Business Economics Major

Major | Business Economics

The Business Economics major is for students who want to work in the fields of international business or economic policy. In this major, students learn economics in a composite framework and explore ways of applying their knowledge in the business context.

Business Economics

Behavioral Economics
This course will expose students to major topics from the recent development of Behavioral Economics. The particular topics covered include: prospect theory, reference dependent preferences and loss aversion, hyperbolic discounting, projection bias, heuristics and biases, and financial market anomalies.
Business Planning
Making a good business plan, as well as presenting it to audiences that could include supervisors in your organization or investors, are the keys to successful implementation of a new project in a company, or to starting up your new business. In this module, students will: 1) learn the basics of business planning; 2) look at several examples of business planning; 3) learn and practice ways of making a business plan; and 4) practice presenting those business plans to audiences. The classes will mainly consist of lectures, but students will have various opportunities to think, write and discuss their own business plans in the second half of the classes. 
Business Presentation
This course is an introductory course on presentation skills in a business context. Public speaking skills will be taught, including effective use of visual materials (i.e., PowerPoint). Students will also learn how to give constructive feedback to others. Students must be prepared to create presentation materials, to present in front of a class, and to give and receive feedback. After completion of this course, students should be confident in their abilities as an effective communicator.
Consumer Culture
This is a course on consumer behavior that examines consumption as social and cultural phenomena. Students will learn to analyze the sociological and psychological impacts of buying and spending behavior from an interdisciplinary perspective. Prior knowledge is not required. However, "Introduction to Marketing" is recommended as a prerequisite.
  Corporate Finance
Development Economics
This course introduces key issues in economic development of developing and transitional countries, and considers theoretical aspects as well as policy implications. By using various economic data sets provided by international organizations, it also introduces simple macroeconomic development analysis of selected Asian countries. Intermediate level macroeconomics and microeconomics are required.
This is an introductory course in the theory and practice of the econometric methods. The main components of the course deal with the economic applications of the linear multiple regression model, identification and structural estimation in simultaneous models, and analysis of economic behavior.
Economic Development in Asia
While this course covers East Asia as the area, it focuses on the Chinese economy. The major objective is to introduce the strategies of economic development China has pursued in the past 30 years, making clear the outcomes of those strategies by using the statistical data. No special knowledge is required to take this course.
Economic History of Japan
This course overviews the evolution of Japanese economic history, emphasizing the institutional foundations of its postwar economic development. Topics include: Japanese economic growth and its economic miracle, Japan's "lost decades", transition to a more effective economic structure, other key topics such as the development of currency systems, institutions of public finance, transportation, international trade, deregulation, and research and development.
 Entrepreneurship and Innovation
This course focuses on how companies make investment and financing decisions. Topics covered include: determination of interest rates, the time-value of money, annuities, security valuation, capital budgeting, the tradeoff between risk and expected return, the cost of capital, financial leverage, and capital structure policies.
Financial Accounting
Game Theory
This is an introductory course on game theory. Game Theory is a powerful tool to understand various strategic situations between people, companies, and nations. Game theory has become fundamental to modern economic theory, both micro- and macroeconomics. Students will learn how to think strategically and use the basic methods of game theory, the payoff matrix and the game tree.
Gender in Business
In considering gender in business, you might come up with many questions: do you think there are big differences in terms of skills and abilities between men and women in business?; if you are a woman, would you be prepared to spend long years in the business world establishing business career?; if you are a man, are you comfortable with working with female supervisors?; why are there more men than women in leadership positions? In order to address these questions, the course will review gender related issues in business from a variety of perspectives and from different dimensions. While textbook studies will mainly focus on American cases, we will examine, analyze and discuss cases from various countries in class.
Global Marketing
The Global Marketing course focuses on opportunities and challenges created by globalization. It examines cross-cultural and management issues in an international marketplace. The aim of this course is to enable students to better analyze and understand the opportunities and challenges that companies face when expanding their activities internationally and when dealing within international competitors in their home markets. We draw from current business periodicals to raise our awareness of what is happening in the marketing environment and how trends affect industries, markets, and the effectiveness of strategies that marketers employ. Special attention is placed upon different tools and analytic competences to marketing managerial roles when competing internationally.
