ECON 217
The Economics of National Defense
Last Offered Fall 2021
Division II
Cross-listed LEAD 214
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

National defense is one of the largest components of the US Federal Budget (~15%) and remains a significant part of the nation’s GDP (~3%). The study of defense economics in this course will apply principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics to analyze, within the context of national security strategy and policy, issues concerning resource allocation in wartime and peacetime, labor supply and demand, industrial organization and defense acquisition, and the formation and maintenance of alliances. While the focus of the course will be on economics, to provide context on what makes defense economics a special topic, we will also consider questions unique to the military such as how to deter conflict, how to fight wars, how to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to civilians in conflict or disaster areas, and how the national defense may adapt to issues like climate change. We will also consider historical examples from America’s wars–e.g., the Civil War, World War 2, Vietnam, and the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The plan is to use a variety of sources–academic materials, popular media such as news footage and films, and guest speakers–to provide a full-range of perspective on the course topics.
The Class: Format: lecture; Mix of lecture and discussion
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 1489
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Individual Papers, Group Paper and Presentation, Midterm and Final Exam
Prerequisites: ECON 110 and ECON 120
Enrollment Preferences: Juniors and seniors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ECON 217 Division II LEAD 214 Division II

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