Economic Policy Analysis (ECPA)

Department of Economics

Michael Bradley, Chair
TIM GINDLING, Graduate Program Director

Professors
BRADLEY, MICHAEL (Economics), Ph.D., Cornell University; History of economic thought, comparative economic systems
BRENNAN, TIM (Public Policy and Economics), Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison; Communications, law and economics, philosophy of social science
CARPENTER, ROBERT (Economics), Ph.D., Washington University; Macroeconomics, financial economics
COATES, DENNIS (Economics), Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; Public finance, public-choice economics, economics of education, sports economics
FARROW, SCOTT (Economics), Ph.D., Washington State University; Empirical risk analysis, program evaluation, benefit-cost analysis
GINDLING, T. H. (Economics), Ph.D., Cornell University; Economic development, labor economics, economics of education
LAMDIN, DOUGLAS (Economics), Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; Corporate finance, managerial economics, economics of education
LORD, WILLIAM (Economics), Ph.D., Indiana University; Public finance, household economics, macroeconomics
MANDELL, MARVIN (Public Policy ), Ph.D., Northwestern University; Quantitative analysis, program evaluation, delivery of public services
MARCOTTE, DAVE (Public Policy), Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; Research methods and statistics, social policy, labor markets and job training, mental health
McCONNELL, VIRGINIA (Economics), Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; Environmental economics, cost-benefit analysis, air pollution policy, land-use policy
MEYERS, ROY (Political Science), Ph.D., University of Michigan; Budgeting, public policy and administration, American politics
MILLER, NANCY (Public Policy), Ph.D., University of Chicago; Health policy, health care financing, health care evaluation
MITCH, DAVID (Economics), Ph.D., University of Chicago; American, Asian and European economic history; labor economics, economics of education
NORRIS, DONALD (Public Policy ), Ph.D., University of Virginia; Public management, urban affairs, state and local government, public-management information systems
SALKEVER, DAVID S. (Public Policy) Ph.D. Harvard University; Health economics, economics of mental health, disability studies, economics and behavior of non profit organizations
TAKACS, WENDY (Economics), Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University; International economics, international trade

Associate Professors
CARROLL, KATHLEEN (Economics), Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University; Economics of organizations, anti-trust, regulation
MILLER, CHERYL (Public Policy and Political Science), Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Public administration, social welfare policy

Assistant Professors
CINYABUGUMA, MATTHIAS (Economics), Ph.D., Brown University; Macroeconomic theory, economic growth
DICKSON, LISA (Economics), Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin; Economics of education, labor economics
KIRK, ADELE (Public Policy), Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles; Health economics, labor economics, quantitative methods
MA, BING (Economics), Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles; Labor economics, health economics, applied econometrics, and applied microeconomics
ROSE, MORGAN. (Economics), Ph.D., Washington University in Saint Louis; Applied microeconomics, corporate finance, corporate governance, industrial organization, financial institutions
VIAUROUX, CHRISTELLE, (Economics), Ph.D., University of Toulouse, France; Theoretical and applied econometrics, structural applied microeconomics, structural applied game theory, microeconomics
YUAN, CHUNMING. (Economics) Ph.D. University of California Los Angeles; international economics/finance, financial economics, econometrics

Professors Emeritus
GOLDFARB, MARSHA (Economics), Ph.D., Northwestern University; Health economics, economics of education
GREENBERG, DAVID (Economics emeritus), Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Labor economics, industrial relations, cost benefit analysis, evaluation of welfare and government-funded training programs
SORKIN, ALAN L. (Economics), Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University; Health economics, economics of human resources

Associate Professor Emeritus
PEAKE, CHARLES (Economics), Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; Monetary economics, finance

Degree Offered

M.A. (non-thesis)

Program Description and Program Specialties

UMBC has been in the vanguard of public policy education since the inception of its Policy Sciences graduate program in 1974. The M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis is a joint program offered by the departments of Economics and Public Policy. The course of study combines a multi-disciplinary approach to policy analysis, with focused study on the use of economic tools to analyze policy issues. The core economics courses present the tools of analysis commonly used by economists, such as economic modeling and econometrics.

The M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis is flexible enough to accommodate students with different backgrounds, interests and career objectives. The program is designed for students from a variety of undergraduate majors, including, but not limited to, business, computer science, economics, history, information systems, mathematics and statistics, political science and sociology. However, as described below, students are expected to have completed some undergraduate coursework in economics, mathematics and statistics before entering the program. Potential students in the program include managers and policy analysts employed in policy formulation who would like to deepen their understanding of policy issues and/or develop their quantitative skills; students who would like to pursue graduate study to prepare for entry- level positions in the economic policy field with international organizations, federal, state or local governments, consulting firms, corporations or nonprofit organizations; and students who would like to prepare for further graduate study in accounting, business or law and at the Ph.D. level in public policy or economics.