Human Resources Management
The human resource function of modern organizations is critical, as people are our most important resource. The course is a survey of theory and practices, and current issues facing organizations as related to attracting, selecting, and maintaining a productive workforce in today's competitive operating environment. Students will examine the changing roles and responsibilities of human resources managers, the responsibilities of organizational leadership for incorporating human resource issues in strategic planning and initiatives with emphasis on current legal considerations.
Institutions and Business Transformation
Globalization has brought radical changes in the industrial structure, business activities, the production system, and people's ideological orientation. These changes are so complex and intense that new adaptation in business activities requires not only to respond to external environments, but also to accommodate local movements in each country. Constant struggles are taking place to find better ways of coping with such changes, especially by developing governance structures which harmonize diverse actors in both global and national contexts. This course attempts to understand such changes, capturing the essence of global institutional transformation and its impact on business activities. The first half of the course focuses on learning diverse institutional perspectives, helpful to understand global institutional transformation. In the second half, as a way of getting involved in such transformation, students collectively develop projects in newly developing business fields, such as ventures firms, the base of the pyramid (BOP) and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
International Economics
This course examines various issues on trade, trade policy and open monetary economies theoretically and empirically. Specific questions to be addressed include: What gains do the nations get from trading each other according to the comparative advantage? What are the characteristics of modern trade? What are the traditional and new theories of trade policy? What is the role of World Trade Organization? How are an economy's trade and financial transactions with the rest of the world recorded in balance-of-payments accounts? Under what mechanism is an open economy's national income determined together with its trade balance? Prior knowledge on the subject is not required.
International Finance
This is an advanced international finance class for graduate students. We cover advanced theory as well as empirical frameworks to analyze various important policy-relevant issues in International Finance. The aim is to be able to read, reproduce, and finally write an original academic paper (theoretical and/or empirical) for a deep understanding- of the subject. 
International Politics
This is a survey course on international politics. The course examines various issues on war and peace from theoretical and historical perspectives. Specific questions to be addressed include: Why do people and nations resort to violence to resolve conflicts? Is the logic of state behavior different from that of human behavior? Under what conditions are nations more likely to cooperate? Prior knowledge on the subject is not required.
International Trade
This course will cover the basic tools to understand what determines the international flow of goods across countries, i.e. international trade. In addition to learn various theories of determination of trade, the course will also apply the theories we learn in the class to current topics, including (backlash of) globalization, free trade agreements, the role of WTO, U.S. current account deficit, China’s trade surplus, and Japan’s trade performance since the end of the World War II, etc. 
Japanese Industrial and Business Development
This course analyzes the development of the Japanese industrial and business systems from the Meiji Restoration (1868) to the present, focusing on diverse factors that have directly contributed to the development of Japanese industry and business practices. Relying on the analytical framework of institutional economics, I shall inquire how these systems historically coped with problems and transformed themselves to be more efficient and effective in order to strengthen or preserve international competitiveness. Focused are such factors as industrial organization, government business relations, trading firms, distribution systems, management systems, and industrial relations.
Japanese Multinational Corporations
The major aims of this course are to prepare and develop students for a career in International Business Management with focus on Japan as well as to study strategic management of multinational corporations (MNCs) and the changing global environmental forces, structures, and institutions which impact on and influence the operation of the MNCs, with particular emphasis on Japanese Multinationals.
This course examines the determination of the macroeconomic variables such as national income, unemployment, inflation, investment and interest rates. After a brief introduction to macroeconomic data, the course is divided into three sections. The first studies the long-run behavior of aggregate measures of the economy. The second section focuses on the determinants of economic growth. In the third section, a model is developed to characterize short-run economic fluctuations. Throughout the course, we consider macroeconomic policies and particular economic issues of current interest.
  Managerial Accounting
Marketing Research
