Syllabus for Business and the Economic Environment (ECON 5050)


Offered at California State University, Stanislaus by the Economics Dept., Spring 2005, for 3 units.  Class meets Thursdays 7:00-10:00 p.m. in room 146 of Demergasso Bava Hall, and simultaneously in Stockton W1124 through instructional television (ITV).



Elaine Peterson

Office hours:

M,W 10:15-11:15 pm,


101 D Classroom Building

Tues.,Thurs. 11:15-12:15,

Office Phone:



M,W 5:00-5:45,

Home Phone:

529-3804  (Please, no calls after 9:00pm)

and by appointment






Course Description: Analysis of contemporary macroeconomic and microeconomic problems and issues, related governmental policies, and their impact on the business firm.  Including unemployment, inflation, fiscal and monetary policy, government regulation of business, business concentration and anti-trust policy; income distribution, and international economic relations.  Prerequisite: MBA, MPA or MA candidacy


Course Objectives: Emphasis is placed on developing students’ understanding of economic concepts and how they relate to contemporary issues, including the ability to understand economic relationships, and to use models to analyze current economic problems.


Major Texts and Resource Materials: Welch, Patrick J. and Welch, Gerry F., Economics: Theory and Practice, Seventh Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., NY, 2004.


Articles drawn from professional journals and news publications such as:  American Economic Review, Wall Street Journal, The Economist


Information obtainable from the Internet via sites such as:

   Resources for Economists on the Internet

   Economic Report of the President, 2004 (ERP)

   The National Budget Simulation



Class participation & short assignments



Homework assignments



Midterm exam



2 hour final exam



Class participation & short assignments: Regular attendance is expected. Reading should be done prior to class to enable participation.  Students who must miss a class should contact the instructor in advance or as soon as possible and may have an opportunity to make up work. Attendance will affect the class participation portion of the grade. Short assignments may be announced in class or via email. WASC accreditation standards indicate that for every hour in class students should be spending 2 to 3 hours studying.  Thus for a class that meets 3 hours per week, such as this one, you should be studying 6 to 9 hours outside of class as well.  Please plan your time accordingly and try to use it efficiently.  For example, if you do not understand something make a note of it and bring it up in class as soon as possible.  Even if you do not have an explicit written assignment to hand in you always have reading to do and think about.  The chapters relating to the material we will be discussing in each class are indicated in the schedule below.  When you are in class I would like you to actively try to engage your mind in the class.  This includes thinking about the topic at hand, respectfully listening to your colleagues comments and questions, turning off beepers and cell phones, and offering your thoughtful comments and questions on the topic we are discussing.


Email: Any necessary changes to the schedule below will be announced in class or via email.  Email is a relatively efficient way to distribute information and is part of our current economic environment.   All students should check their email regularly and should join the email discussion list for this class as another way to participate and increase their learning experience.  To join the discussion list you may submit your email address to the professor in writing or by sending an email message with your email address, your name, and the name of the class to the professor at EPETERSO@TOTO.CSUSTAN.EDU.  If you do not yet have an email account, you are entitled to one as a student at CSU Stanislaus.  To get one you may go to the OIT office in room 130 in the Library Building.  In all email messages please try to remember to indicate your full name, the name of the class, and a subject heading.  Including this basic identifying information helps people know if they want to read your message.  There are a lot of junk emails, viruses, and worms going around so you should not be surprised if your message is missing such information to learn that it was deleted without being read.  Also keep in mind that most people are very reluctant to open attachments.  So please try to send your message as a text message unless there is a very compelling reason you need to use an attachment.  Some email systems are setup with html as their default mode, but if you examine the settings you can usually change to text. 


Blackboard access: You can go to the web page and use your student id as your login and your pin as your password to get into a set of web pages restricted to students in the class.  Under “course information” are some PowerPoint slide presentations I will use in class if you are interested.  If you decide to access these, I strongly recommend that you

DO NOT just hit print.  Some of the PowerPoint slide presentations are quite long.  It would probably be smarter to download them to look them over.  Then if you would like a printed copy consider going into PowerPoint and under print, choose the slides you want based on the page numbers and under “Print what” choose “handouts”, and under “slides per page” choose “6”.  This will kill fewer trees.


Homework assignments:  There will be three substantial, multipart homework assignments involving problems and essays.  Students should feel free to work together on assignments, but be careful to use your own words.  Plagiarism will result in a failing grade.  These assignments will be available through the course web page and distributed in class two weeks before they are due.


Exams:  Exams may involve multiple choice questions, short problems, and short essays.  Practice exams can be found through the course web page for this class  Students are encouraged to work together in studying, but not during exams.  Cheating will result in a failing grade.  Please note the dates of the exams in the schedule below and avoid scheduling conflicting activities.  In the event of an emergency remember my doctorate is in economics, not medicine.  After receiving appropriate medical treatment, as soon as practical please get in touch with me by phone or email.  When leaving phone messages please remember to leave your full name, class, and phone number.  When leaving phone numbers please speak slowly.

Business and the Economic Environment Schedule Spring 2005




Mon. Feb. 14

Introduction, Overview, Economics, the Economic Perspective, and the Economic Environment, Alternative Economic Systems

Ch. 1, 2

ERP Overview

Mon.  Feb. 21

Demand and Supply, the Market System, Price controls, Elasticity, 

and Basic Tax Incidence

Ch. 3

ERP Chapter 4

Mon.  Feb. 28

Microeconomics: Benefits & Costs, Marginal Analysis,

 Perfectly Competitive Markets

Ch. 10-12

Mon.  Mar. 7

Microeconomics: Imperfect markets

First Homework Assignment Due

Ch. 13

Mon.  Mar. 14

Microeconomics: Public Policy: Antitrust, Externalities, Public Goods

Ch. 14,

ERP Ch. 7, 8,9

Mon.  Mar. 21

Microeconomics: Labor Markets and Income Distribution

Ch. 15,

ERP  Ch. 4,5

March 28- April 1 Spring Break

Mon.  April 4

Microeconomics Discussion,

Midterm Exam


Mon.  April 11


Aggregate Output, Employment, and the Price Level

Ch. 4,

 ERP Ch. 1

Mon.  April 18

Macroeconomics: National Income & Employment Analysis, Fiscal Policy, Aggregate Demand & Aggregate Supply

Ch. 5, 6

ERP Ch. 1

Mon. April 25

Macroeconomics: Money, Banking, and Monetary Policy

Second Homework Assignment Due

Ch. 7, 8

Mon. May 2

Macroeconomics: Fiscal & Monetary Policy, Comparing the tools, and Alternative Views

Ch. 9

Mon. May 9

International Economics

Ch. 16, 17

Mon. May 16

International Economics (continued), Summary & Conclusions

Third Homework Assignment Due (Last class)

ERP Ch. 12 & 13

Mon. May 23                                          FINAL EXAM (Comprehensive)