Course Descriptions

ECON 601      Energy Economics I 

Introduces the energy sector to students, discusses key aspects of energy supply, demand and pricing, and is foundational for the MEECON degree. Topics include optimal extraction of depletable resources, Investment in energy-using capital, trade of energy commodities, storage, end-use demand and energy efficiency, and the relationship between economic activity, energy and the environment. Students learn to apply dynamic optimization, linear programming and econometric techniques in addressing the course topics. Graduate/Undergraduate Equivalency: ECON 437. Mutually Exclusive: Credit cannot be earned for ECON 601 and ECON 437.

ECON 602      Microeconomics of the Energy Sector 

Covers basic microeconomic concepts and applies them to contemporary issues in the energy sector. Topics covered include demand and supply analysis, market equilibrium and different market structures, international trade, investment and capacity expansion, risk and investment finance, and economic analysis of energy policy including environmental policy.  This course enables students to apply quantitative microeconomic theory in order to make data-driven recommendations to case studies presented by industry partners.

ECON 603      Applied Econometrics for Energy Markets

Students will be introduced to basic concepts in statistical analysis and how to use statistical tools to analyze economic data and test economic theories. The course includes a laboratory session where students practice using the tools discussed in lectures with data that is particularly relevant to the energy industry. 

ECON 604      Energy Economics II

Explores a variety of topics in energy modeling and energy data analysis. Topics include optimal extraction of depletable resources, game theoretic approaches to OPEC behavior, national oil company behavior, models of storable energy commodities and energy demand by end-use sector, energy security and fundamental drivers of commodity prices. This course tasks students to expand on the dynamic optimization problems and econometric techniques applied to energy economics. Credit may be earned by only one of the following courses: ECON 604 or ECON 547. Mutually Exclusive: Credit cannot be earned for ECON 604 and ECON 547.

ECON 605      Taxation in the Energy Sector 

Introduces basic principles of taxation, and general equilibrium modeling of the economic effects of taxes, and applies them to federal and state taxes on the energy sector. Topics include royalties resource rent taxes, corporate income taxes including international tax issues such as transfer pricing and income shifting, excess profit taxes, production-sharing agreements, and environmental taxes.  Students will formulate, implement, and use quantitative models to solve problems related to private and public decision making in the context of taxes applied to U.S. energy systems.

ECON 606      Corporate Finance for the Energy Sector

Examines the investment decisions of corporations, the valuation of stock, bonds and options investments by individual investors. The implications of investor decisions for corporations, and specifically the manner in which they evaluate investment projects and finance investments are a core focus. Examples and case studies focus on the energy sector.  Students will increase their understanding of financing and investment decision as they relate to energy companies and energy related projects using analytical and mathematical techniques to make data-driven recommendation to real-world problems.

ECON 607      The Economics of Energy and the Environment

This course provides students with an introduction to, and overview of, policies to protect environmental resources against emissions from energy production and use and hazardous wastes.  The first part of the course will present an economic analysis of the costs and benefits of using different types of policies to control emissions from fossil fuel use. The remainder of the course, taught from a practitioner’s perspective, will discuss the interrelationship between science, institutions and politics when designing environmental policy. The focus will be on problems associated with oil and gas production – especially water contamination and use – and hazardous waste disposal.

ECON 608      Risk Management in the Energy Industry

This course introduces quantitative risk management techniques often employed in the energy industry. It covers topics such as real options, value at risk, conditional value at risk, and expected shortfall, as well as the use of derivatives for trading and hedging various risk exposures. The course is methodologically self-contained and provides students with hands-on experience with state-of-the-art software to measure and manage risk-adjusted returns of heterogeneous asset portfolios. 

ECON 610      Energy and the Macroeconomy

Discusses connections between energy and economic activity at the regional, national, and international level, and especially the role of energy shocks in economic fluctuations, innovations in energy supply as drivers of regional economic growth, and the role of energy commodities in transportation and international trade.

ECON 611      Geopolitics of Energy 

Explores the geopolitical issues around energy security and trade by focusing on role of energy as the world's largest business and a strategic requirement of the modern nation-state, a source of power in international relations, and a major influence on national politics and institutions.  This course equips students with the analytical skills to inform policy debates, advocate for the interests of principals, and advise policy makers and firms amid rapid changes in energy markets.  Students learn both to produce sound empirical analysis by employing state of the art econometric techniques and to be discerning consumers of empirical research.

ECON 614      The Political Economy of Oil in Developing Countries 

This course evaluates the political and economic determinants of oil and gas policies in developing countries and their impact on world markets, the interaction between states and oil companies, the challenges of oil wealth management, and the causal links between resource dependency, development, institutions, and political regimes. Although the main focus is on oil production, natural gas is also analyzed, and both are compared to other natural resources.  Emphasis is on the analysis of institutional change and the functions of institutional change in the energy industry using data-driven methods to examine case studies.  Must be in Masters of Energy Economics Program.

ECON 621      The Economics of the Electricity Industry 

Discusses the determinants of the cost of electricity, the effects of organizing the industry in different ways, the need to encourage sufficient investment in reserve capacity, and the use of information technology to allow for new ways of pricing electricity, operating the network and coordinating supply and demand.  Students will learn to analyze the behavior of power markets, the effect of different policies, and draw empirical solutions to the real-world issues.

ECON 622      Transportation Economics

Discusses transportation as a major source of energy demand in modern post-industrial economies and of future demands in emerging economies. Emphasizes that the demand for energy use in the transportation sector involves modeling household choices, economic growth and demographic transition, government decisions to support transportation infrastructure development, and the introduction of new technologies.  Students will apply problem solving and analytical skills to perform calculations related to transportation energy and its environmental impact. 

ECON 699      Internship- Energy Economics 

Projects developed by an industry advisory group to be researched and presented to participating industry at completion of all course work. Internships with an approved employer may be substituted.  Emphasis on skill building components may include: analyzing data for accuracy and reconciliation across different sources, quantitative analysis and risk assessment of a firm’s portfolio of assets and capital investment opportunities, and briefing expert and non-expert audiences.