Economics and Social Science Department at John Cabot University in Rome

Economics and Social Science Course Descriptions

Courses in Economics and Social Sciences

EC 201 Principles of Microeconomics

This course introduces the students to the basic principles of microeconomics and the study of the behavior of individual agents, such as consumers and producers. The first part of the course reviews the determinants of supply and demand, the characteristics of market equilibrium, the concept of social welfare, and the consequences of price controls, taxation, and externalities on social welfare. The second part of the course deals with market theory, with a review of cost concepts and market structures: competition, monopoly, oligopoly, and imperfect competition.

EC 202 Principles of Macroeconomics

An introduction to the basic principles of the macro economy, such as national income accounting, determination of national income, business cycles, inflation, unemployment, fiscal and monetary policy, macroeconomics in the open economy, and economic growth.

EC 281/381 Independent Study

EC 301 Intermediate Microeconomics

This course delves deeper into the foundations of microeconomic theory, and analyzes the subject from a theoretical rather than practical point of view. Students will become familiar with the tools used by microeconomists in the analysis of consumer and producer behavior. The first part of the course reviews consumer theory and discusses budget constraints, preferences, choice, demand, consumer’s surplus, equilibrium, externalities, and public goods. The second part of the course reviews producer theory: technology, profit maximization, cost minimization, cost curves, firm and industry supply, and monopoly.

EC 302 Intermediate Macroeconomics

The subject matter of this course is the nature and determination of a country’s most important measures of economic well-being: aggregate output and unemployment, and a series of related variables such as inflation, interest rates, and exchange rates. The course presents economic models that can be used as tools to understand the behavior of these aggregates and evaluate alternative economic policies.

EC 307 Industrial Organization

This course focuses on the analysis of economic markets from a microeconomic perspective. It provides an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of the firm, the many ways in which firms interact within markets, and the policy instruments that are available to ensure that welfare is maximized. The following topics will be covered: the firm and costs, competition, monopoly, dominant firms, cartels, non-cooperative oligopolies, monopolistic competition, price discrimination, strategic behavior; vertical relations, information, advertising, and disclosure. Finally, the course will review antitrust laws and policies, and students will discuss antitrust cases in class.

EC 310 Managerial Economics

This course applies microeconomic theory and statistics to management problems of a firm. It bridges the gap between purely theoretical economic models and the day-to-day decisions that managers face under conditions of uncertainty and scarcity. The focus is on the optimal utilization of resources within organizations, and the material covered offers a powerful tool for managerial decision-making. A sample of topics to be examined are demand theory and estimation of demand functions; business and economic forecasting techniques; production theory; cost analysis; market structure; strategic behavior and pricing; risk analysis and capital budgeting; government-business relations and the global economy.

EC 316 International Economics

An introduction to international trade and finance. Analysis of the causes and consequences of international trade and investment. Major topics include international trade theory, international trade policy, exchange rates, open-economy macroeconomics, and international macroeconomic policy.

EC 327 Game Theory

Situations in which the outcome of your own decisions depends also upon what others do are pervasive in everyday life. Game Theory focuses on the study of strategic interactions, which occur if the payoff (e.g., utility or profit) to an agent depends not only on her own decisions but also on the decisions made by others. In the presence of strategic interactions, choosing an ‘optimal’ course of action requires taking other agents’ behavior and beliefs into account. This is an introductory course in Game Theory which develops the basic tools and concepts necessary to analyze such interactions and understand how rational agents should behave in strategic situations. In recent years, game theoretic methods have become central to the study of networks (e.g, financial networks) and social interactions. In this course they are used to analyze such economic and political issues as oligopoly, the problem of the commons, auctions, bank runs, collusion and cartels, the conduct of monetary policy, bargaining, global warming, competition among political parties, arms races, negotiations and conflict resolution (e.g., contested resources and territorial disputes). Emphasis is placed on applications, practical understanding and a tools-oriented approach. The topics will be presented through a combination of abstract theory and many applied examples.

EC 328 Economics of Information

This course examines incentive mechanisms at work in a wide range of environments to see if and how coordination can be achieved by informing and motivating individual decision makers. It also examines the performance of agents hired to carry out specific tasks, from taxi drivers, employees, to CEOs.
Students will be introduced to a range of economic tools used to study models that explicitly involve contracting in economics and finance under imperfect and asymmetric information. The methods developed can be employed to investigate the performance of various institutions (e.g., voting schemes) to see if they enhance general well-being. Techniques studied include agency theory and signaling models. In addition, some applications of the tools will be covered (e.g., labor market, credit market and insurance markets).

