Skip to main content


Economics (ECON) Course Descriptions

Information taken from USC Undergraduate Bulletin and from the USC Graduate Bulletin. Courses are not offered every semester. Please consult the USC Master Schedule for course availability. If a specific professor's syllabus is needed, please e-mail him/her using the information on our faculty list.

ECON 221 and 222, or ECON 224 are prerequisite to all 300-, 400-, and 500-level economics courses.

123 — The American Economy. (3) Basic concepts, institutional foundations, structure of the private and public sector, labor markets; major economic problems.

221 — Principles of Microeconomics. (3) Microeconomic analysis: theory of the firm, cost and output determination, market pricing, theory of consumer and income distribution. Students cannot receive credit for both ECON 221 and 224.

222 — Principles of Macroeconomics. (3) Macroeconomic analysis: basic definitions and concepts, mechanics of pricing and the fundamentals of American capitalism, national income economics, income and employment theory, monetary and fiscal policy, and international economics. Students cannot receive credit for both ECON 222 and 224.

223 — Introduction to Economics. (3) Introduction to economics principles for non-majors. Basics of supply and demand and government and monetary policy are covered in a non-technical manner. Not open to business or economics students.

224 — Introduction to Economics. (3) Micro- and macroeconomic principles of markets, government policy, and household or firm decision-making. Open to all students except business administration majors. Credit not granted for both ECON 224 and either 221 or 222.

301 — Money and Banking. {=FINA 301} (3) The role of money in the market economy. Commercial banks, the Federal Reserve System, and monetary policy.

303 — The International Economy. (3) (Prereq: ECON 224) Survey of international economic issues and institutions, including trade and protectionism, global and regional trade agreements, trade balances and exchange rates, Japan, NAFTA, and the European Union.

311 — Issues in Economics. (3) The nature and causes of major economic problems facing the nation and its communities, and policy alternatives designed to solve them. The philosophy and methodology of economics in social problem solving.

321 — Intermediate Microeconomic Theory. (3) (Prereq: either ECON 221 and 222 or ECON 224, MATH 122 or 141) Analysis of the economic behavior of households and firms. Production, consumption, price determination, and the degree of competition in markets.

322 — Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory. (3) (Prereq: either ECON 221 and 222 or ECON 224, MATH 122 or 141) Analysis of the national economy as a whole. Money, output, employment, inflation, and international economic linkages.

329 — American Economic History. (3) Growth and development of the American economy; applications of economic theory to economic history.

363 — Business Finance. {=FINA 363} (3) (Prereq: ECON 221/222, ACCT 225/226, and 3 hours of statistics at the 200 level) The procurement and management of wealth by privately owned profit-seeking enterprises.

364 — Financial Institutions. {=FINA 364} (3) A study of the functions and operations of financial institutions and their relationships to the commercial banking system and the general economy. Attention is devoted to savings institutions, insurance companies, rural and urban real estate credit, consumer credit, and associated topics.

379 — Government Policy Toward Business. (3) An analysis of public policy toward business in the United States. Emphasis is on the desirability of various policies in light of their consequences for the general welfare.

399 — Independent Study. (Up to 15) Contract approved by instructor, advisor and undergraduate division head is required.

402 — Money, Income, and Prices. (3) A study of monetary standards, monetary theory, monetary policy, and the mechanism of international payments. Attention is devoted to questions of monetary problems, employment, and fiscal policy.

406 — Labor Economics. (3) A study of labor market institutions, trends in labor market activity, and the effects of government policy on the labor market. (Not open to majors in economics.)

408 — History of Economic Thought. (3) A survey of economics from the ancient philosophers to the present; with emphasis on the mercantilist, physiocratic, classical, Marxian, Austrian, neo-classical, and institutional schools of economics.

415 — Economics of American Industry. (3) A study of the structure of selected American industries, of the development and concentration of economic power in the American economy, and of public policy toward industry.

420 — Business Applications of Economic Forecasting. (3) Analysis of business cycles and applications of forecasting techniques to project and interpret economic trends.

421 — Engineering Economics. (3) Decision making with respect to capital goods, with emphasis on such decision making in governmental activities and public utilities. Intended primarily for engineering students, the course emphasizes the types of investment decisions that engineers are often called upon to make.

436 - Introductory Econometrics. (3) The use of statistical techniques to analyze economic relationships. The emphasis is on the application of linear regression to real-world economic data.

499 — Internship in Economics. (3 or 6 hours) (Prereq: completion of ECON 321 and ECON 322 and cumulative GPA of 2.75, or consent of instructor) Supervised work experience of at least nine hours per week, to include one class meeting a month and individual consultation. Contract approval by instructor, advisor, and department chair is required.

