Francis J. Noonan School of Business
James Padilla, J.D., Dean

Follow your passion for Economics

The study of Economics is the study of decision-making. Economics is a method of thinking rather than a doctrine—a technique that helps the individual make decisions and draw correct conclusions in an increasingly complex world. Courses in economics include topics such as individual and firm behavior, public finance, inflation, unemployment, international trade, financial markets, poverty, wage disparity, inequality, growth and development.

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With more than 80 co-curricular opportunities, including organizations relating to academic majors, national honorary and professional societies, student and residence hall government, interest groups and recreational interests, there’s something for everyone.

Loras provides a variety of opportunities for you to get involved in the Loras Community from the moment you set foot on campus! From your first year through your senior year, we have designed programs focused on providing educational and social experiences for each student. These programs will help you develop organization, problem-solving and collaboration skills along with making your Loras experience the best time of your life.

There are more than 80 co-curricular opportunities, including organizations relating to academic majors, national honorary and professional societies, student government, special interest groups and recreational interests.

If you can’t find a student organization that interests you, we’ll help you start up your own!

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From clubs and organizations to theater productions, concerts, athletic events, musical performances, intercultural programs, spiritual opportunities, there is so much for students to choose from.

From clubs and organizations to theater productions, concerts, athletic events, musical performances, intercultural programs, spiritual opportunities, there is so much for students to choose from.
Loras College provides a stimulating social climate for the campus and allows students to enjoy a diverse array of programs and entertainment.

On any given night of the week, students can enjoy a number of social opportunities. From clubs and organizations to theater productions, athletic events, musical performances, intercultural programs and spiritual opportunities, there is so much for students to choose from. In addition, the College Activities Board provides a variety of entertainment including: comedians, game shows, coffeehouses and concerts every weekend.

In addition, the College Activities Board provides a variety of entertainment including: comedians, game shows, coffeehouses and concerts every weekend.

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Our undergraduate Business Analytics program is a truly interdisciplinary major with applications in all areas of business. Students embarking on this path will develop solid skills in data mining and methods of discovery, all while exploring the role of ethics and the social value associated with big data collection and usage.

Loras College is a leader in analytics, and our undergraduate program is part of our Center for Business Analytics that includes an MBA in Analytics and a Certificate in Analytics.

These programs generate a culture of data science and offer students a glimpse into the diverse opportunities available beyond graduation.

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Scholarships are available exclusively for economics minors and are awarded on an annual basis.

There are several scholarships available for economics minors and are awarded on an annual basis.

  • Om Batish Scholarship in Economics
  • Reverend Edmund Kurth Memorial Scholarships in Economics
  • Professor Francis Noonan Scholarship in Accounting, Business, and Economics

Recipients must be of junior or senior status and carry a 3.0 GPA or better to be eligible.

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The Loras College Economics Club is a student-run social and academic organization.

There are several meetings per semester where students participate in a variety of events: speakers, career planning and placement forums, papers presented by students and faculty.

Students have taken the initiative to seek out Student Senate funding for various projects and have participated in service projects throughout the Dubuque community: most notably, volunteering to work at the Dubuque Arboretum in the spring and fall semesters and for their Clean Up Campaigns.

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Requirements for Economics Minor
Req Course Cr’s
1 L.ECO-221: Principles of Microeconomics 3
2 L.ECO-222: Principles of Macroeconomics 3
3 L.ECO-321: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 3
4 L.ECO-322: Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory 3
5 Elective: Any additional Economics course 3
6 Elective: Any additional Economics course 3
18 total required credits
Course Descriptions

L.ECO-221: Principles of Microeconomics

Have you ever wondered why airlines charge higher prices when you walk in off the street than if you call in advance? (or why movie theaters charge children half-price tickets when they take up a whole seat? why bars have happy hours, or senior citizen discounts, or why the government taxes cigarettes and alcohol?) This class gives insight into the market system and how it works. Students will uncover the workings of the free market system to discover how prices are determined and how other economic decisions are made. 3 credits.

