3H,3C)
3054: INTRODUCTION TO FORECASTING Provides an introduction to data-driven forecasting, with applications in economics and in other disciplines - e.g., political science and climatology. Specification, estimation, and validation of time-series regression models; ethical issues arising in model specification and estimation. Forecasting theory and evaluation. Pre: STAT 3005 or BIT 2405. (3H,3C)
3104: MICROECONOMIC THEORY Theories of demand, production, perfectly and imperfectly competitive price determination, and general market equilibrium. Analytic applications. Pre: 2005, (MATH 1225, MATH 1226) or ECON 2005, (MATH 1025, MATH 1026). (3H,3C)
3134 (BDS 3134): CHOICE AND BEHAVIOR Theories of rational choice, utility, and revealed preference. Intertemporal decision problems and choice under uncertainty with applications to insurance and investments. Behavioral regularities and evidence of violations of rational choice theory. Behavioral models that accommodate this behavior. Applications of behavioral models to economic problems, ethical questions, policy, and organization design. Pre: 2005. (3H,3C)
3144: ECONOMICS OF REGULATION Economics of regulation with a focus on U.S. laws and institutions. Market structures, mergers, antitrust laws, and anticompetitive behavior, including collusion and monopolization. Economic regulation of price, entry, and output. Incentive regulation and alternatives to regulation. Valuing life and other nonmonetary benefits. Regulation of health, safety, and the environment. Pre: 2006. (3H,3C)
3154: MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS Applications of economic concepts and models to practical issues. Demand analysis, the law of demand, and different approaches to analyzing consumer behavior (elasticity, consumer surplus, and utility theory). Supply analysis, producer behavior, and theories of firms (diminishing returns, price takers and price searchers). Pricing strategies including segmentation, two-part tariffs, collusion, and predatory pricing. Market imperfections and extensions including signaling, adverse selection, network externalities, and the economics of time. Empirical analysis: formulating economic questions, finding and analyzing relevant data, and presenting findings to non-specialists. Pre: 2006. (3H,3C)
3204: MACROECONOMIC THEORY Theories of the determination of the level of aggregate economy-wide activity. Employment, the price level, aggregate national income, and the interest rate. The roles of money and expectations. Pre: (2006 or 2026H), (3104 or 2025H), (MATH 1226 or MATH 1526 or MATH 1026). (3H,3C)
3214: MONEY AND BANKING Money and credit. The U.S. monetary system. Monetary theory, monetary policy and economic stabilization. Pre: (2005 or 2025H), 2006. (3H,3C)
3254: ANALYSIS OF ECONOMIC DATA Sources of economic data. Application of spreadsheet and/or statistical software to analysis of economic relationships using graphical and regression techniques. Emphasis is on economic applications rather than statistical theory. Pre: STAT 3005 or STAT 3604 or STAT 3615 or STAT 4604 or STAT 4705 or STAT 4714 or CM DA 2006 or BIT 2406. (3H,3C)
3314: MIDDLE EAST ECONOMICS Introduction to the economies of the Middle East and North Africa. Application of economic analysis to economic history and modern economic growth of the region. Historical role of a strong state and Islam in shaping the institutions of private property in Middle Eastern societies. The market for oil and the integration of the region into the global economy. The modern economy of the Middle East with focus on human capital development, inequality, and the role of women. Pre: 2006. (3H,3C)
3914 (IS 3914) (PSCI 3914): EUROPEAN ECONOMICS Microeconomics, macroeconomics and economic policies of the European Union. EU economic law, institutions, decision-making, and budgeting. Historic and current influences on regional economic development. Monetary and fiscal policies. Economic research methods, analysis, and reporting. Pre: 2006. (3H,3C)
3954: STUDY ABROAD Variable credit course.
