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Ronald P. Wilder, Chair of the Department

John T. Addison, Ph.D., London School of Economics, 1971
McKinley L. Blackburn, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1987
Robert J. Carlsson, Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1964
Henry W. Chappell, Ph.D., Yale University, 1979
Elchanan Cohn, Ph.D., Iowa State University, 1968
Glenn W. Harrison, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1982
Dewey H. Johnson Professor of Economics
B.F. Kiker, Ph.D., Tulane University, 1965
Jeff B. Bates Professor of Public Administration and Finance
Pierce Liles, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1972
Randolph C. Martin, Ph.D., Washington University, 1971
Ronald P. Wilder, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 1969

Associate Professors
Janice Boucher Breuer, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 1987
John H. McDermott, Ph.D., Brown University, 1979
William H. Phillips, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1980
Elisabet E. Rutström, Ph.D., Stockholm School of Economics, 1990
Doug P. Woodward, Ph.D., University of Texas, 1986
Director, Division of Research

Assistant Professors
Eric Johnson, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1997
Melayne M. McInnes, Ph.D., Yale University, 1998
Donald L. Schunk, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, 1999
Research Economist, Division of Research


The Department of Economics offers programs of study leading to the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy in Economics, Master of Arts in Economics, and, in cooperation with the School of Law, J.D./Master of Arts in Economics.

Doctor of Philosophy in Economics

The doctoral program in economics provides thorough training in economic theory supplemented by knowledge of quantitative tools and understanding of modern economic institutions and policy problems. This program prepares candidates to pursue successfully careers as economists in academia, research, government, and business.


Applicants must submit official transcripts of their complete academic record, two letters of reference, and scores on the GRE. In the most recent class of entrants, the average undergraduate GPA was 3.40. The average scores on the GRE were 440 (verbal), 672 (quantitative), and 670 (analytical). Prerequisite courses that must be taken prior to enrollment are intermediate micro- and macroeconomics, statistics (ECON 692 or equivalent), and calculus (MATH 141-142 or equivalent). International students whose primary language is not English are required to take the TOEFL exam and earn a minimum score of 600 (250 computer-based score).

Owing to the lock-step nature of the program, admission is for the fall semester only, and all students are required to take at least nine semester hours of course work during the fall and spring semesters. The Ph.D. program is currently in an every-other-year admission status.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in economics normally requires a minimum of four years of full-time work. Each candidate must complete 48 credit hours with at least a B average; not more than 12 hours of this total may be dissertation credit.

A planned course of study shall be organized at the beginning of the student's period of residence. This plan shall be formulated by the student in conference with a three-person advisory committee designated by the graduate director. Changes and departures from this plan will be subject to the approval of the student's advisory committee, the graduate director, and the dean of The Graduate School.

Requirements for the Ph.D. include the following:

1. First-year core courses (18 hours)

ECON 785, 786, 795, 788, 771, 895

2. Second-year field courses (18 hours)

Field courses may be chosen from a variety of offerings both within and outside the department. The department usually offers courses in applied microeconomics (especially industrial organization, human capital, labor economics, health economics, and experimental economics), international economics, public finance, and development. Up to two courses may be taken outside the department. All field courses must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and the graduate director.

3. Examinations

Admission to Candidacy

Students must successfully complete a written admission-to-candidacy examination following the first year in the program. This examination will cover all economic theory courses required during the first year in the program and will be constructed and evaluated by a committee of at least three faculty members appointed by the department chair.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination will consist of two parts. The written part will be constructed and evaluated by a committee of at least four faculty members appointed by the department chair. It will cover material from the student's second-year field courses. The oral part of the exam will also be evaluated by a committee of four faculty members. It will consist of either a defense of the dissertation proposal or a research presentation to the general faculty.

4. Language Requirements

The candidate must demonstrate competency in a computer programming language or statistics as demonstrated by appropriate course work or examination by the student's Ph.D. advisory committee.

5. Dissertation

Each candidate must present a dissertation that gives evidence of original and significant research. The dissertation must be completed not later than five years after successfully completing the oral comprehensive examination. The candidate must defend the dissertation before a committee consisting of not fewer than four members.