L.ECO-222: Principles of Macroeconomics

Why is the U.S. standard of living higher than that of most other countries, and what does the standard of living depend on? What causes the unemployment rate to rise, and why do some countries suffer from inflation? What determines the exchange rate between the dollar and the Euro? These questions and more will be discussed as students learn more about the economy in which they live. This course can be taken prior to L.ECO-221. 3 credits.

L.ECO-236: Quest for Ethical Development-AV

This class focuses on the relationship between developing and developed countries and the impact of economic progress on the global environment. Who benefits from economic growth and development? Why have some countries grown so rich while others have remained so poor? What has been the effect of economic development on women? Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-120, L.LIB­130, or L.LIB-135. 3 credits.

L.ECO-237: Community/Identity in Urban America-AI

Eighty-five percent of all Americans now live in or near 350 cities. A variety of institutional, technological and economic factors contributed to this urban metamorphosis. Students will investigate this urbanization process as well as the myths and realities of our rural and urban culture as they transformed our personal identity and shaped our communities and institutions. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-120, L.LIB-130, or L.LIB-135. 3 credits.

L.ECO-254: God, Catholicism & Capitalism-AV

The basic task of any economic system is the production of enough goods and services for its own survival. The burdens of production and the spoils of distribution are often inequitably allocated among members of society. Why is there poverty among great wealth? Why are populations allowed to starve while others do not have enough space for their garbage? This course utilizes Catholic social teaching and various ethics theories to explore economic and social issues that plague societies and to explore the meaning and measurement of fairness or justice. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.ECO-321: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

A theoretical analysis of the pricing and output decisions of firms and industries within a free market economy. Required for majors and minors. Prerequisites: L.ECO-221 and 222. Not open to first year students. 3 credits.

L.ECO-322: Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

Our ability to achieve our economic goals (full employment, price stability and economic growth) depends upon a theoretical understanding of how these goals are measured, what causes the frequent ups and downs of the business cycle, and what policy prescriptions (monetary and fiscal) are available to mitigate these fluctuations. Required for majors and minors. Prerequisites: L.ECO-221 and 222. Not open to first year students. 3 credits.

L.ECO-334: International Trade:

An introduction to the theory of international trade, balance of payments behavior, the causes and consequences of public policies to control trade and foreign exchange rates, the process of international payment mechanisms and their effects on national economies. Not open to first year students. 3 credits.

L.ECO-335: Comparative Economic Systems

A study of the theoretical and institutional aspects of current economic systems throughout the world. Discussion focuses upon the different forms of capitalism in the Western world and various kinds of socialism, with particular emphasis upon countries that are in transition from socialism to capitalism. Not open to first year students. 3 credits.

L.ECO-336: Economic Development

Why do some countries grow faster than others? Why is the standard of living so much higher in the U.S. than in, say, India? How can we be assured that a country’s standard of living will continue to increase so that its children can enjoy a better life? The study of economic development addresses these questions and many more. Not open to first year students. 3 credits.

L.ECO-345: Monetary Theory & Policy

The recent financial crisis (2008-09) and subsequent recession has resulted in a greater emphasis upon the theoretical, institutional, and regulatory underpinnings of our (as well as the global) monetary and financial system. This course emphasizes the importance of money, interest rates, government policy, the Federal Reserve and their influence on the economy. Not open to first year students. 3 credits.

L.ECO-346: Public Finance

The federal government spends trillions of dollars each year. What are the areas of expenditure and what would society gain or lose in each by spending more or less in each? Most of this money is raised by taxes. What is the effect of these taxes on the economy? Is there a way to make the tax and expenditure system more efficient and/or more equitable? These and other issues will be discussed, inclusive of taxes and spending at the state and local level. Not open to first year students. 3 credits.

L.ECO-349: Government, Business & the Public Sector

A study of the relationship between market power and economic performance and the role of government in the U.S. economy combined with a survey of U.S. antitrust laws, taxation, and public utility regulation. Not open to first year students. 3 credits.

L.ECO-351: Labor Economics

An overview of the factors affecting the labor market and their policy implications, along with a history and analysis of the labor movement and collective bargaining. Not open to first year students. 3 credits.

