Department of Economics

107 Gardner Hall, CB# 3305; (919) 966-2383



Economics is commonly defined as the study of how society allocates scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. It focuses upon the fact that we wish to maximize our satisfaction through the consumption of goods and services (including leisure time); however, the resources available for production are limited. Hence, decisions must be made regarding what to produce, how to produce it most efficiently, and how to distribute the output among the various members of the society. Economics analyzes the market framework for making such choices.

At the microeconomic or "individual unit" level, economics examines the behavior of consumers, business firms, workers, and individual markets. At the macroeconomic or "aggregate" level, attention is given to the national and international problems of unemployment, inflation, balance of payments, and economic growth.

The courses leading to a B.A. degree with a major in economics comprise a large area of inquiry into the problems and structure of the economic segment of society. The curriculum provides the opportunity to achieve one or more of the following objectives:

Economics Major, B.A.

Core Requirements

A grade of C must be attained in at least six of the seven major courses numbered above 101.

STOR 155 and BUSI 410 together will substitute for ECON 400; if this substitution is made, another major-level economics course must be taken in place of ECON 400 so that there are seven economics courses in addition to ECON 101. For majors in the department's honors program, the minimum is eight economics courses rather than seven courses in addition to ECON 101. The same provisions apply, except that ECON 691H and 692H must constitute two of the eight courses.

An economics major may apply as many as 15 economics courses, or 45 hours, toward the B.A. degree. Students must complete all General Education requirements, including at least one calculus course (MATH 152 or 231; STOR 112 or 113; MATH 231 or STOR 113 is recommended; MATH 116 is not acceptable). STOR 113 is recommended for most economics majors. MATH 231 is recommended for students who plan to take the calculus sequence (MATH 231, 232, and 233). ECON 101 will satisfy the social and behavioral sciences Approaches requirement, and the calculus course will satisfy the quantitative reasoning Foundations requirement. ECON 400 may be taken after completion of a calculus course. Both ECON 400 and 570, appropriate for majors, satisfy the quantitative intensive Connections requirement.

Economics Major, NUS Joint Degree

UNC–Chapel Hill undergraduates can spend between two and four semesters at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and receive a joint bachelor of arts degree with a major in economics from both institutions. Qualified UNC–Chapel Hill students will have at least a 3.3 grade point average and can apply for the joint degree beginning in the second semester of their first year until the second semester of their junior year. UNC joint-degree students can decide how many semesters (between two and four) and at which point in their undergraduate career they would like to study at NUS, as long as it is after their first year at Carolina.

A minimum of 120 credit hours is required for graduation. They consist of a total of 60 hours in the major (including as many as six to 12 hours of honors work if applicable) and 45 hours of General Education requirements. The remaining 15 hours consist of electives, the Supplemental General Education requirement, and possibly one minor. All General Education and graduation requirements of both UNC–Chapel Hill and NUS must be met. A detailed listing of the requirements for both schools and how to satisfy those requirements is available at the UNC Study Abroad Office.

Entrepreneurship Minor

This minor is designed for students who wish to remain in another discipline but who have an interest in the process of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is the mechanism by which new products, services, and organizational processes are identified, refined, and ultimately realized as a sustainable part of the society. There is a common process for realizing all types of ventures. The minor will provide the student with the background to undertake entrepreneurial activity in either the business or social realm. The venture workshop course requirement allows students to select an area of focus, including commercial, scientific, social, arts, sport, public health, and social ventures. An internship opportunity is a key component of the minor.

The minor consists of five courses:

ECON 325, 327, and 393 cannot be counted toward an economics major. Typically, ECON 325 is only offered in the fall, and ECON 327 is only offered in the spring.

For additional information, contact the Department of Economics, (919) 966-2383.


All majors and minors have a primary academic advisor in Steele Building. Students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor and review their Tar Heel Tracker each semester. The department's director of undergraduate studies and undergraduate advisor work with current and prospective majors by appointment (see "Contact Information" below). Departmental academic advising is particularly important for those majors who are considering going on to graduate school. Further information on courses, undergraduate research opportunities, the honors program, careers, and graduate schools may be obtained from the department's Web site.

Special Opportunities in Economics

Honors in Economics

The Department of Economics honors program offers outstanding economics students the opportunity to work closely with an individual faculty member on a specialized research topic of the student's choice during the senior year. Generally, students with a 3.5 grade point average in economics courses and 3.3 in all University coursework may be invited to participate in this two-course program (ECON 691H and 692H).