Full- or part-time students, students with schedules limited to evening courses, or students with schedules that combine evening and day courses all can be accommodated. All required courses and many electives will be offered in the late afternoon or evening to accommodate the needs of students employed full time. UMBC undergraduates may want to consider the accelerated pathway combining the B.A. in Economics, the B.S. in Financial Economics or another undergraduate major at UMBC with the M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis. The accelerated pathway makes it possible to complete both a B.A. and an M.A. in as few as five years. Program guides that describe the M.A. degree and accelerated pathway in detail are available from the economics department office.

Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

A minimum of 36 credit hours of course work is required. These 36 credits include 15 credit hours of required core economics courses and six credit hours of required public policy courses. The remaining 15 credit hours are electives, of which at least two must be ECON courses. For UMBC undergraduates in the accelerated pathway, at least three of the elective courses must be ECON courses. Possible electives from other departments include courses in computer science, engineering, geography, life sciences, mathematics, public policy, political science, sociology or statistics. Elective packages of courses also may include appropriate courses from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) or other University System of Maryland campuses.

Grade Requirements

To complete the requirements of the M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis, students must have a “B” average overall and in the four core economics courses: ECON 601, ECON 602, ECON 611 and ECON 612. In addition, a student can have no more than one “C” in these four courses. Students may retake any course to attain the “B” average or to replace a “C” in one of the core courses.

Comprehensive Exam for the M.A. Degree

Students will write and present a major paper in ECON 699, the capstone seminar. In this paper, students must analyze a policy issue from an economic perspective and use empirical analysis to shed light on important, underlying economic relationships and, when possible, suggest future directions for policy. This paper will allow students to pull together the skills and insights they have gained in the master’s program. Each student will have a faculty advisor in addition to the instructor in ECON 699 for this paper. If the ECON 699 instructor and the faculty advisor are the same, the student must have a second reader. To complete the M.A. degree, students must receive a "B" or better on this paper from both the faculty advisor and the instructor for ECON 699.

Seminar requirement

Master’s students will be required to attend at least four professional seminars on economics or policy issues during the last two semesters of the program. Evidence of this attendance will be part of their grade in the capstone course, ECON 699.

Program Admission Requirements

Students applying for admission to the program must submit scores from the general Graduate Record Exam (GRE); provide three letters of recommendation, preferably from individuals familiar with the applicant’s prior academic work; and fulfill all of the other admissions requirements set forth by the Graduate School. Contact the Graduate School or the economic policy analysis graduate program director for admissions materials. Application materials also may be found on the Graduate School Web site.

To succeed in the program, students will need some undergraduate economics, mathematics and statistics background. Before beginning the core economic theory and econometrics courses in the graduate program, a student must have completed courses in calculus, intermediate microeconomic theory, intermediate statistics, undergraduate econometrics and mathematical economics. The undergraduate econometrics course requirement may be waived for students with a strong statistics background, and the undergraduate mathematical economics course requirement may be waived for students with a strong mathematics background. Prospective students may apply to the program before completing all of these courses.

The UMBC economics department frequently offers an intermediate microeconomic theory course, a mathematical economics course and an undergraduate econometrics course in the summer for those students who wish to enter the program but who have not yet taken these courses. Depending on instructor availability, some of these courses may be offered in the evening to accommodate students who work during the day. The mathematical economics course, ECON 490, will provide students who have had at least one semester of undergraduate calculus with the mathematics background necessary to succeed in the master’s program. Students applying to the ECPA M.A. program should consult with the graduate program director at econ-masters@umbc.edu to discuss whether their prior coursework in economics, mathematics and statistics provides adequate preparation to begin the program.

UMBC undergraduates who want to complete the accelerated pathway for a combined B.A. and M.A. should contact the economic policy analysis graduate program director during the first semester of their junior year to ensure that they complete the course requirements for entry into the accelerated pathway program.

Financial Assistance

The university and the economic policy analysis program offer a limited number of assistantships to qualified applicants who wish to study full time. These assistantships include tuition remission, a stipend for living expenses and health insurance. Contact the economic policy analysis graduate program director for more information. Students intending to study full-time also should consult the Office of Financial Aid and refer to the financial information section of the graduate catalog for details about the variety of scholarships, grants and loans available. Students also may receive income from working on faculty research projects. Other students may choose to participate in paid internships or co-op programs with various government agencies. UMBC has one of the largest co-op programs on the East Coast. Contact the Shriver Center for details at 410-455-2493.

Many ECPA M.A. students work full-time and may be eligible for tuition assistance through their employers. Students currently employed should check with their employers to see what type of financial support is available. We will help them develop a curriculum or the documentation necessary to receive employer financial support. Also, with good planning, research projects and papers in individual courses can be related to the student’s full-time job in such a way that a single project or modified version may meet the requirements of both institutions.

