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COURSE NUMBER: ECON 325
COURSE TITLE: The Economics of Development
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Gerda Kits
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course identifies the nature and causes of the development and underdevelopment of countries and regions, emphasizing the poor. It explores development as a multi-dimensional process of change that happens in the context of social, political, technical and cultural conditions. The focus here is how economics relates to most of these. An overview of main theories (including how they arose historically) will be given and the main current issues in development will be reviewed. Development policies in poor countries and regions as well as international efforts to assist in their development, will round off the course.

Prerequisites: ECON 203, GEOG 210, or SSCI 210
REQUIRED TEXTS: Michael P. todaro and Stephen C. Smith. Economic Development (11th edition). Addison-Wesley, 2012.
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Tutorial quizzes10%
Participation10%
Course project25%
Midterm 115%
Midterm 215%
Comprehensive final exam25%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: News stories about starving families, refugees, and children working in sweatshops naturally elicit our compassion. We do not want people to suffer, and our impulse – and Christian calling – is to help them. However, our immediate responses, such as giving money, sending goods, or volunteering, are often ineffective in the long run, and can even be harmful.  Effective and long-lasting solutions to poverty must address the reasons why people are poor in the first place, rather than simply offering band-aid solutions to current problems. Doing this requires that we understand the complex economic, political, social, environmental, and spiritual conditions that together form the root causes of poverty.

A complete understanding of poverty and development is far too large a goal for a single course. This course focuses on how the economic sphere can contribute to improving people’s lives, particularly in the Global South, in a way that also supports other facets of development. By the end of this course, you should be able to: 
  • Locate, present, and interpret empirical data to describe the economic conditions in a country.
  • Draw on economic theories, empirical evidence, and historical context to explain why these conditions exist and how they contribute to poverty.
  • Propose and justify programs and policies that can help solve these problems.
  • Describe the links between these factors and the other political, social, environmental, and/or spiritual factors that also play a role in poverty and development.
  • Critically assess and evaluate what you have learned from a Christian perspective.
COURSE OUTLINE:
  • Jan. 5 Welcome and introduction to the course
  • Jan. 8-10 Understandings of development (Ch. 1)
  • Jan. 12-15 Indicators of poverty and development (Ch. 2)
  • Jan. 17-22 Theories of economic growth (Ch. 3, 4)
  • Jan. 24 No class – I.S. Conference
  • Jan. 26-Feb. 2 History, colonialism and geography (Johnson & Robinson; Woodberry)
  • Feb. 5-7 Inequality (Ch. 5)
  • Feb. 9-12 Population (Ch. 6)
  • Feb. 14 Midterm #1
  • Feb. 16 Health and education (Ch. 8)
  • Feb. 19-23 No classes - reading week 
  • Feb. 26-28  Health and education con’t (Ch. 8)
  • Mar. 2-7 Agriculture (Ch. 9)
  • Mar. 9-14 The environment and development (Ch. 10)
  • Mar. 16-21  Traditional economies (Kuokkanen)
  • Mar. 23 Midterm #2
  • Mar. 26-28 Development policy (Ch. 11)
  • Mar. 30, Apr. 2 No classes - Good Friday and Easter Monday
  • Apr. 4-6 Development and trade (Ch. 12)
  • Apr. 9-11 Debt and financial crises (Ch. 13)
  • Apr. 13-16 Development and aid (Ch. 14)
  • TBD Final exam (date to be set by Registry)


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