6. Teaching and Research

Prior to receiving a Ph.D. degree, the student is required to teach and participate in research under the direction of a faculty member in the Department of Economics.

Master of Arts in Economics

The Master of Arts in Economics program prepares the student for a career as a professional economist in business and government and for further graduate work in the field of economics. Prior degree work in economics is not required.


Applicants must submit official transcripts of their complete academic record, two letters of reference, and scores on the GRE. (Scores on the GMAT may be substituted for the GRE.) In the most recent class of entrants, the average undergraduate GPA was 3.66. The average scores on the GRE were 560 (verbal), 670 (quantitative), and 662 (analytical). Prerequisite courses that must be taken prior to enrollment are principles of economics (ECON 224 or equivalent) and business calculus (MATH 122 or equivalent). International students whose primary language is not English are required to take the TOEFL exam with a minimum score of 600 (250 computer-based score).

Enrollment in the program may begin in either the fall or spring semester, although the department encourages students to begin their studies in the fall semester.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. in economics normally takes three full semesters of work. Each student must complete 30 credit hours and maintain a B average (3.00) in the program. No more than six hours of this total may be thesis credit. The student is also required to take at least four courses at the 700-800 level, with at least a B average in those courses.

From acceptance until the creation of the thesis committee, the M.A. student is advised by the graduate coordinator of economics. Before the end of the first semester of study, the student must construct a program of study that indicates the courses to be taken. This program (and any subsequent changes) must be approved by the graduate coordinator, the associate dean for academic affairs, and the dean of The Graduate School.

A suitable program of study will generally consist of the following:

1. Core Courses in Economic Theory and Quantitative Methods

ECON 727, 728, 692, 594

2. Elective Courses in Economics and Other Fields

Elective courses may be chosen from a variety of offerings both within and outside the department. In general, at least two of these courses must be at the 700-800 level. Recently, M.A. students have chosen to take elective courses in international economics, economic forecasting, development economics, labor economics, experimental economics, human capital, public finance, and health economics. Up to two courses may be taken outside the department

3. Thesis

At the appropriate time, a thesis committee will be appointed by the graduate director with the approval of the department chair. The committee must consist of at least two faculty members. The student must defend orally a written proposal to this committee. The student must present and successfully defend a completed thesis that gives evidence of mature research not later than six years after entering the program.

Joint Law/Economics Degrees

The Department of Economics, in cooperation with the University of South Carolina School of Law, offers a combined degree program that permits a student to obtain both the Juris Doctor and the Master of Arts in Economics degree in approximately four years. Through the combined program the total course load may be reduced by as many as 18 credit hours from that required if the two degrees were earned separately. The student must meet admission requirements, and satisfy degree requirements, of both degree programs.

Course Descriptions (ECON)

ECON 221-222 or ECON 224 are prerequisites for all upper-level economics courses.