In the first semester (ECON 691H), students become familiar with the recent literature on topics of major interest. Each candidate formulates an honors thesis proposal and initiates work on the project. In ECON 692H, the thesis work is conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor who is a specialist in the general topic area of the research.

Near the end of the second semester (ECON 692H), the student stands for an oral examination on the thesis. Upon successful completion of the program, the student receives the bachelor of arts degree with honors or with highest honors. Students in the honors program are also required to complete at least an eight-course major rather than the minimum seven courses, including ECON 691H and 692H.

Departmental Involvement

Undergraduates in economics have organized an active club, the Carolina Economics Club. Seminars, social activities, and greater interaction among students and with faculty have resulted from the formation of this on-going organization. The Club also has helped the Department of Economics conduct an annual job fair. All majors are invited to participate in this organization's activities. In addition, the local chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the national economics honor society, annually extends membership to those outstanding junior and senior economics majors who have demonstrated strong academic performance both overall and in their economics courses.

Undergraduate Awards

Each spring the Chancellor awards the Undergraduate Prize in Economics to the undergraduate student majoring in economics who has been judged the most outstanding on the basis of major and related course performances.

Graduate School and Career Opportunities

Economics students in recent years have frequently pursued graduate work in law and business administration, as well as the Ph.D. degree in economics. Others have entered international affairs/international studies programs. Students planning to pursue graduate work in economics should continue to take mathematics courses beyond the required level, and a minor or second major in mathematics is recommended.

Most students have accepted employment with commercial and investment banks, accounting and insurance firms, and a variety of other corporations. The economics major competes well with other majors (including business administration) in the job market. Employment surveys of recent graduates by UNC–Chapel Hill's University Career Services indicate a relatively high ranking for economics majors in terms of employment rates and starting salaries. Note: Recent majors have found that job possibilities are enhanced if at least one accounting course has been completed at the undergraduate level.



Gary A. Biglaiser, Patrick J. Conway, Eric Ghysels, Donna B. Gilleskie, David K. Guilkey, Steven S. Rosefielde, Helen V. Tauchen.

Associate Professors

Anusha Chari, Neville Francis, Lutz Hendricks, Jonathan Hill, Brian McManus, Peter Norman, William Parke, Sergio Parreiras, Klara Peter, Boone A. Turchi.

Assistant Professors

Simon Alder, Clement Joubert, Ju Hyun Kim, Fei Li, Toan Phan, Tiago Pires, Valentin Verdier, Andrew Yates.

Adjunct Faculty

James Anton, Peter Coclanis, Ricardo Colacito, Robert Connolly, Jennifer Conrad, Mariano Massimiliano Croce, Nathan Letts, Gordon Liu, Michael T. Owyang, Billy Pizer, Barry Popkin, Frank Sloan, Sally Stearns, Rachel Willis.


Michael Aguilar, Rita Balaban, Burton Goldstein, Stephen Lich-Tyler, Charles Merritt, Michelle Sheran-Andrews, Geetha Vaidyanathan.

Professors Emeriti

John S. Akin, Dennis Appleyard, Arthur Benavie, Stanley W. Black, Ralph Byrns, William A. Darity Jr., Alfred J. Field Jr., James Friedman, Richard T. Froyen, A. Ronald Gallant, Dell B. Johannesen, David McFarland, James L. Murphy, Michael K. Salemi, John Stewart, Vincent Tarascio, Roger Waud, James Wilde, Xiaodong Wu.

Contact Information

William Parke, Director of Undergraduate Studies, CB# 3305, 204 Gardner Hall, (919) 966-2383,

Stephen Lich-Tyler, Undergraduate Advisor, CB# 3305, 102 Gardner Hall, (919) 966-2383,


ECON 101 or equivalent is a prerequisite to all courses numbered above the 100 level. In addition, University graduation credit will be given for only one course in each of the following sets of courses: ECON 310 and 410, ECON 320 and 420, ECON 320 and 423, ECON 330 and 430, ECON 340 and 440, ECON 345 and 445, ECON 380 and 480.


ECON 50 First-Year Seminar: Future Shock: Global Economic Trends and Prospects (3). Are we heading for global depression and an intensification of international conflict as in the 1930s? Or are we on the threshold of a golden age of peace and prosperity? This course will use the tools of economics and international security analysis to examine the probable directions of that change.

