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Posted September 2009

Fall 2009

INSTRUCTOR: Yves A. Isidor          COORDINATES Telephone: students only;  E-mail: Students only 
COURSE: ECO 105, alternately Development Economics

COURSE DESCRIPTION: When studying economics, a question both majors and non-majors are likely to ask is "What does this have to do with us?" - or more accurately, what impact does economics have on the lives of each and every citizen? This course will introduce students to development economics, focusing on related principles and concepts, to foster their ability to understand real problems faced by countries, nations and territories. Participants will examine problems and policies, within a domestic context. What are indispensable for students to increase, and extremely so, their knowledge in development economics are: Problems and policies, within an international and macro context.

Today, for most families in the United States, the bottom 60 percent of the income ladder, economic growth, for example, has become a theoretical concept rather than the wellspring of better medical care, a new car, a nice house or home - a quality of life that is superior to that of their parents.

OBJECTIVE: This course is designed for both, majors and non-majors. Economics today demands ideas with real impact. Of course, great ideas don't come out of thin air. With the immeasurably assistance of a recipient of several prestigious awards for his research and incredibly prolific writings (irresistible for some Harvard University professors, for example - please see  www.wehaitians.com) on social, economic and political issues and real-world business professional, peripatetic expert in his fields who has a desire to impart applicable knowledge and skills, participants will achieve the most educationally effective blend of theory and practice relating to the current development economics body of knowledge presented in an andragogically sound format, suggesting that their "rudimentum," or rudimentary knowledge, if any all, is consigned to the archives of history.

METHOD of INSTRUCTION: This is not because the textbook is unimportant, but primarily lectures and discussions oriented to contemporary problems, as reported in the economics news media, will be employed to provide familiarization with, and practice in applying, the concepts from this course.

REQUIRED TEXT: Economic Development - Michael P. Todaro, Stephen C. Smith (10th edition) Addison Wesley, 2008.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS/GRADING: Students are expected to attend every class. Also of cardinal importance, students are expected to be active participants, intellectually curious, adventurous or imbued with fruitful doubt. In so doing, they will not be reluctant (hopefully) to explore relevant economic issues in which they doubt their proficiency for fear of jeopardizing their ambitions. Not only do discussions on practical applications are welcome, but a concerted effort by students will be made to repudiate the idea that enrolling in this course - where higher learning and the practical business world intersect to the point that participants often envisage themselves performing at a superior level, four years or so after successfully completing their college education - is limited to getting themselves tagged for higher wages, learning how to win, importantly though this, too, may be, in an unregulated marketplace, but also being educated and, better than the next man or woman. In that sense, their education will be more than just a "positional good." By way of  alternate explanation, their education will not give their effort, including thousands of dollars spent, the very image of futility. In addition to the textbook, there will additional reading materials (i.e., newspapers or, journal articles).

All students will take quiz, mid-term and final exams. Exams will include: Multiple choice, definition and essay-questions. When submitting themselves to the rigors of the (intelligently) written essay-questions, for example, students are expected to use the proper verbs: Compare, contrast and analyze, to name only these ones, rather than GET, GET. In other words, no vernacular or street language (alternately, kitchen language), please - they are now attending college or university. Also, by answering further some of the essay-questions in a graphically sound format, including quantifying their responses, students will, more, convince the instructor that they have amassed a great deal of knowledge in the field of economics or master the relevant subject. Fast food-type (i.e., McDonald's) or "de minimus" (next to nothing) answers are not acceptable. One of the benefits of so, of course, their arduous work will most likely be translated, at least, into an acceptable grade, as the author, by way of explanation, the instructor, of this course continues to emulate Plato (Socrates' best student), who established Socratic tradition of instruction in his school, the Academy. Socratic irony - Pretended ignorance, used by Socrates as a method of instruction or to reveal inconsistencies in the arguments of an opponent.

The final grade for this course will be determined from the following activities:


QUIZ: 10%



*It is essential that all assignments be completed according to the attached schedule you will soon find below. It is not an American English language class, still each student is highly advised to purchase himself/herself or enter possession of a good dictionary.


September 2, 4                           Economics:  The Core Issues

September 7, 9                           Chapter 1.    Economics, Institutions, and Development: A Global Perspective

September 11, 14                       Chapter 2.    Comparative Development: Differences and Commonalities and among Developing Countries

September 16                             Chapter 3.    Classic Theories of Economics Development

September 18                             Chapter 4.    Contemporary Models of Development and Underdevelopment

September 21, 23, 28                 Chapter 5.    Poverty, Inequality, and Development

September 30/October 2, 5          Chapter 6.     Population Growth and Economic Development; Causes, Consequences, Controversies   

September 25                             QUIZ

October 7, 9                               Chapter 7.     Urbanization and Rural-Urban Migration: Theories and Policy

October 9, 13                             Chapter 8.     Human Capital: Education and Health in Economic Development

October 14, 16                           Chapter 9.     Agriculture: Transformation and Rural Development

October 19, 21                           Chapter 10.   The Environment and Development

October 23                                 MID-TERM       

October 26, 28, 30                     Chapter 11.     Development: Policymaking and the Roles of Markets, States and Civil Society

November 2, 4                            Chapter 12.    Trade Theory and Development Experience

November 6, 9                            Chapter 13.     Trade Policy Debate: Export Promotion, Import Substitution, and Economic Stabilization

November 11, 13, 16                  Chapter 14.     Balance of Payments, Developing Country Debt, and Issues in Macroeconomics Stabilization

November 18, 23, 25                  Chapter 15.     Foreign Finance, Investment, and Aid: Controversies and Opportunities

November 20                              QUIZ

November 20/December 2, 4      Chapter 16.      Financial Reforms and Fiscal Policy

December 7, 9, 11                       Chapter 17.     Critical Issues for the Twenty-First Century, Globalization, Technology Transfer, the Environment, Africa, and International Reform

December 14                               REVIEW

DECEMBER 17-23                   FINAL EXAM, as scheduled by the office of the Registrar (date, time, and place will be announced in class).

THANK YOU for submitting yourself to the rigors of this course. I am convinced you can now argue, with certitude, to have written the epitaph of your rudimentary economic knowledge, if any at all. As they say in the language of the FON people (a West African tribe), "Your success is my success." If I may further be of assistance, even insignificantly so, do not hesitate to contact me. HAPPY DAYS TO COME.        

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