  • 500 -- Urban Economics. (3) An analysis of economic forces affecting urbanization and the economic processes influencing urban form and structure. Spatial concepts are considered in addition to traditional micro-economic and macro-economic concepts. Topic coverage includes: the economic origin of cities; urban functions and the urban economic base, land-use structure and urban form, and urban efficiency.
  • 503 -- International Trade Economics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 321 or permission of instructor) Theory of international specialization, commercial policy, customs unions, and the effects of trade liberalization and protectionism; economic growth and multinational enterprises.
  • 504 -- International Monetary Economics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 322 or permission of instructor) Exchange rate and balance of payments determination; purchasing-power parity; optimum currency areas, absorption, elasticity, monetary approaches, spot- and forward-exchange markets.
  • 505 -- International Development Economics. (3) Economic theories of growth in developing countries. Use of factor resources; role of social and economic institutions; use of financial trade policies for growth.
  • 506 -- Labor Economics and Labor Markets. {=MGMT 506} (3) (Prereq: ECON 321 or permission of instructor) Economics of labor demand, labor supply, wage determination in competitive markets, migration, discrimination, unemployment, and labor unions. Theoretical models and empirical knowledge will be considered.
  • 507 -- Comparative Economic Systems. (3) An analysis of the organization and operation of the world's major economic systems.
  • 508 -- Law and Economics. (3) Economic analysis and interpretation of the law. The economic effect of current law and optimal design of law to meet social objectives.
  • 511 -- Senior Seminar in Economics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 321 and 322) Philosophy and methodology of economics, perspectives on theory and empiricism, economic policy; individualized guided research.
  • 523 -- Introduction to Mathematical Economics. (3) (Prereq: MATH 122, 141, or the equivalent) Mathematical formulation of economic theories; the use of mathematics in the development and demonstration of economic relationships.
  • 524 -- Essentials of Economics. (3) A course designed to acquaint the student with the principles of operation of the American economic system. A survey course for social studies teachers in secondary schools.
  • 526 -- Managerial Economics. (3) A study of the application of the economic theory of profits, competition, demand, and costs to analysis of problems arising in the firm and in decision making. Price policies, forecasting, and investment decisions are among the topics considered.
  • 530 -- The Economics of Education. (3) Investment in human capital; the economic value of schooling; internal efficiency of schools; faculty compensation; equity and efficiency of school finance systems; financing higher education.
  • 531 -- Health Economics. (3) Applications of economic analysis to health care. Structure and behavior of health-care markets. Description of health care policy issues.
  • 548 -- Environmental Economics. (3) An analysis of the economic aspects of environmental decay, pollution control, and natural resource use. Analysis of the ability of the market system to allocate resources efficiently when economic activity is accompanied by environmental damage. Discussion of alternative public policy approaches to pollution control and natural resource conservation.
  • 562 -- Public Finance. (3) Theory and practice of taxation: public revenue, expenditure, and debt.
  • 589 -- Topics in Economics. (1-3 maximum) Individual topics to be announced with suffix and title.
  • 594 -- Introduction to Econometrics. (3) (Prereq: MGSC 291 or STAT 201) Statistical and economic tools applied to analysis of business and economic problems with the aid of computers.
  • 595 -- Selected Topics in Economic Analysis and Policy. (3) A course designed to meet the needs of public school officials who have ultimate responsibility for secondary school curricula. Course content will be adjusted to help those officials obtain the background and information necessary to make decisions regarding the incorporation of economics in the curricula. Open only to students in the College of Education pursuing a certificate course for school administrators.
  • 621 -- Survey of Contemporary Economic Theory. (3) Neo-classical value and distribution theory combined with income and employment theory.
  • 690 -- Quantitative Foundations for Business and Economics I. {=MGSC 690} (3) Calculus and classical optimization methods applied to problems in business and economic analysis; matrices, derivatives, and integrals in the analysis of both univariate and multivariate business and economic models.
  • 691 -- Quantitative Foundations for Business and Economics II. {=MGSC 691} (3) (Prereq: MGSC 690 or ECON 690) Statistics and probability theory applied to problems of business and economic analysis.
  • 692 -- Quantitative Methods I. {=MGSC 692} (3) (Prereq or coreq: mathematics and computer portion of Fundamental Business Skills or equivalent) Introduction to business and economic applications of calculus, probability, and computer science important to graduate study in economics and business administration.
  • 694 -- Quantitative Methods II. {=MGSC 694} (3) (Prereq: ECON 692, mathematics and computer portion of Fundamental Business Skills or equivalent) A study of decision models useful in business administration. Topics covered include linear programming, sensitivity analysis and duality, network models, integer programming, determinate and stochastic dynamic programming, inventory, and queues.