ECON 51 First-Year Seminar: Current Economic Problems: The Economics of North Carolina (3). Basic concepts of economics through the study of basic economic issues facing the residents of North Carolina. Topics will include hog farming, the Carolina Panthers, the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs, the proliferation of Wal-Marts, and more.

ECON 52 First-Year Seminar: The Root of All Evil? Money as a Cultural, Economic, and Social Institution (3). It is amazing that over time people have developed the willingness to exchange valuable goods for useless pieces of paper called money. In this course, students study money as a social, economic, historical, and cultural institution.

ECON 53 First-Year Seminar: The Costs and Benefits of the Drug War (3). The basic question examined in this course will be the costs and benefits of the United States policy of drug prohibition. As a seminar the class will consist of discussions and debates.

ECON 54 First-Year Seminar: The Entrepreneurial Imagination: Turning Ideas into Reality (3). What are the skills and competencies that great entrepreneurs have in common and how might first-year students begin to acquire such skills? This course will answer the question by combining a study of the writings of leading scholars on innovation and entrepreneurship with analytical case studies on successful entrepreneurs.

ECON 55 First-Year Seminar: Economics of Sports (3). This course uses a variety of economic tools to analyze selected topics and issues related to professional, collegiate, and recreational athletics.

ECON 56 First-Year Seminar: Entrepreneurship: Asia and the West (3). This course fits the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative (CEI), with the communication intensive, global issues framework.

ECON 57H First-Year Seminar: Engines of Innovation: the Entrepreneurial University in the 21st Century (3). Exploring research universities' impact on solving the world's biggest problems. Based on a book coauthored by Buck Goldstein and Chancellor Holden Thorp. Students will work on an entrepreneurial project.

ECON 89 First-Year Seminar: Special Topics (3). This is a special topics course. Content will vary each semester.

ECON 100 Economic Principles (3). Discussion of economic topics of current interest for students with little or no background in economics.

ECON 101 Introduction to Economics (3). Introduction to fundamental issues in economics including competition, scarcity, opportunity cost, resource allocation, unemployment, inflation, and the determination of prices.

ECON 125 Introduction to Entrepreneurship (3). A survey course providing both a theoretical framework and practical examples of what it means to think like an entrepreneur and how such thinking can impact a range of important societal challenges.

ECON 231 Economic History of Western Europe (3). Main features of the emergence and expansion of capitalism since 1500.

ECON 234 Survey of the History of Economic Thought (3). Introduction to the development of economic thought from the mercantilists, through Smith and the classicists, Marx, the neoclassicists to Keynes.

ECON 267 Comparative Economic Systems (3). A survey of the principles and performance of capitalist, communist, socialist, corporatist, and transitional systems.

ECON 285 Access to Work (AMST 285) (3). See AMST 285 for description.

ECON 291 Undergraduate Learning Assistant Seminar and Practicum (1–3). Permission of the instructor. Studies have shown that courses utilizing undergraduate learning assistants have improved quality of instruction, sensitivity to student concerns, and overall student contact. Undergraduate learning assistants also gain an improved knowledge of the subject matter, heightened communication skills, and a sense of membership in the academic community.

ECON 293 Internship (3). Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Majors only. A supervised internship appropriate for experiential education in economics. Cannot count toward the economics major. Pass/Fail only.

ECON 310 Microeconomics Theory and Applications (MNGT 310) (3). Analysis of the ways in which consumers and business firms interact in a market economy. Students may not receive credit for both ECON 310 and 410.

ECON 320 Macroeconomics: Theory and Policy (3). Analysis of economic theory and government policy as they relate to such national economic variables as output, income, employment, inflation, investment, and budget and trade deficits. Students may not receive credit for both ECON 320 and 420 or both ECON 320 and 423.

ECON 325 Entrepreneurship: Principles and Practice (3). Prerequisite, ECON 101. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. A historical overview of the role and importance of entrepreneurship in the economy and society, and a survey of the critical competencies all entrepreneurs (commercial, social, or artistic) must possess.

ECON 326 Social Ventures (PLAN 326, PLCY 326) (3). See PLAN 326 for description.

ECON 327 Business Venturing Workshop (3). Prerequisite, ECON 325. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. A comprehensive survey of commercial venturing throughout the lifecycle of a venture from initial conception to execution and exit. Outlines strategies of entrepreneurs to develop ventures in different commercial markets.

ECON 330 Economic History of the United States (MNGT 330) (3). Main features of the American economy: colonial times to the present.

ECON 340 Introduction to Public Finance (3). Principles and practices of the budgetary activities of American governments–federal, state, and local. Students may not receive credit for both ECON 340 and 440.