EC 341 Economics of Development

The course focuses on the economics of development, with specific reference to developing countries. While drawing extensively on the tools of standard economic theory, it deals with development issues for which economic theories at best provide only partial answers. It offers a problem-oriented approach, with a historical and institutional perspective, to issues such as poverty, population, income distribution, international trade, investment, aid, and the debt problem.

EC 342 Issues in Economic Development

This course examines in-depth selected topics on development that are of current interest.

EC 343 The Economics of China

Chinese economy has gained remarkable growth since 1978 and today is the second largest economy in the world. Due to its size, the country has become a major participant in the world economy and it is currently in a process of large economic and social transformation. The purpose of this course is to help students understand the complexity and challenges of China’s rise and to critically evaluate their implications. After taking this subject, students are expected to understand why China succeeded in maintaining such a high economic growth in the past three decades, the role that the country is playing in the global scenario and what challenges it will be facing in the future.

EC 345 Economic, Competition, and Regulatory Issues of the European Union

This course follows selected topics of current and historic interest regarding European economic integration. Emphasis is placed on monetary and fiscal problems as well as competition policies and the regulatory environment.

EC 346 The Italian Economy

The course tracks the economic history of modern Italy from unification until nowadays, with a focus on the current problems and future prospects of the Italian economy in the context of the european integration process and of the economic and financial globalization. All major issues in the reform agenda of the last decades are covered, situating them in the political and socio-economic evolution of Italian history. Topics that will be covered include, among others: the economics of Italian unification, the economic impact of the fascist regime, industrialization, the Italian state-owned enterprise sector and its privatization, administrative reforms and public finance, the politics of the European stability pact and the consequences of Great Recession.

EC 350 History of Economic Thought

This course will explore the history and development of economic theories, focusing on the analytical aspects of different theoretical systems. The ideas of famous economists on production, consumption, and distribution of wealth will be examined, as well as their predictions on the future of the capitalist system, its strengths and weaknesses, with the aim of acquiring an enhanced overview of present economic problems. Considerable attention will also be paid to biographical and institutional elements as the necessary background for a full understanding of the different authors’ views.

EC 360 Econometrics

Econometrics is the use of statistical tools to test economic models. This course will introduce students to the basic principles of econometrics and will provide them with hands-on practical experience in the field. The course starts with a review of statistical tools and continues with the analysis of simple and multiple regression, heteroskedasticity, autocorrelation, and multicollinearity. Some of the teaching time will be spent in the computer lab, where students will learn how to work with software.

EC 369 Applied Economics

The course surveys empirical papers in different fields of Economics exposing students to a variety of research questions and methods. Class discussions and assignments encourage students to critically engage in the various components of applied research in Economics, to link data analysis techniques to research applications and to learn how to communicate complex ideas in reports and presentations.

EC 371 Money, Banking and Capital Markets

A study of the economics of money, banking, and financial markets in today’s international marketplace. Major topics include both micro and macro analyses of financial markets and institutions, determination of interest rates and exchange rates, and monetary policy in both a domestic and international context.

EC 372 Financial Institutions and Capital Markets

This course covers the structure and role of financial markets and institutions such as commercial banking, investment banking, and major equity, debt, and derivative markets and includes discussion of management, performance, and regulatory aspects. The course also examines the functions of central banks and monetary policy for these financial markets and institutions. Case studies and real life examples are also disseminated throughout the course to allow students the additional exploration of national and international implications of financial markets, including those concerning credit crisis, their causes, and the likely reverberations and regulatory reforms.

EC 380 Environmental Economics

This course addresses the main economic problems concerning the environment, to equip students to analyze policies concerning water and air pollution, energy, climate change, and human health. This course combines theoretical analysis with discussions of such specific topics as sustainable development and international cooperation, renewable energy, and state-of-the-art production technology.

EC 385 Economics of the Digital Economy

This course examines the economic effects of digital technology and e-commerce. The purpose of the course is to analyze the changes brought about by these technological advances and the effects such changes have had, or are expected to have, on economic agents such as consumers and workers as well as on the structure of economic markets.

EC 398 Internship: Economics Field

The For Credit (FC) Internship course combines academic learning with a short-term (generally 3 to 6 months, full or part-time with a minimum of 120 hours) employment opportunity. Field experience allows participants to combine academic learning with hands-on work experience. For-Credit internships may be paid or unpaid. The organization or firm must be sponsored by the JCU Career Services Center (CSC). After being selected for an internship and having the CSC verify the course requirements are met, the intern may enroll in the Internship course corresponding to the academic discipline of interest. Course requirements include: attending the internship class which will is scheduled for 10 in-class hours over the semester, verification of the minimum number of hours worked in the internship by the CSC; completion of a daily internship log; in-depth interview with the internship sponsor or organization; and a 2500 to 3500 word “White Paper” presenting a position or solution to a problem encountered by their employer. This course is graded on a “pass/no pass” basis. The course will begin the 4th week of each semester. Students will determine with the Registrar’s Office or their Advisor which semester corresponds most closely with the timing of their internship. This course may be taken only once for academic credit.