  • 700 -- Survey of Economic Analysis. (2 or 3) The economic processes of the economy with respect to income, employment, and output. Elementary analytical tools of both micro- and macroeconomics are portrayed. For graduate students with little or no relevant course work in economics.
  • 701 -- Advanced Money and Banking. (3) (Prereq: ECON 301) An in-depth study of the operation and economic significance of the monetary system (money, commercial banks, and the central bank) and monetary policy. Emphasis is on theory and empirical hypothesis testing as related to above topics.
  • 703 -- International Trade Theory. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621) Theory of international values, comparative advantage, and the gains from trade; theory of commercial policy, tariff structure, and welfare and trade.
  • 704 -- International Monetary Economics. (3) Theories of exchange rate and balance of payments determination (spot and forward exchange markets, interest rate arbitage, purchasing power parity, and monetary approaches); adjustments under fixed and flexible exchange rates are analyzed.
  • 705 -- Economic Development. (3) Overall view of problems of economic development, including its history and relationship to the modern world. Brief consideration is given to such noneconomic factors as political, sociological, and cultural environments. Basic theories of growth are presented and critically evaluated.
  • 706 -- Regional Economic Development. (3) Application of economic principles to regional analysis and planning. Geographic areas covered range from cities and counties to major regions of the nation. Subject areas include economic measurement, analysis, and development planning.
  • 707 -- Evolution of Economic Theory and Methodology. (3) An analysis of the development of economic theory with special emphasis on the evolution of alternative methodologies.
  • 709 -- Economic Development of the United States. (3) An examination of the lines along which the American economy has progressed from 1607 to the present time.
  • 710 -- Special Topics in Economic History. (3)
  • 711 -- European Economic Development. (3)
  • 715 -- Industrial Economics. (3) Examination of industrial pricing, output, and investment practices in relation to the theory of the firm. Consideration of public aspects of these practices.
  • 719 -- Macroeconomic Analysis and International Economics. (3) The modern theory of national employment, output, and the price level. Monetary and fiscal policy. International trade, exchange rates, and international capital markets.
  • 720 -- Economics of Enterprise. (3) Tools and methods of economic analysis as they relate to the business firm and the structure of the market. Particular attention is devoted to microeconomic theory as a basis for business decision making.
  • 727 -- Applied Macroeconomics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621) The modern theory of income determination. Inflation, unemployment, and interest rates in an open economy setting. Emphasis on economic policy.
  • 728 -- Applied Microeconomics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621) Theory of demand, production, cost, pricing, distribution, and capital. Particular emphasis on applications of the theory to various problems faced by the firm.
  • 730 -- Investment in Human Capital. (3) An analysis of investments in humans who create and maintain their marketable skills. Investments in education (both formal and on the job), health care, and human migration are treated within the human capital analytical framework.
  • 731 -- Urban Economics. (3) An analysis of economic forces affecting urbanization and the economic processes influencing urban form and structure. Spatial concepts are considered in addition to the traditional microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts.
  • 732 -- Economic Problems of the City. (3) The economic causes and consequences of urban problems and the economic effects of proposed solutions. Problems analyzed include: urban blight, transportation, public services, urban sprawl, and megalopolis.
  • 733 -- Location Theory and Regional Structure. (3) Spatial and economic structures of regions and regional economic development. Topical review of partial and general equilibrium models of land use, regional economic growth; income determination at a regional level (regional accounts and input-output models); regional policy alternatives and their efficiency.
  • 734 -- Mathematical Economics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 523) This course is to acquaint students with the mathematical methods currently being used in micro- and macroeconomic theory. Topics covered are the use in economics of point set topology, nonlinear programming, differential equations, calculus of variations, and control theory.
  • 740 -- Applied Economic Forecasting. (3) (Prereq: ECON 692 or equivalent) Examination of a variety of techniques that are used for forecasting and policy simulation purposes. Development of skills that have applications in business, government, and economic research.
  • 745 -- The State and Economic Life. {=GINT 758} (3) (Prereq: six hours in economics and political science) An examination of the relationship between government and economic enterprise in the American economy. Government policies of regulation and control of industry and labor are given special emphasis.
