ECONOMICS 4484 (Boldt) --- Spring 2012

 

COURSE TITLE:  Seminar in Economics

 

COURSE WEBSITE:  www.westga.edu/~dboldt/ECON4484/Econ4484sp12.htm

INSTRUCTOR: David Boldt dboldt@westga.edu, Office Phone: (678) 839-4771

 

OFFICE HOURS: M-F 8:30am-11am and other times by arrangement.  Please feel free to contact me by e-mail also.

 

REQUIRED BOOKS (UWG Bookstore):

1) The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas, Robert H. Frank, Basic Books, 2007 (or 2008 PB).

2) Naked Economics---Undressing the Dismal Science, Charles Wheelan, W.W. Norton, 2010.

3) Murder at the Margin, Marshall Jevons, Princeton University Press, 1993.

 

OTHER READINGS/RESOURCES:

1) Marketplace of Perceptions, Craig Lambert, Harvard Magazine, March-April 2006 (available at http://harvardmagazine.com/2006/03/the-marketplace-of-perce.html).

2) Europe and Its Currency, The Economist, November 12, 2011 (will be handed out in class)

3) Historical Beginnings…The Federal Reserve, Roger T. Johnson, February, 2010 (available at http://www.bostonfed.org/about/pubs/historical-beginnings/index.htm)

4) “Mind over Money,” Nova (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/mind-over-money.html)

5) Other materials to be distributed in class

 

PREREQUISITES:  Economics 2105, 2106 and Senior Status

 

EXPECTED LEARNING OUTCOMES:

The senior seminar is a capstone course for economics majors.  This course requires that economic majors integrate and synthesize what they have learned in other economics courses.  The course places significant emphasis on writing and oral communication skills.  Specific objectives include:

·         Comprehension of microeconomic concepts and the application to decision making (LG8)

·         Comprehension of alternative macroeconomic approaches and application to current policy issues (LG7)

·         Possess a basic knowledge of international economics concepts (LG9)

·         Development of oral and written communication skills (LG1)

·         Preparation for graduate or professional studies or job search after graduation

 

Note: A complete list of the learning goals (LG) for the Economics Department can be found at the department web site (http://www.westga.edu/econ/index_12904.php)

 

 

ASSESSMENT:

Learning objectives are assessed based on your performance on the following:

 

In Class Writing Assignments (exams)- During the semester, there will be three in-class examinations.  Exam#1 will count for 20 percent of the grade, Exam#2 will count for 20 percent, and Exam#3 will count for 15 percent.  In total, these in-class exams will count for 55 percent of your grade in the seminar.

 

Formal Oral Presentation- Each student will present results of a research project.  The presentation may be on a current topic or on a topic developed in another economics class.  The research may be either quantitative or qualitative in nature.  I need to know the topic of your presentation by March1.  Presentation dates will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. You must discuss your research presentation with a faculty member of the economics department.  Using power point, you will present a brief overview of the key results of your research.   Also include references for your research.  The presentations should contain no more than 8 slides.   Factors impacting the grade include organization/content, knowledge/preparedness, quality of slides, and presentation flow/tone of voice/eye contact.  Due to the tight scheduling of presentations, I will be unable to move your presentation to another date unless there is an emergency situation.  This presentation counts for 14 percent of the course grade.

 

Response Papers--- After each guest speaker, students are expected to submit a response paper.  Each response paper should contain two sections: a summary of the main remarks of the speaker and your analysis of the presentation.  Please type your papers and include a title and presentation date.  These feedback papers will count for 5 percent of your grade.  Due dates will be specified later.

 

Exit Exam---Students will take an “exit exam” as part of this seminar course.  This exam will test your knowledge of four areas of economics: microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics, and basic business/economics statistics. The exam is scheduled for March 1.  I anticipate devoting one class prior to the exit exam for review.  This examination will be graded by a committee of economics faculty. This examination will count for 10 percent of your grade.  No notes or other materials may be brought into this exam.

 

Class Participation and Discussion--- This portion of your grade will be based on contributions to class discussion, brief presentations, and class attendance. Class participation and the short in-class presentations will count for 8 percent of your grade.

 

Resume and Strengths Quest Assessment---The Strengths Quest Assessment must be completed by February 10.  Information about how to complete this assessment will be provided on February 2 (by the guest speaker from Career Services).  You will need to bring a copy of the assessment results to class on Feb. 16 (you will need to show it to me to receive credit).  The results of this assessment will be discussed in class on Feb. 16. A professional resume must also be turned in by the end of the semester (April 19). Please follow the format outlined by Karen Lingrell (Career Services).  Completion of the assessment and the resume will count for 8 percent of your grade.

 

Extra Credit Possibilities: Attend an economics-related lecture.  To receive credit, the lecture must be approved beforehand and you will need to submit a "response paper."  Another extra credit option would be to attend a workshop offered by Career Services.  Check out the career services website for various options.  A response paper would also be required to receive the extra credit pts.  You may not count a resume seminar for extra credit since this workshop will be conducted in class.

 

Economics 4484---Spring 2012

(topics will be updated during the semester---check course web site)

Date     Topic

Part I   Economic Naturalist (Behavioral Economics), World Economy and Job Search Tactics

Jan 10  Introduction to Course/”Incentives” (Ch. 2, Naked Economics)

Jan 12  Economic Naturalist (1, 2)

Jan 17  Economic Naturalist (3, 4)

Jan 19  Economic Naturalist (7, 9)

Jan 24  “Mind Over Money”/”Marketplace of Perceptions”/Discussion

Jan 26  World Economy (Chs. 11-12, Naked Economics)

Jan 31  Euro Crisis (“Europe and its Currency”)

Feb 2   Guest Speaker (Karen Lingrell, Career Services)---Resume, Job Search Tactics

Feb 7   Exam#1

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            Part II   “Naked Economics,” Central Banking, Exit Exam, and Guest Speakers

Feb 9   Guest Speaker (Leland Gustafson, UWG)---Saving and Investment

Feb 14  Naked Economics (TBD)

Feb 16  Guest Speaker (Sam Oduselu, Career Services)---Career Exploration and Decision Making

Feb 21  Naked Economics (TBD)

Feb 23 Naked Economics (TBD)

Feb 28             Micro/Macro Review

Mar 1   Exit Exam

Mar 6   Central Banking History (“Historical Beginnings...”)

Mar 8   Federal Reserve (Ch. 10, Naked Economics)

Mar 13 Exam #2

Mar 15 Guest Speaker (Kenneth Shiver, Georgia Power)

Mar 19-23 Spring Break

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Part III   Student Research Presentations

Mar 27 Student Research Presentations

Mar 29 Student Research Presentations

Apr 3   Student Research Presentations

Apr 5   Student Research Presentations

Apr 10 Student Research Presentations

Apr 12 Student Research Presentations

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Part IV   Guest Speakers and Final Exam

Apr 17 Guest Speaker (TBD)

Apr 19 Guest Speaker (TBD)

Apr 24 Exam #3