4014: ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS Economic dimensions and aspects of programs designed to impose quality controls upon the environment. Special emphasis on problems of controlling air and water pollution. Pre: 2005 or 2116 or 2126 or 2025H. (3H,3C)
4044: PUBLIC ECONOMICS Economic rationale of the public sector. Proper size and functions of government. Market failure, Cost-benefit analysis, public goods provision. Pricing of public enterprise services. Pre: 3104 or 2025H. (3H,3C)
4054: PUBLIC FINANCE The structure and incidence of taxation in the U.S. Effects of taxes on incentives and economic efficiency. Tax Policy. Pre: 3104 or 2025H. (3H,3C)
4074: LABOR ECONOMICS Human capital theory, labor supply and demand, discrimination, effects of labor unions and collective bargaining, wage differentials, income distribution. Pre: (2005 or 2116 or 2126 or 2025H), 3254. (3H,3C)
4084: INDUSTRY STRUCTURE The structure and performance of American industry. Dimensions and measures of market structure. Factors affecting market structure. The relationship between structure and performance. Purpose and effects of antitrust policy, regulation, and other public policies toward industry. Pre: 3104 or 4924. (3H,3C)
4124: GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT Theories of economic growth. Policies to foster growth, and their consequences. Pre: 2006, (2025H or 3104). (3H,3C)
4135,4136 (AAEC 4135): INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS 4135 International Trade: Factor mobility and commercial policy (tariffs, quotas, export licensing). 4136 International Finance: Liquidity, exchange rates, comparative international living standards, foreign aid. Pre: 3104 or 2025H for 4135; 3204 or 4204H for 4136. (3H,3C)
4144: ECONOMICS OF CHINA Evolution of the Chinese economy since 1949. Exposition of alternative economic systems, the commune, incentive problems, and state owned enterprises. Analysis of recent reforms and their effects on economic efficiency; and key issues of economic transition related to Russia and other East European countries. Pre: (3104 or 2025H). (3H,3C)
4214: ECONOMICS OF HEALTH CARE Effects of medical care on health; cost and production of medical care; demand for medical care and its financing; structure of the health care industry; reorganization for efficiency. Pre: 2005 or 2025H. (3H,3C)
4304: INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMETRIC METHODS An introduction to econometric modeling techniques, including regression methods. Particular emphasis on the special problems posed by economic data. Pre: 3254 or STAT 3005 or STAT 3604 or STAT 4604 or STAT 4705 or STAT 4714 or CMDA 20 06. Co: 3204, 3104. (3H,3C)
4314 (CMDA 4314): BIG DATA ECONOMICS Applied econometrics dealing with big data. Theoretical, computational, and statistical underpinnings of big data analysis. The use of econometric models and deep machine learning algorithms to analyze the high-dimensional data sets. Implications in research focusing on economic questions that arise from rapid changes in data availability and computational technology. Materials are hands-on tutorials that come with Python codes and real-world data sets. Pre: 3254 or 4304 or CMDA 3654 or STAT 3006. (3H,3C)
4404: ECONOMICS OF ORGANIZATIONS Economic theories of organization, with specific attention to their internal structure, and to design of incentive systems. Application to mergers, to the relationship between stockholders and managers, etc. Students with one year of economics, calculus and major in some other social science, by permission of the instructor. Pre: 3104 or 4924 or 2025H. (3H,3C)
4424: THE THEORY OF GAMES AND ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR Introduction to games and solution concepts, such as prisoners dilemma, noncooperative equilibrium and Nashs bargaining solution. These concepts are applied in analyzing economic problems including bargaining problems, oligopoly and agency. Pre: 3104 or 4104H. (3H,3C)
4434: EXPERIMENTAL ECONOMICS This is a course in the use of laboratory methods to study behavior in economics and the social sciences. Students will study state-of-the-art methodology in experimental economics, including experimental design, laboratory technique, financial incentives, and analysis of data. Students will participate in, design, and conduct experiments in bargaining, auctions, asset markets, public goods and commons situations, and risky decision-making. Pre: (3104 or 2025H), (BIT 2406 or MSCI 2406 or STAT 2004 or STAT 3005). (3H,3C)
4454 (NEUR 4454) (PSYC 4454): NEUROECONOMICS Neural processes related to reward, learning, reflection, delay of gratification, and social interaction. Clinical uses of neuroeconomics research techniques. Implications of neuroeconomics in economics, policy, law and business. Pre: NEUR 2026 or ECON 3104. (3H,3C)
4614: R PROGRAMMING IN ECONOMICS Using R to combine economic theory and data. Focus on general R programming fundamentals related to data science techniques and economic data (gathering, standardizing and cleaning, analysis, and visualization). Hands-on experience with a variety of data, data sources, and techniques within R. Flaws and limitations of data. Direct application with individual project combining economic theory and data using R. Pre: 2005, (3254 or 4304). (3H,3C)
4754: INTERNSHIP Qualified students are placed in an industry or government position under the combined supervision of a faculty member and a responsible supervisor in the employing agency. Satisfactory evaluation from employer, detailed reports on the internship experience and a specific project will be required of each intern. Pre: Junior standing, QCA of 2.50 or better and consent. Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course. X-grade allowed. Pre: 2005.
4884 (PHIL 4884) (PSCI 4884): ADVANCED TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS, AND ECONOMICS Advanced topics at the intersection of philosophy, politics, and economics. Core methods and concepts: utility theory, game theory, social choice theory, public choice theory, markets, justice, and democracy. Senior research project. Advanced Discourse. Pre: Senior standing. Pre: PHIL 2894 or PSCI 2894 or ECON 2894. (3H,3C)
4894: LAW AND ECONOMICS Analysis of the economic effects of legal rules, with emphasis on the law of property, contract, liability, and land use. Pre: 2005. (3H,3C)
4964: FIELD STUDY Variable credit course.
4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
4974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY Honors section. Variable credit course.
4984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Variable credit course.
4994H: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Honors section. Variable credit course.