ECONOMICS 4484 (Boldt) --- Spring 2013


COURSE TITLE:  Seminar in Economics



INSTRUCTOR: David Boldt, 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.



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) Red Ink, David Wessel, Crown Business, 2012.

4) A Deadly Indifference, Marshall Jevons, Princeton University Press, 1995/1998.



1) Marketplace of Perceptions, Craig Lambert, Harvard Magazine, March-April 2006 (available at

2) “Mind over Money,” Nova video (

3) For Richer, For Poorer, The Economist, October 13, 2012 (will be handed out in class)

4) Other materials to be distributed in class


PREREQUISITES:  Economics 2105, 2106 and Senior Status



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 (




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


Examinations- During the semester, there will be three in-class examinations.  Exam#1 will count for 23 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 58 percent of your grade.


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 March 6.  Presentation dates will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. 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 13 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. 


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 13.  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, short quizzes, and class attendance. Class participation will count for 9 percent of your grade.


Resume ---A professional resume must also be turned in by the end of the term (April 22). Please follow the format outlined by Career Services.  This will count for 5 percent of your grade.


Extra Credit Possibilities: These can be earned by attending/participating in one of the following:

·         RCOB BB&T Lecture on Thursday, Jan 31 (evening at the Townsend Center).  The speaker will be Michael Simmons, Co-founder of Extreme Entrepreneurship Education.

·         Attend the Job Expo at UWG on Tuesday, Feb 5, 11am-2pm.

·         Attend the GACE College to Career Fair, Wed., April 10 (at the Cobb Galleria).

·         Participate in another event (approved by D. Boldt).


To receive credit, you must submit a "response paper" summarizing the event (with your feedback also).



Economics 4484---Tentative Course Outline Spring 2013


Date     Topic

Part I   Economic Naturalist, Behavioral Economics, World Economy and Career Services

Jan 7    Introduction to Course/”Incentives” (Ch. 2, Naked Economics)

Jan 9    Economic Naturalist (1, 2)

Jan 14  Economic Naturalist (3, 4)

Jan 16  Economic Naturalist (7, 9, 10)

Jan 23  Guest Speaker (Salvador Lopez, UWG)

Jan 28  “Mind Over Money Video”/”Marketplace of Perceptions”/Discussion

Jan 30  World Economy (Chs. 11-12, Naked Economics)

Feb 4   Guest Speaker: Vicki Hardin, UWG Career Services (resume writing, job search tips, etc.)

Feb 6   Exam#1


            Part II   “Naked Economics,” Red Ink, Exit Exam, and Other Topics

Feb 11  Student Research Presentations (B. Arino, C. Cano, A. Smith,)

Feb 13  Guest Speaker (Leland Gustafson, UWG)---Saving and Investment

Feb 18  Naked Economics (TBD)

Feb 20 Naked Economics (TBD)

Feb 25             Naked Economics (TBD)

Feb 27  Red Ink-Federal Budget Issues

Mar 4   Red Ink-Federal Budget Issues

Mar 6   Exam #2

Mar 11 Micro/Macro Review

Mar 13 Exit Exam

Mar 18-22 Spring Break


Part III   Student Research Presentations/Guest Speakers/Final Exam

Mar 25 Guest Speaker (Kenneth Shiver, Georgia Power)

Mar 27 Guest Speaker/Student Research Presentations (TBD)

Apr 1   Guest Speaker/Student Research Presentations (TBD)

Apr 3   Guest Speaker/Student Research Presentations (TBD)

Apr 8   Guest Speaker/Student Research Presentations (TBD)

Apr 10 Guest Speaker (Amanda Trice, SE United Dairy Industry Assoc.)

Apr 15 Guest Speaker/Student Research Presentations (TBD)

Apr 17 Guest Speaker/Student Research Presentations (TBD)

Apr 22 Exam #3 (11:00 am).  Exam topics will include A Deadly Indifference and “For Richer, For Poorer Article.”