Sample courses

The traditional way of teaching economics is deductive, explains Lars Osberg, McCulloch Professor of Economics at Dalhousie. You start from first principles and talk ideas out logically. In this method, students learn how economic theory fits together.

“We try to have a mix of classes, some of which are deductive, and some of which are more inductive or problem-oriented,” he says. Combining these two approaches is what we aim for in an economics education at Dalhousie.

Inductive courses are thematic. Take global warming, for example. It's a huge problem for humanity, so how would we approach it as economists? In ECON 2850, The Science and Economics of Climate Change, students learn to develop the tools to analyze this problem.

The courses we offer reveal a comprehensive strength of the program, reflecting a faculty with a wide breadth of expertise that can cater to your interests. As well, because we offer the Bachelor of Arts option, you'll be able to choose courses that are more geared toward the social sciences rather than the math side of economic theory. That said, many students find there is a natural partnership between math and economics, and challenge themselves to build their math skills.

ECON 2213
Emerging Giants: the Economic Rise of China and India

The class examines the economic history, current issues and future trends of China and India, answering such questions as: What explains China's and India's growth? How is climate change affected by this growth? Must growth lead to rising inequality? Is democracy required for development?

Prerequisites: ECON 1101, ECON 1102

ECON 3317
Poverty & Inequality

Why are some people poor, while others are rich? Why do some nations have more poverty or inequality than others? What can or should be done? This class examines the extent of poverty and inequality in contemporary societies, and the theories underlying alternative measures and explanations.

Prerequisites: Approved with Canadian Studies. The student is advised to take ECON 3315 before taking ECON 3317.

Read the class description (PDF)

ECON 3326
Money & Banking

The class concerns the nature and operation of the financial system, with particular reference to Canadian experience. It deals with financial instruments (including money) and institutions and the social control of the supply of money and credit.

Prerequisites: Approved with Canadian Studies. ECON 2201.

Read the class description (PDF)


New courses offered 2014-2015

ECON 3111
Writing in Economics

This course provides instruction in the principles and practice of good writing about economics. You’ll read and examine writing samples and practice writing for various venues (such as government, firms, and news media) in various formats, such as opinion editorials, government policy papers, economics blogs, and journal articles.

N.B.: All Economics courses, unless stated otherwise, have a minimum grade requirement of C for their prerequisite courses.

Prerequisites: ECON 2200, ECON 2201

ECON 4440
Time Series in Economics

This is a lecture-based course in econometrics focusing on time series models. It will cover estimation and inference procedures for univariate and multivariate time series models with stationary and nonstationary data, including various vector autoregressive models, Markov switching models, and fractionally integrated processes.

Prerequisites: ECON 3338 (grade of C or higher), ECON 3339 (grade of B or higher)

ECON 4700
Advanced Mathematics for Economists

This is an advanced course in mathematics for economists, with an emphasis on dynamic optimization. The topics include vector spaces, multivariate calculus, difference and differential equations, and discrete/continuous dynamic optimization (including the optimal control theory and calculus of variations).

N.B.: All Economics courses, unless stated otherwise, have a minimum grade requirement of C for their prerequisite courses.

Prerequisites: ECON 3700

Inside the classroom

Teaming up to tackle global warming
economics button

Ruth Forsdyke's course, the Economics of Climate Change, always generated heat. This year, it became even more engaging. She teamed up with Glen Lesins from the Department of Physics to  teach a joint course called ECON 2850, the Science and Economics of Climate Change. Taken by students from many different science programs, the course delves into the science behind global warming and explores economic solutions to a crisis we all face.