  • 746 -- Topics in Industrial Organization and Public Policy. (3) Research topics in industrial market structure and performance, public policies toward business, and related subjects.
  • 750 -- Economics of Education. (3) A survey of the contribution of economics to educational issues, including the value of educational investments, effect of education on economic growth, input-output analysis, and economics of educational finance.
  • 751 -- Advanced Labor Economics. (3) Topics studied include wage theory; the processes of wage determination; the impact of unions and collective bargaining on wage levels, prices, employment, and income distribution; bargaining theory and union-management relations; the union as an economic institution.
  • 759 -- Manpower Economics. (3) A descriptive and analytic study of manpower as an economic resource in the United States.
  • 761 -- Public Expenditure Criteria. (3) A study of the criteria available to achieve efficiency in public expenditure, and an application of these criteria in selected expenditure areas.
  • 762 -- Advanced Public Finance. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621 or equivalent) A general survey of public finance, including public expenditures; the structure, incidence, and effects of taxes; public goods; and fiscal federalism.
  • 763 -- Advanced Public Finance II. (3) An analysis of budgets and budget policy; tax incidence and effects; debt and debt management.
  • 771 -- Special Topics in Microeconomics. (3)
  • 772 -- Special Topics in Macroeconomics. (3)
  • 774 -- The Firm and Its Environment. (3) (Prereq: ECON 720) The forces which influence and constrain decision and actions within the individual firm. Consideration of these forces as features of the existing legal, social, and ethical environments. Specific topics include the legal system and public policy, social organization, moral and ethical standards, public opinion, the social responsibility of the firm, and conception within the firm of its role in society and the interaction of these forces with economic forces.
  • 777 -- Seminar in Economic Growth and Development. (3)
  • 779 -- Special Topics: Selected Readings and Research. (3)
  • 780 -- Special Topics: Readings and Research. (3)
  • 784 -- Health Economics. {=HADM 712} (3) A critical introduction to the application of economic analysis to problems in the health care field. Selective surveys of the related scientific literature will be covered.
  • 785 -- Advanced Macroeconomic Theory I. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621) The modern theories of income determination, inflation, unemployment, and interest rates. Theories of consumption, investment, government expenditure, and taxation are presented.
  • 786 -- Advanced Microeconomic Theory I. (3) (Prereq: ECON 621) The modern theory of consumer behavior, production, the firm, and market structure.
  • 787 -- Advanced Macroeconomics II. (3) (Prereq: ECON 785 or the equivalent) Recent developments in macro-econometrics, dynamic models, and related topics.
  • 788 -- Advanced Microeconomic Theory II. (3) (Prereq: ECON 786) Advanced topics in microeconomics including general equilibrium theory and welfare economics.
  • 789 -- Monetary Theory. (3) (Prereq: course in money and banking and intermediate economic theory) Monetary theory, monetary policy, and monetary reform. Theory of central banking and monetary equilibrium, and related topics.
  • 790 -- Welfare Economics. (3) (Prereq: ECON 788) An endeavor to formulate propositions by which alternative economic situations open to society may be ranked on the scale of better or worse.
  • 792 -- Advanced Statistics for Business and Economics. {=MGSC 792} (3) (Prereq: ECON 692 and ECON 691 or equivalent) The development and application of advanced statistical methods to problems in business and economics. Topics include applications of estimation and hypothesis testing in both univariate and multivariate cases.
  • 794 -- Programming Methods. {=MGSC 794} (3) (Prereq: ECON 694 or equivalent) Mathematical programming techniques which are useful in business and economics. Topics include: solution techniques and applications of linear programming, duality, theory, parametric programming, the decomposition problem, integer programming, dynamic programming, Lagrange multipliers, Kuhn-Tucker theory, and an introduction to control theory.
  • 795 -- Econometrics and Regression I. {=MGSC 795} (3) (Prereq: ECON 792 or equivalent) A treatment of single equation estimating techniques for the simple linear model, various nonlinear models, and the general linear model.
  • 797 -- Sampling Techniques. {=MGSC 797} (3) (Prereq: ECON 692 or equivalent) Statistical designs and techniques for survey investigations. Mathematical development of sampling systems; sampling units; sample size; estimation; costs; non-sampling problems. Methods of obtaining and reporting information.
  • 799 -- Thesis Preparation. (1-9)
  • 892 -- Experimental Research Methods. {=MGSC 892} (3) (Prereq: ECON 692 or equivalent) The structure and analysis of experimental and research designs with applications to business and economic problems.
  • 894 -- Advanced Topics in Management Science. {=MGSC 894} (3) Topics will be selected from: nonlinear programming, stochastic programming, integer programming, spectral analysis, decision theory, Markov processes, Box-Jenkins methods.
  • 895 -- Econometrics and Regression II. {=MGSC 895} (3) (Prereq: ECON 795) Topics in generalized least squares, autocorrelation, distributed lag models, principal components, identification, and simultaneous estimating techniques.
  • 899 -- Dissertation Preparation. (1-12)