500 — Urban Economics. (3) An analysis of economic forces affecting urbanization and the economic processes influencing urban form and structure. Spatial concepts are considered in addition to traditional micro-economic and macro-economic concepts. Topic coverage includes: the economic origin of cities; urban functions and the urban economic base, land-use structure and urban form, and urban efficiency.

503 — International Trade Economics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 321 or permission of instructor) Theory of international specialization, commercial policy, customs unions, and the effects of trade liberalization and protectionism; economic growth and multinational enterprises.

504 — International Monetary Economics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 322 or permission of instructor) Exchange rate and balance of payments determination; purchasing-power parity; optimum currency areas, absorption, elasticity, monetary approaches, spot- and forward-exchange markets.

505 — International Development Economics. (3) Economic theories of growth in developing countries. Use of factor resources; role of social and economic institutions; use of financial trade policies for growth.

506 — Labor Economics and Labor Markets. (3) (Prereq: ECON 321 or permission of instructor) Economics of labor demand, labor supply, wage determination in competitive markets, migration, discrimination, unemployment, and labor unions. Theoretical models and empirical knowledge will be considered.

507 — Comparative Economic Systems. (3) An analysis of the organization and operation of the world's major economic systems.

508 — Law and Economics. (3) Economic analysis and interpretation of the law. The economic effect of current law and optimal design of law to meet social objectives.

509 - Economics of Sustainable Development Credits. (3) (Prereq: ECON 221 and 222; or ECON 224; MATH 122, all with C or better) Exploration of the basic theory and practice of sustainable economic development. Topics include: environmental legislation, global agreements, sustainable development indicators, and economic strategies and methods to promote environmentally sound development.

510 - Experimental Economics. (3) Exploration of the basic theory and techniques of experimental economics. Topics include: basic game theory, experimental design, and elements of behavioral economic thought.

511 — Senior Seminar in Economics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 321 and 322) Philosophy and methodology of economics, perspectives on theory and empiricism, economic policy; individualized guided research.

523 — Introduction to Mathematical Economics. (3) (Prereq: MATH 122, 141, or the equivalent) Mathematical formulation of economic theories; the use of mathematics in the development and demonstration of economic relationships.

524 — Essentials of Economics. (3) A course designed to acquaint the student with the principles of operation of the American economic system. A survey course for social studies teachers in secondary schools.

526 — Managerial Economics. (3) A study of the application of the economic theory of profits, competition, demand, and costs to analysis of problems arising in the firm and in decision making. Price policies, forecasting, and investment decisions are among the topics considered.

530 — The Economics of Education. (3) Investment in human capital; the economic value of schooling; internal efficiency of schools; faculty compensation; equity and efficiency of school finance systems; financing higher education.

531 — Health Economics. (3) Applications of economic analysis to health care. Structure and behavior of health-care markets. Description of health care policy issues.

548 — Environmental Economics. (3) An analysis of the economic aspects of environmental decay, pollution control, and natural resource use. Analysis of the ability of the market system to allocate resources efficiently when economic activity is accompanied by environmental damage. Discussion of alternative public policy approaches to pollution control and natural resource conservation.

555 - Game Theory in Economics Credits. (3)Game theory as used to understand decision making in business, economics, politics and other real-world environments.  Topics covered include: basic terminology; strategic, extensive, and combinatorial models; and equilibrium strategy.

562 Public Finance. (3) Theory and practice of taxation: public revenue, expenditure, and debt.

589 — Topics in Economics. (1-3 maximum) Individual topics to be announced with suffix and title.

594 — Introduction to Econometrics. (3) (Prereq: MGSC 291 or STAT 201, MATH 122 or 141) Statistical and economic tools applied to analysis of business and economic problems with the aid of computers.

595 — Selected Topics in Economic Analysis and Policy. (3) A course designed to meet the needs of public school officials who have ultimate responsibility for secondary school curricula. Course content will be adjusted to help those officials obtain the background and information necessary to make decisions regarding the incorporation of economics in the curricula. Open only to students in the College of Education pursuing a certificate course for school administrators.

621 — Survey of Contemporary Economic Theory. (3) Neo-classical value and distribution theory combined with income and employment theory.

690 — Quantitative Foundations for Business and Economics I. {=MGSC 690} (3) Calculus and classical optimization methods applied to problems in business and economic analysis; matrices, derivatives, and integrals in the analysis of both univariate and multivariate business and economic models.

