Required of all seniors majoring in economics. Students participate in colloquia on economic problems, theory, and policy; prepare projects on economic issues; and take comprehensive examinations that include the ETS Major Field Test in economics, an oral exam and written examinations in economic theory and analysis.
Prerequisites: Economics 202, 203, and 205 or permission of the instructor. (Spring)
Group Projects: One part of the Senior Session experience requires each student to participate in a group project. Each student should register in one of five group projects described below. Space in each section is limited.
ECO 495A: TAX SYSTEM DESIGN FOR PERU
GROUP ADVISOR: BAKER
Students will have the opportunity to develop a system of taxation for a country. You will start with a clean slate. It is incumbent upon your group to design a system of taxation that you feel is equitable and has a realistic chance of functioning. You will use Peru as your subject country. You have been hired as consultants by the Peruvian government to propose a revised system of taxation. You will research the country to learn about its history, culture, national budgets/priorities, and economy. You will determine the level of funding needed by the country to meet the goals established by its government. You will research various systems of taxation from which you can choose.
ECO 495B: EFFECTIVE ALTRUISM
GROUP ADVISOR: FITZ
Effective altruism acknowledges that many individuals want to help others while emphasizing the importance of finding the most effective ways to do good. As a result, this growing movement draws heavily upon the empirical findings of development economists. Through a debate of various causes (including, for example, direct cash transfers, deworming, malaria prevention, women's empowerment, or even asteroid prevention), this Senior Session will determine which charities are the best recipients of our marginal charitable donations.
ECO 495C: THE EUROPEAN UNION: CHALLENGES AHEAD
GROUP ADVISOR: KUMAR
Brexit - the recent British vote to exit the European Union, and Grexit - the perennial question of Greece's membership in it, are symptoms of the difficulties facing Europe's economic and monetary unions. This group will examine and report on the economic challenges, and their socio-political causes and consequences, as the European Union charts a course correction. Sub-groups will represent the core, Southern and Eastern European countries.
ECO 495D: ECONOMIC ADVICE TO THE 45th PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
GROUP ADVISOR: ROSS
This senior session group will look at the economic policy alternatives likely to be proposed by the 45th President of the United States. We will look at issues associated with taxation, expenditure policy, employment, international trade, migration, and financial regulation. For these six issues, sub-groups will present the alternative(s) most likely to be advanced by the new President. As a group we will discuss the likely effects of such policies and their internal coherence.
ECO 495E: REGULATING FINANCE
GROUP ADVISOR: STROUP
What regulations make finance work for society? This project will study policies proposed by the new U.S. president aimed at improving the functioning of America's financial sector. To do this, the group will choose a financial regulation (or deregulation) proposed by the new U.S. president and will analyze the proposal using economic theory and available evidence. The group may also propose an alternate, or improved, policy that might achieve the same goals, and will use economic theory and evidence to defend the alternate proposal.