COURSE LISTING

Economics Core Courses

Five courses (15 credit hours)

ECON 601
Microeconomic Analysis [3]

A course in graduate-level microeconomic theory. This course presents the theory and analytical methods needed to bring economic analysis to bear on policy issues. Topics will include theories of consumer and firm behavior, market failure and the role of government in regulating the economy. Analytical techniques will include optimization, game theory, duality and dynamic optimization. Prerequisites: ECON 311 and ECON 490 or equivalent. (Fall)

ECON 602
Macroeconomic Analysis [3]

This course covers both tools and models used in macroeconomics. The course focuses on static and dynamic analysis of the commonly used deterministic and stochastic models in the macroeconomics literature; both long-run models of economic growth and short-run models of economic fluctuations will be covered. Prerequisites: ECON 312 and ECON 601 are recommended. (Spring)

ECON 611
Advanced Econometric Analysis I [3]

This course teaches basic econometric analysis and shows how it can be applied to examine policy issues. The course will provide the student with the skills needed to work with large data sets, to apply econometric techniques such as Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), Two-Stage Least Squares (2SLS), maximum likelihood estimation and the analysis of panel data. Students will be assigned problem sets that use data provided by the instructor and will learn how to use econometric packages such as SAS, STATA and SPSS. Prerequisite: STAT 351 or STAT 355, ECON 421 and ECON 490 or equivalents. (Fall)

ECON 612
Advanced Econometric Analysis II [3]

Students get hands-on experience working on policy questions using real data. Students will analyze a selected policy issue by applying econometric methods to data sets provided by the professor. For example, students may use current population surveys to examine the relationship between education and earnings. Students will learn to construct variables from raw data and apply appropriate econometric techniques to answer policy questions. May be repeated as ECON 613: Advanced Topics in Econometrics with a different instructor. Prerequisite: ECON 611. (Spring)

ECON 699
Capstone Seminar for the M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis [3]

A one-semester capstone course in which students will be exposed to research methods used in the economics profession and in policy applications. Students will hear faculty and other professional presentations and read papers in the literature, which they will review and critique. Students will write a proposal for a major policy paper and then write and revise the paper and present it to the class. Presentations and papers will be discussed and reviewed by members of the class. In addition to the faculty member leading the capstone seminar, students will have a faculty advisor for their paper. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (Spring)

Public Policy Core Courses

Two courses (six credit hours). (For full course descriptions, see PUBLIC POLICY course listings).

PUBL 601
Political and Social Context of the Policy Process [3]

PUBL 603
Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis [3]

PUBL 613
Managing Public Organizations [3]

POLI 623
Government Budgeting [3]

SOCY 606
Social Inequality and Social Policy [3]

Elective Courses

Five courses (15 credit hours)

Students are required to complete a package of five elective courses, at least two of which must be ECON courses. The program is designed to give students flexibility in the choosing of the five courses. The elective courses may include appropriate courses from economics, public policy or other programs at UMBC, UMB, College Park or other University System of Maryland campuses. For UMBC undergraduates in the “accelerated pathway,” at least three of these elective courses must be ECON courses.

Economics Elective Courses

ECON 605
Benefit-Cost Evaluation [3]

This course develops the basic conceptual framework used in benefit-cost analysis and illustrates how the framework can be used to evaluate specific public-sector programs and policies. The course demonstrates how many of the tools of economics can be applied to practical problems. Prerequisite: ECON 311.

ECON 613
Advanced Topics in Econometric Methods [3]

This course is for students who have completed ECON 612 and who would like additional knowledge of econometric methods. This course will be taught simultaneously with ECON 612. Students will only be allowed to sign up for ECON 613 with the consent of the professors teaching the course, and students will not be able to take ECON 612 and ECON 613 from the same professor. Prerequisites: ECON 612 and consent of instructor.

ECON 614
Economics of Government Policy Toward Business [3]

A study of government regulation of the business sector. Topics include pollution controls, regulation of public utilities, anti-trust laws and regulation and other governmental regulation of business.

ECON 615
Property Rights, Organizations and Management [3]

This course applies microeconomic theory to managerial behavior in profit-making and not-for-profit organizations. Topics include transaction costs and property rights systems; contracting, information and incentives; coordination, motivation and compensation of managers and labor; financial analysis and incentives; internal structure and dynamics of organizations that include innovation; and application of analysis of corporations to alternative organizational forms, including nonprofit and public-sector organizations and markets and economies as forms of organization.

ECON 618
Economics of Technology and Innovation [3]

This course will examine the economic determinants and consequences of innovation, creative activity and technological advance. It will consider both theoretical models and empirical studies of the determinants of inventive activity. It will survey estimates of private and social returns to investments in research and development. Policy issues involving patents, intellectual property and public subsidies to research will also be considered. Prerequisite: ECON 311.