691 — Quantitative Foundations for Business and Economics II. {=MGSC 691} (3) (Prereq: MGSC 690 or ECON 690) Statistics and probability theory applied to problems of business and economic analysis.

692 — Quantitative Methods I. {=MGSC 692} (3) Probability and statistics necessary for graduate study in economics and business administration; estimation, hypothesis testing, regression, analysis of variance, and nonparametric methods.

694 — Quantitative Methods II. {=MGSC 694} (3) (Prereq: ECON 692, mathematics and computer portion of Fundamental Business Skills or equivalent) A study of decision models useful in business administration. Topics covered include linear programming, sensitivity analysis and duality, network models, integer programming, determinate and stochastic dynamic programming, inventory, and queues.

700 — Survey of Economic Analysis. (2 or 3) The economic processes of the economy with respect to income, employment, and output. Elementary analytical tools of both micro- and macroeconomics are portrayed. For graduate students with little or no relevant course work in economics.

701 — Advanced Money and Banking. (3) (Prereq: ECON 301) An in-depth study of the operation and economic significance of the monetary system (money, commercial banks, and the central bank) and monetary policy. Emphasis is on theory and empirical hypothesis testing as related to above topics.

703 — International Trade Theory. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621) Theory of international values, comparative advantage, and the gains from trade; theory of commercial policy, tariff structure, and welfare and trade.

704 — International Monetary Economics. (3) Theories of exchange rate and balance of payments determination (spot and forward exchange markets, interest rate arbitage, purchasing power parity, and monetary approaches); adjustments under fixed and flexible exchange rates are analyzed.

705 — Economic Development. (3) Overall view of problems of economic development, including its history and relationship to the modern world. Brief consideration is given to such noneconomic factors as political, sociological, and cultural environments. Basic theories of growth are presented and critically evaluated.

706 — Regional Economic Development. (3) Application of economic principles to regional analysis and planning. Geographic areas covered range from cities and counties to major regions of the nation. Subject areas include economic measurement, analysis, and development planning.

707 — Evolution of Economic Theory and Methodology. (3) An analysis of the development of economic theory with special emphasis on the evolution of alternative methodologies.

709 — Economic Development of the United States. (3) An examination of the lines along which the American economy has progressed from 1607 to the present time.

710 — Special Topics in Economic History. (3)

711 — European Economic Development. (3)

715 — Industrial Economics. (3) Examination of industrial pricing, output, and investment practices in relation to the theory of the firm. Consideration of public aspects of these practices.

719 — Macroeconomic Analysis and International Economics. (3) The modern theory of national employment, output, and the price level. Monetary and fiscal policy. International trade, exchange rates, and international capital markets.

720 — Managerial Economics. (3) The application of microeconomic concepts to managerial decisions. The concepts include demand, cost, market structure, pricing, profitability, and strategic behavior.

727 — Applied Macroeconomics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621) The modern theory of income determination. Inflation, unemployment, and interest rates in an open economy setting. Emphasis on economic policy.

728 — Applied Microeconomics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621) Theory of demand, production, cost, pricing, distribution, and capital. Particular emphasis on applications of the theory to various problems faced by the firm.

730 — Investment in Human Capital. (3) An analysis of investments in humans who create and maintain their marketable skills. Investments in education (both formal and on the job), health care, and human migration are treated within the human capital analytical framework.

731 — Urban Economics. (3) An analysis of economic forces affecting urbanization and the economic processes influencing urban form and structure. Spatial concepts are considered in addition to the traditional microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts.

732 — Economic Problems of the City. (3) The economic causes and consequences of urban problems and the economic effects of proposed solutions. Problems analyzed include: urban blight, transportation, public services, urban sprawl, and megalopolis.

733 — Location Theory and Regional Structure. (3) Spatial and economic structures of regions and regional economic development. Topical review of partial and general equilibrium models of land use, regional economic growth; income determination at a regional level (regional accounts and input-output models); regional policy alternatives and their efficiency.

734 — Mathematical Economics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 523) This course is to acquaint students with the mathematical methods currently being used in micro- and macroeconomic theory. Topics covered are the use in economics of point set topology, nonlinear programming, differential equations, calculus of variations, and control theory.

740 — Applied Economic Forecasting. (3) (Prereq: ECON 692 or equivalent) Examination of a variety of techniques that are used for forecasting and policy simulation purposes. Development of skills that have applications in business, government, and economic research.

745 — The State and Economic Life. {=POLI 758} (3) (Prereq: six hours in economics and political science) An examination of the relationship between government and economic enterprise in the American economy. Government policies of regulation and control of industry and labor are given special emphasis.