This course will provide an introduction to market research as a business decision-making tool. The primary goal of this course is to equip students with an understanding of how market research can help them make business decisions and how they can transform research findings into actionable business insights. The course also aims to help students gain the ability to evaluate and interpret research designed and conducted by outside providers. During the course, we will discuss a wide range of research methods and their application to the services and non-profit sectors. Students will have the opportunity to define a business problem, develop a research plan, collect and analyze data and present findings and their implications as a class project. 
Marketing Strategy
This is an intermediate level course that builds on students' marketing knowledge. Students will apply their understanding of basic principles to current issues in marketing including: online marketing, global marketing, and social marketing. International and Japanese case studies will be used as the basis for in-class discussions. "Introduction to Marketing" is required as a prerequisite.
This course introduces students to some of the fundamental ideas and tools of standard microeconomic theory and their applications to various business and policy issues. The topics include: demand and supply, consumer behavior, theory of the firm, markets and welfare, general equilibrium, strategic behavior, information economics, and market failures. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the concepts and models of microeconomics to real world problems.
  Money and Banking
Organizational Behavior
This course covers the foundation for the study and application of organizational behavior. The perspective, historical background, methodology and theoretical framework for human behavior in organizations are studied. Attention is given to the micro perspective (perception, personality and attitudes, motivation, and learning), the dynamics (group dynamics, conflict, stress, power and politics, and leadership), and organizational culture. Applications for performance improvement, organizational change, and development are stressed.
Social Businesses in Japan
Social businesses are businesses that provide products and services with social, ethical, and/or environmental objectives. This course will examine the theory and practice of social businesses using Japanese businesses as case studies. Japanese consumers' responses to social businesses and their products/services will also be explored. Prior knowledge of the subject is not required.
Sports Economics
This course examines various issues in the economics of sports. Topics covered include: the industrial organization of sports, public finance and sports, labor markets in professional sports, and the decision making of athletes. This course is particularly suited for those who are interested in pursuing careers in sports business and management.
Thesis Writing Seminar
This course is highly recommended for students planning to write an undergraduate thesis or advanced research paper. The seminar is designed to provide students with important guidelines and skills for how to develop a topic, how to find and organize sources, and how to organize and present at thesis proposal.
Strategic Management
"What must managers do, and do well, to make the company a winner in the game of business?" The answer is that good strategy-making and good strategy-execution are the key ingredients of company success and the most reliable signs of good management. The mission of the course is to explore why good strategic management leads to good business performance, to present the basic concepts and tools of strategic analysis, and to drill you in the methods of crafting a well-conceived strategy and executing it competently. Unlike other business courses that concentrate narrowly on a particular function or piece of the business—accounting, finance, marketing, production, human resources , this course cuts across the whole spectrum of business and management. The center of attention is the total enterprise–-the industry and competitive environment in which it operates, its long-term direction and strategy, its resources and competitive capabilities, and its prospects for success.
  Tourism: Analysis and Planning
Workshops are to be offered for some of Business Economics major courses. Each workshop is designed to complement the relevant course (which is mostly lecture-oriented) by providing students with more opportunities for discussions, exercises, experiments, simulations, programming, etc. Students should be able to deepen their understanding of the subject thorough the active learning process.
Undergraduate Thesis
A student who wishes to write an undergraduate thesis must: a) acquire at least 80 course credits in advance, b) submit an Undergraduate Thesis Proposal, and c) register for the Undergraduate Thesis course. It is the student's responsibility to find a thesis supervisor and obtain his/her consent before registering for the course. A supervisor will meet the student on a regular basis during the semester to insure that a thesis will be completed on time and in a satisfactory manner. It is highly recommended, though not required, that the student take the English for Thesis Writing course prior to registering for this course.
Masahito Watanabe

Masahito Watanabe

Associate Professor, Economics Ph.D., Georgetown University

"Exploring a living, dynamic form of economics and business that incorporates Japanese cases"

People need to apply the concepts of economics in actual business settings. That's why I hope students not only master the theories behind various ideas but also take a practical approach to learning how to take advantage of those concepts in the real world. I also want to make sure that there's a real local, Japanese element to the course content by bringing in lots of Japanese cases and touching on the current conditions of Japanese business.


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