ECON 345 Public Policy toward Business (MNGT 345) (3). Prerequisite, ECON 310 or 410. Industry structure and its relation to performance; market imperfections; description and analysis of antitrust and regulation. Students may not receive credit for both ECON 345 and 445.

ECON 360 Survey of International and Development Economics (3). An introduction to basic economic concepts critical to understanding issues of economic development and international economics, particularly as they relate to contemporary policy issues facing both developing and industrialized countries.

ECON 363 International Economics from the Participant's Perspective (3). Prerequisite, ECON 360. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. This course examines the fundamental principles of international economics from the perspective of the private business firm. Rather than begin with abstract theory, the course will work with case studies of individual firms as they choose to (or are forced to) compete in an international marketplace.

ECON 380 The Economics of Labor Relations (MNGT 380) (3). Prerequisite, ECON 310 or 410. An economic analysis of workplace issues, including worker quits, layoffs and unemployment, discrimination and affirmative action, and the setting of pay, fringe benefits, and working conditions. Students may not receive credit for both ECON 380 and 480.

ECON 384 Introduction to Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PHIL 384, POLI 384) (3). See PHIL 384 description.

ECON 385 Gender and Economics (AMST 385, WMST 385) (3). Survey of women's time allocation patterns, labor force participation trends, earnings, occupational selection, and economic history.

ECON 390 Special Topics (1–3). Topic varies from semester to semester.

ECON 393 Practicum in Entrepreneurship (3). Prerequisite, ECON 327 or PLCY 326. Students spend a minimum of eight weeks in an entrepreneurial environment taking on significant responsibilities and working on a specific project that results in a rigorous agreed-upon deliverable.

ECON 395 Research Course (1–3). Topic varies from semester to semester.

ECON 396 Independent Study (1–3). Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Readings and research under the supervision of a member of the department.

ECON 400 Elementary Statistics (3). Prerequisites, ECON 101, and one of MATH 152, 231, STOR 112, or 113. Comprehensive introduction to statistics, including descriptive statistics and statistical graphics, probability theory, distributions, parameter estimation, hypothesis testing, simple and multiple regression, and use of powerful statistical estimation software.

ECON 410 Intermediate Theory: Price and Distribution (3). Prerequisites, ECON 101, and one of MATH 152, 231, STOR 112, or 113. The determination of prices and the distribution of income in a market system. Students may not receive credit for both ECON 310 and 410.

ECON 420 Intermediate Theory: Money, Income, and Employment (3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. An introduction to contemporary macroeconomic concepts and analysis. Topics include the level, fluctuations, and growth of national income, and monetary and fiscal policies designed to achieve economic goals. Students may not receive credit for both ECON 320 and 420.

ECON 423 Financial Markets and Economic Fluctuations (3). Prerequisite, ECON 420. An examination of financial institutions and markets, their role in economic conditions, and the use of macroeconomic policies in affecting those conditions. Students may not receive credit for both ECON 320 and 423.

ECON 430 Economic Development of the United States (3). Prerequisites, ECON 410 and 420. Students may receive credit for either ECON 330 or 430 but not for both. This course parallels ECON 330 but is designed for students with a higher level of theoretical preparation.

ECON 434 History of Economic Doctrines (3). A survey of the fundamental forms of economic thought from the scholastics through Keynes.

ECON 440 Analysis of Public Finance (3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. Application of economic analysis to the taxing and spending functions of government. Students may not receive credit for both ECON 340 and 440.

ECON 445 Industrial Organization (3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. Theoretical and empirical development of structure-conduct-performance relationships in the industrial sector; description and analysis of United States industry. Students may not receive credit for both ECON 345 and 445.

ECON 450 Health Economics: Problems and Policy (3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Economic analysis applied to problems and public policy in health care.

ECON 454 Economics of Population (3). Prerequisite, ECON 310 or 410. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Analysis of economic-demographic interrelations including demographic analysis, population and economic growth and development, economic models of fertility and migration, and population policy.

ECON 455 Environmental Economic Theory (3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. A rigorous economic analysis of environmental issues, with particular emphasis on the problem of designing appropriate institutions and regulations under private information and the interaction between economic and ecological systems. Topics include emission fees and marketable permits, pollution models, carbon regulation, and ecosystem service markets.

ECON 460 International Economics (EURO 460, PWAD 460) (3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. An introduction to international trade, the balance of payments, and related issues of foreign economic policy.

