economist tobe

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How to Become a Concentrator

The concentration has a singleentry point, ECON 2a (Introduction to Economics). (This courseis also an option in the quantitative reasoning component of theGeneral University Requirements.) Most concentrators begin theirstudy in the first or second year with ECON 2a (Introduction toEconomics) followed by a second principles course, ECON 8b (Analysisof Economic Problems). We require five core courses (two principlescourses followed by three intermediate theory courses: microeconomictheory, macroeconomic theory, and statistics) plus four electives.It is important to begin the study of economics early because"upper level" electives, a requirement for the concentration,build on intermediate courses and have from three to six prerequisites.Also, some calculus is used in intermediate theory courses; studentswho have not had a good high school calculus course should takeMATH 10a (Techniques of Calculus), at a minimum. Studentswith limited mathematical training should begin with MATH 5a (PrecalculusMathematics).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


All concentrators in economicsreceive broad yet rigorous training in the core subjects of thediscipline: general principles, micro and macroeconomic theory,and statistics. Concentrators learn to use skills developed inthe core to analyze a variety of economic problems, social issues,and economic institutions. This goal is accomplished in four electivecourses chosen from a list that includes most of the subfieldsof interest to economists, e.g., international economics, financialmarkets, industrial organization, managerial economics, law andthe regulation of economic activity, and the public sector.
The department stresses analyticand quantitative approaches to the economy as a system as wellas to specific subject areas and economic issues. (As a consequencewe expect students to develop analytic and quantitative skillsuseful not only for studying economics but for studying othersubjects, as well.) Both theoretical and applied courses are available.By the completion of the concentration, students are expectedto be familiar with the scholarship associated with a varietyof economic subjects; concentrators learn to read books and articleswritten for the general economist.
The concentration in economicsprovides background for many positions in business or government.A few graduates pursue advanced degrees in economics while othersenroll in professional schools of business, law, and other fields.Programs of study can be designed to match the interests of thestudent (see list of courses on the next page).
Qualified seniors are invitedto participate in the department's honors program, which involvesresearch and the writing of a thesis under the supervision ofa member of the faculty. Before the senior year, Brandeis undergraduatescan apply for admission as "five-year students" to theLemberg Master's Program in International Economics and Finance(see the Graduate School of International Economics and Financesection of this Bulletin). The department offers a generalminor in economics; a program in international business (see theProgram in International Business section of this Bulletin);and for students who matriculated prior to the fall of 1997, aminor in Business and Managerial Economics (BAME). The lattertwo programs are open to economics concentrators.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


F. Trenery Dolbear, Chair
Macroeconomics. Theory andcomputer simulations. Public sector.
Anne Carter, UndergraduateAdvising Head (Fall)
Technological change. Input/output.
Atreya Chakraborty
Investment. Corporate finance.
Benjamin Gomes-Casseres
International business. Internationalpolitical economy.
Paul Harrison
Applied times-series econometrics.Financial economics. Macroeconomics. Economic history.
Jane Hughes
Domestic and internationalcash management. Third World debt, sovereign risk, and foreignexchange markets.
Adam Jaffe, Honors Coordinator
Technological change. Economicsof regulation. Industrial organization.
Gary Jefferson
China. Technical progress.Open economy macroeconomics.
Sunghyum Henry Kim
International finance. Openeconomy macroeconomics. International trade.
M. Ayhan Kose
Open economy macroeconomics.International economics.
Rachel McCulloch
International trade theory.Trade policy. Macroeconomic coordination. Investment and technologytransfer.
Julie Nelson
Demand analysis. Gender issues.Public economics. Development.
Peter Petri
International trade. Development.Japan. Korea.
Michael Plummer
International trade and finance.Regional economic integration. International development (particularlySoutheast Asia).
Barney Schwalberg, UndergraduateAdvising Head (Spring)
Russia. Labor. Education.
Requirements for the Concentration
A.ECON 2a and ECON 8b. Normally a grade of C- or higher is requiredin these courses.
B.ECON 80a, 82b, and 83a.
C.Four elective courses in economics, two of which must be "upper-level,"numbered ECON 100 or above, with the exception that ECON 175adoes not count as an upper-level elective. Some IEF courses areacceptable as electives. Some economics-oriented, Heller and othersocial science courses may be counted as lower level electivestoward the economics concentration. Any student who intends tooffer an economics-oriented course in another department towardthe Economics concentration should obtain approval of the undergraduateadvising head (Professor Barney Schwalberg) in advance.
D.A passing letter grade must be obtained in each course taken forconcentration credit. (Pass/Fail courses are not allowed.) Studentsmust also achieve a grade point average of at least 2.00 in concentrationcourses; students close to this average should consult the undergraduateadvising head before enrolling in economics courses for the senioryear.
E.Any exception to the above rules requires department approval.
See the department academicadministrator or the undergraduate advising head for a petition;for example, a student must petition to get concentration creditfor an economics course taken at another university.