EC 399 Special Topics in Economics

An in-depth treatment of a current area of special concern within the field of economics. Topics may vary.
May be taken more than once for credit with different topics.

EC 480 Senior Seminar in Economics and Finance

Designed to be a capstone course, emphasis is placed on both theoretical and quantitative methods in the fields of economics and finance. Basic tools of economics and statistics are used to analyze a variety of contemporary economic problems and policy issues. Students read through major papers and may undertake research on specific topics so as to develop their understanding of economics and finance. Papers and topics cover the current issues of interest in the areas of microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and finance to include the CFA Professional Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. Students may be expected to present and write about their research topics as well as demonstrate an ability to work with quantitative information.

EC 481 Independent Research

EC/BUS 336 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

This course considers some of the most important issues concerning contemporary challenges in the field of entrepreneurship. Students will be confronted with interdisciplinary perspectives to the study of entrepreneurship that stem from economics, psychology, geography, history, cultural studies, and policy making, to better understand the emergence and the determinants of entrepreneurial ecosystems.

EC/LAW 347 Economic Competition and Law

The course aims at developing students’ skills in analyzing antitrust and sector specific regulations and cases, in particular in heavily regulated industries (media, telecoms, transport, energy). It will combine the study of the basic notions of competition (law, policy, and economics of competition) with specific EU case analyses (Intel, Google, GE/Alstom, Microsoft). Students will learn the difference between cost categories, and will also learn about perfect competition, market efficiency, and consumer harm. By the end of the course, students should also be able to inform their “consumer-self” better, and know how and where to get the information they need in order to behave responsibly.

EC/MA 490 Advanced Financial Economics

This is an advanced course that makes substantial use of mathematical methods. In general, the topics covered can be viewed as that subset of general equilibrium theory which focuses on complete and incomplete financial markets and their impact on the allocation of consumption goods and efficiency. The course focuses on the operation of financial markets and pricing of financial assets. In the first part of the course, basic techniques and principles of decision making under uncertainty will be developed. These principles will then be applied to portfolio selection problems in financial asset markets. Microeconomic models of financial asset markets and their implications for valuation of stocks, bonds and derivative assets will be examined. The analysis will explore the impact of risk and ambiguity on asset prices and allocations in asset markets. For the most part, it will be assumed that there are two dates and a single consumption good. This basic setting is suitable for the study of the relation between risk and return on securities, and the role played by securities in allocation of risk.

EC/MA 491 Mathematical Economics

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to basic but rigorous mathematical methods and models widely applied in modern economic theory, and relative economic applications (e.g., convex analysis, unconstrained and constrained optimization, basic topology and metric spaces, introductory Game Theory). The material is fairly basic, yet emphasis is placed on rigor and mathematical proofs. The course will be at the level of the material covered in such texts in the field as Wade Hands’ Introductory Mathematical Economics, and Aliprantis and S.K. Chakrabarti’s  Games and Decision Making. The material taught also draws from A. Mclennan`s lecture notes Introduction to Mathematical Economics.

EC/MKT 361 Applied Data Analytics

This course will examine current trends in data science, including those in big data analytics, and how it can be used to improve decision-making across different fields, such as business, economics, social and political sciences. We will investigate real-world examples and cases to place data science techniques in context and to develop data-analytic thinking. Students will be provided with a practical toolkit that will enable them to design and realize a data science project using statistical software.

EC/MKT 361 Applied Data Analytics

This course will examine current trends in data science, including those in big dat analytics, and how it can be used to improve decision-making across different fields, such as business, economics, social and political sciences. We will investigate real-world examples and cases to place data science techniques in context and to develop data-analytic thinking. Students will be provided with a practical toolkit that will enable them to design and realize a data science project using statistical software.

EC/PL 375 Politics of Gender

This course explores the ways in which the social and cultural constructions of gender influence the nature and practice of political life. The course revolves around two themes – exclusion and empowerment – and examines the practices, policies and structures that exclude different genders, as well as the strategies and repertoires of different gendered communities to protect their rights and interests and promote equality. The course is organized around a variety of topics, blending issues of exclusion and empowerment. The course begins by laying out debates surrounding gender and key themes used to examine the topic in psychology, biology, sociology and economics. We then move to examine specific synergies between gender and politics, exploring the issues of political representation, political participation, public policy, the body politic, the political economy, development, violence, rights, political mobilization and transnational issues. Using case studies, as well as lessons from practitioners, the course surveys a variety of issues and debates related to gender and politics.