ECON 461 European Economic Integration (3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Economic and political aspects of European economic integration, the EC customs union, barriers to integration, convergence vs. divergence of inflation rates and income levels, enlargement of the EC.

ECON 465 Economic Development (3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. An introduction to the economic characteristics and problems of the less developed countries and to the theories and policies applicable to the developing economy.

ECON 468 Principles of Soviet and Post-Soviet Economic Systems (3). Prerequisite, ECON 310 or 410. Study of the principles, design, organization, and performance of state-controlled economies relying on planning or regulated markets, with an emphasis on continuity and post-communist transition.

ECON 469 Western and Asian Economic Systems (ASIA 469) (3). Prerequisite, ECON 310 or 410. Policy seminar on the systemic factors distinguishing Western economies from their rivals in the former Soviet bloc and Asia, focused on conflict resolution and global integration.

ECON 480 Labor Economics (3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. An introduction to the field of labor economics with emphasis on how the interactions between firms and workers influence wages, employment, unemployment, and inflation. Students may not receive credit for both ECON 380 and 480.

ECON 485 Economics of Sports (3). Prerequisites, ECON 400 and 410. Applies microeconomic techniques to professional and amateur sports through the examination of real-world issues and problems. Employs statistical analysis to test some of the theoretical predictions of the models in the sports literature.

ECON 490 Special Topics (1–3). Topic varies from semester to semester.

ECON 495 Research Course (1–3). Topic varies from semester to semester. Permission of the instructor.

ECON 496 Independent Study (1–3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Readings and research under the supervision of a member of the department.

ECON 510 Advanced Microeconomic Theory (3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. A treatment of topics in microeconomic theory not normally covered in ECON 410.

ECON 511 Game Theory in Economics (3). Prerequisites, ECON 410 and MATH 233. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites. Topics in noncooperative and cooperative game theory are covered, along with a selection of applications to economics in areas such as industrial organization, international trade, public finance, and general equilibrium.

ECON 520 Advanced Macroeconomic Theory (3). Prerequisite, ECON 420. This course will emphasize theoretical and empirical topics such as growth, labor search, Phillips curves, stagflation, and optimal government policy.

ECON 540 Advanced Public Finance (3). Prerequisite, ECON 440. Selected topics in taxation, public expenditures, and governmental transfer programs.

ECON 545 Advanced Industrial Organization and Social Control (3). Prerequisite, ECON 445. Theory of market failure and its relationship to antitrust and regulatory policy; exploration of empirical literature of industrial organization; current issues in social control.

ECON 560 Advanced International Economics (3). Prerequisite, ECON 460. Analysis and interpretation of selected problems and policy issues. Content varies, but attention is given to such topics as trade barriers, trade patterns, floating exchange rates, and international monetary policy.

ECON 570 Economic Applications of Statistical Analysis (3). Prerequisite, ECON 400. Statistical methods in the construction, estimation, testing, and application of linear economic models; computer programs and interpretation of their output in empirical analysis of common economic theories.

ECON 575 Econometric Topics: Applied Time Series Analysis and Forecasting (3). Prerequisites, ECON 400, 410, 420, and 570. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites. Econometric techniques for time series data. Topics include ARMA models, forecasting, nonstationarity, conditional heteroskedasticity, and multiple equation models.

ECON 580 Advanced Labor Economics (3). Prerequisite, ECON 480. A theoretical and empirical analysis of current social problems involving individuals and their jobs. Included are such topics as poverty, discrimination, and working conditions.

ECON 586 Economics of the Family (3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Analyzes the family with respect to the marriage market; divorce; reproductive behavior; the baby black market; intra-family allocation of goods, time, and power; labor supply; migration; and family policy.

ECON 590 Special Topics (1–3). Topic varies from semester to semester.

ECON 595 Research Course (1–3). Topic varies from semester to semester.

ECON 596 Independent Study (1–3). Prerequisite, ECON 410. Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Readings and research under the supervision of a member of the department.

ECON 691H Honors Course (3). Permission of the instructor. Readings in economics and beginning of directed research on an honors thesis. Required of all candidates for graduation with honors in economics.

ECON 692H Honors Course (3). Prerequisite, ECON 691H. Permission of the instructor. Completion of an honors thesis under the direction of a member of the faculty. Required of all candidates for graduation with honors in economics.

ECON 698 Philosophy, Politics, and Economics II: Capstone Course (PHIL 698, POLI 698) (3). See PHIL 698 for description.