L.ECO-353: History of Economic Thought

A study of the emergence of economics, the only social science to award a Nobel Prize, takes us down a fascinating road of ideas and individuals, but one filled with intellectual detours and analytical dead ends. We meet Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, who was reported to have been so lost in thought that he fell into a hole in the street as he was walking. After reading Thomas Malthus’ Essay on Population, Charles Darwin developed his main ideas contributing to The Origin of the Species. Not open to first year students. 3 credits.

L.ECO-419: Econometrics

Econometrics is a primary tool for both macroeconomics and microeconomics. With help from the instructor, students will design, set up, and analyze econometric models on the cause and effects of economic and social issues that may include crime, inflation, economic growth, the stock market and education. Prerequisites: L.ECO-221, 222, and L.BUS-250 or L.MAT-115. 3 credits.

L.ECO-490: Economics Seminar

The objectives of this course are to set up and seek solutions to economics issues: inflation, unemployment, crime, the interest rate, Federal Reserve Bank policy, international trade, economic growth and many other issues. Through the application of theoretical models such as the IS-LM, AS-AD, and the money market models, and the use of cost/benefit and econometric models, students will put economic theory to the test by completing a thesis that attempts to explain real life phenomena. Required for majors. Restrictions: Open only to students with senior status. 3 credits.

Questions? Contact Us!

James Padilla, J.D.
Francis J. Noonan School of Business Dean
563.588.7405 |

Dean Padilla is the first Dean in the history of the Francis J. Noonan School of Business arriving in July 2018. Prior to Loras College, he served as the Associate Dean of the School of Business and Technology at Marymount University in Arlington, VA. He has served as a Professor of Sport Management and Business Law at other institutions over the past 14 years prior to his rise in administration.

His professional career spans over 20 years, where he rose to executive leadership in the sports insurance industry serving as President of an insurance brokerage prior to entering academia. During his time in the sports insurance industry, he has managed numerous accounts on behalf of such organizations as Sony Recording, the Chicago White Sox, the New York Yankees and hundreds of notable athletes. Over the years,, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune have interviewed him for his perspective on injury and insurance issues. To this day, many continue to seek out his expert advice and he continues to serve as a consultant for Braman Insurance in Merrillville, IN.

Originally from the Chicago area and a proud graduate of St. Laurence High School (Burbank, IL), he and his family now reside in Dubuque. He received his undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University. He also received his Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale, IL and an Executive Certificate in Sports Management from Loyola University-Chicago.

Biniv Maskay, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Economics
563.588.7915 |

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Biniv K. Maskay is an empirical macroeconomist with research interests in economic growth and development, open-economy monetary policy, financial development, international financial integration, international trade and foreign direct investments. He received his Ph.D. in 2012 from the University of Kentucky, where he also served as the Instructor of Record. He has taught courses such as Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Statistics for Business and Economics, Money and Banking, International Economics and Growth and Development at Loras College and the University of Kentucky.

Jennifer Smith, P.h.D.
Associate Professor of Economics
563.588.7952 |

Dr. Smith earned her BS in mathematics and an MA in economics at Illinois State University. After being employed by an insurance company as an Actuarial Research Analysis for five years, she enrolled at Northern Illinois University to earn a Ph.D. in economics. While completing her graduate degrees, she taught classes at Heartland Community College, Illinois Wesleyan University, and Northern Illinois University. Upon completing her Ph.D., she taught two years at Illinois Wesleyan University. In 2009 Dr. Smith joined the faculty at Loras College. Dr. Smith has research interests in maternal employment or non-employment on childhood obesity. Dr. Smith has been an expert witness in wrongful death lawsuits and contributed chapters to an Economic Terms research text.

She has taught a variety of courses including: Introduction to Microeconomics, Introduction to Macroeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomics, History of Economic Thought, Public Finance, Economics of Poverty, Gender, Race, and Immigration, Econometrics, Senior Seminar Research, Labor Economics, Comparative Economic Structures, Democracy and Global Diversity, and Managerial Economics (MBA course).