746 — Topics in Industrial Organization and Public Policy. (3) Research topics in industrial market structure and performance, public policies toward business, and related subjects.

750 — Economics of Education. (3) A survey of the contribution of economics to educational issues, including the value of educational investments, effect of education on economic growth, input-output analysis, and economics of educational finance.

751 — Advanced Labor Economics. (3) Topics studied include wage theory; the processes of wage determination; the impact of unions and collective bargaining on wage levels, prices, employment, and income distribution; bargaining theory and union-management relations; the union as an economic institution.

759 — Manpower Economics. (3) A descriptive and analytic study of manpower as an economic resource in the United States.

761 — Public Expenditure Criteria. (3) A study of the criteria available to achieve efficiency in public expenditure, and an application of these criteria in selected expenditure areas.

762 — Advanced Public Finance. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621 or equivalent) A general survey of public finance, including public expenditures; the structure, incidence, and effects of taxes; public goods; and fiscal federalism.

763 — Advanced Public Finance II. (3) An analysis of budgets and budget policy; tax incidence and effects; debt and debt management.

771 — Special Topics in Microeconomics. (3)

772 — Special Topics in Macroeconomics. (3)

774 — The Firm and Its Environment. (3) (Prereq: ECON 720) The forces which influence and constrain decision and actions within the individual firm. Consideration of these forces as features of the existing legal, social, and ethical environments. Specific topics include the legal system and public policy, social organization, moral and ethical standards, public opinion, the social responsibility of the firm, and conception within the firm of its role in society and the interaction of these forces with economic forces.

777 — Seminar in Economic Growth and Development. (3)

779 — Special Topics: Selected Readings and Research. (3)

780 — Special Topics: Readings and Research. (3)

784 — Health Economics. {=HSPM 712} (3) A critical introduction to the application of economic analysis to problems in the health care field. Selective surveys of the related scientific literature will be covered.

785 — Advanced Macroeconomic Theory I. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621) The modern theories of income determination, inflation, unemployment, and interest rates. Theories of consumption, investment, government expenditure, and taxation are presented.

786 — Advanced Microeconomic Theory I. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621) The modern theory of consumer behavior, production, the firm, and market structure.

787 — Advanced Macroeconomics II. (3) (Prereq: ECON 785 or the equivalent) Recent developments in macro-econometrics, dynamic models, and related topics.

788 — Advanced Microeconomic Theory II. (3) (Prereq: ECON 786) Advanced topics in microeconomics including general equilibrium theory and welfare economics.

789 — Monetary Theory. (3) (Prereq: course in money and banking and intermediate economic theory) Monetary theory, monetary policy, and monetary reform. Theory of central banking and monetary equilibrium, and related topics.

790 — Welfare Economics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 788) An endeavor to formulate propositions by which alternative economic situations open to society may be ranked on the scale of better or worse.

792 — Advanced Statistics for Business and Economics. {=MGSC 792} (3) (Prereq: ECON 692 and ECON 691 or equivalent) The development and application of advanced statistical methods to problems in business and economics. Topics include applications of estimation and hypothesis testing in both univariate and multivariate cases.

794 — Programming Methods. {=MGSC 794} (3) (Prereq: ECON 694 or equivalent) Mathematical programming techniques which are useful in business and economics. Topics include: solution techniques and applications of linear programming, duality, theory, parametric programming, the decomposition problem, integer programming, dynamic programming, Lagrange multipliers, Kuhn-Tucker theory, and an introduction to control theory.

795 — Econometrics and Regression I. {=MGSC 795} (3) (Prereq: ECON 792 or equivalent) A treatment of single equation estimating techniques for the simple linear model, various nonlinear models, and the general linear model.

797 — Sampling Techniques. {=MGSC 797} (3) (Prereq: ECON 692 or equivalent) Statistical designs and techniques for survey investigations. Mathematical development of sampling systems; sampling units; sample size; estimation; costs; non-sampling problems. Methods of obtaining and reporting information.

799 — Thesis Preparation. (1-9)

892 — Experimental Research Methods. {=MGSC 892} (3) (Prereq: ECON 692 or equivalent) The structure and analysis of experimental and research designs with applications to business and economic problems.

894 — Advanced Topics in Management Science. {=MGSC 894} (3) Topics will be selected from: nonlinear programming, stochastic programming, integer programming, spectral analysis, decision theory, Markov processes, Box-Jenkins methods.

895 — Econometrics and Regression II. {=MGSC 895} (3) (Prereq: ECON 795) Topics in generalized least squares, autocorrelation, distributed lag models, principal components, identification, and simultaneous estimating techniques.

899 — Dissertation Preparation. (1-12)