ECON 637
Economics of Natural Resources [3]

This course examines the role of economics in developing policy toward the use and management of natural resources. The theory of optimal management of resources is explored, including applications to both renewable resources such as wind energy and water resources and non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels. Current and alternative policy options toward resource use are explored. Other topics include the importance of ownership rights over resources and tradeoffs between current and future generations in the use of resources.

ECON 641
American Economic History [3]

A survey of the growth and development of the American economy from Colonial times to the present. Prerequisites: ECON 311 and ECON 312.

ECON 642
European Economic History [3]

A survey of European economic history from prehistoric times to the present. Prerequisites: ECON 311 and ECON 312.

ECON 651
Economics of Human Resource Policy [3]

A study of human resources in a broad sense. Topics include human capital and rates of return, economics of education, economics of poverty, minimum wages, welfare program analysis, discrimination, manpower economics and labor relations.

ECON 652
Economics of Health [3]

This course is a general survey of the field of health economics. Topics to be covered include medical care price indices; analysis of the markets for insurance; physician services; hospital care and nurses; and discussion of current policy debates, including cost inflation, uninsured populations and new forms of insurance.

ECON 653
Household Economics [3]

A systematic and integrative treatment of a range of household decisions that uses, extends and applies consumer theory. Topics include household production, marriage and fertility, life-cycle models of consumption, learning and allocation of time.

ECON 654
Economics of Education and Human Capital [3]

This course deals with theoretical and policy issues relating to the development of human resources. Topics to be covered include: 1) the theory and importance of investment in education and training; 2) measuring the rate of return to education; 3) racial and sexual discrimination; 4) poverty and the distribution of income; 5) analyzing the effectiveness of the American educational system; 6) recent innovations in the organization of education; and 7) issues in the financing of primary, secondary and higher education.

ECON 661
Microeconomics of Public Finance [3]

A study of the microeconomics of the public sector. Topics include the theory and the policy applications of federal, state and local public finance and expenditures.

ECON 671
Money and Capital Markets [3]

Analysis of portfolio theory and the role of finance in the economy. Survey of sources and uses of funds of the major financial institutions in the contemporary American economy. Analysis of sources of funds, organizational structure, yields and impact on the macroeconomy of major money markets (federal funds, commercial paper, Treasury bills) and capital markets (state and local government securities, mortgages, bonds and stocks). Major international financial markets are discussed briefly. Prerequisite: ECON 374 and ECON 311 or consent of instructor.

ECON 672
Monetary Theory and Policy [3]

A study of theories of monetary economics. Analysis of contemporary theory and empirical evidence on money supply and demand and the impact of money on the economy. Evaluation of monetary policy in a historical, analytical framework. Prerequisites: ECON 601, ECON 602 and ECON 611.

ECON 674
Financial Management [3]

Economic analysis of the problems of financing modern corporations. A theoretical and applied treatment of asset pricing, capital budgeting, capital structure and the cost of capital, as well as an analysis of specific debt and equity instruments. Prerequisites: ECON 374 and 311.

ECON 675
Financial Investment Analysis [3]

An examination of financial assets, financial markets and investment portfolio decisions. Stocks, bonds and derivative securities and their risk and return characteristics are examined. Prerequisites: ECON 374 and ECON 311.

ECON 676
Portfolio Analysis and Management [3]

Application of economic analysis to the process of portfolio management, including objectives and risk preferences, portfolio constraints and optimization techniques (such as linear programming), scenario forecasting and asset selection. Prerequisites: ECON 374, ECON 601, ECON 602, ECON 611 and ECON 612.

ECON 681
Economics of International Commercial Policy [3]

A study of the economics of international trade and commerce. Topics include international trade theory and policy, international factor movements and the analysis of economic integration arrangements. Prerequisite: ECON 311.

ECON 682
Asian Economic History [3]

A historical survey of the development of Asian economies. Prerequisite: ECON 311 and ECON 312.

ECON 685
The Economics of Developing Economies [3]

This course is a survey of the principles and problems of developing economies. Topics covered include the dimensions of poverty, patterns of development, sources of growth, role of trade and industrial development, planning, the agricultural sector and the new international order. We will include case studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

ECON 686
Topics in Economic Development [3]

Application of economic analysis to a study of some of the major issues in the economics of development. The specific issues and topics covered will vary but may include: income inequality, economic growth, planning, project appraisal and the role of population growth and labor markets. Prerequisite: ECON 311.

ECON 691
Selected Topics in Economic Policy [3]

Topics selected on the basis of the background and interests of the faculty member and students.

ECON 701
Individual Study in Economics [1-3]

An independent reading course for master’s-level students. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.