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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Wolfram W. Latsch
CSDE 595
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Population Studies

Examination of current substantive and methodological topics in demography. Content varies according to recent developments in the field and interest of the instructor.

Class description

The idea behind the course is to introduce students to concepts, tools and ideas used in political economy to understand the way people use and manage resources as they construct livelihoods for themselves. I am an economist with an interest in economic development and economic history, and political economy tries to understand the way institutions work and how they mediate between individuals and resources, and how institutions affect people's decisions to have children or invest in children. "Institutions" include markets but also non-market institutions and states and the rules that communities design and enforce to enable cooperation and manage risks. This course will introduce the concepts and tools necessary to think about human institutions, concepts such as property rights and exchange, and apply these ideas to issues such as "sustainable development", population growth, the management of common-pool resources, the historical evolution of institutions, and the dynamics of institutional change as they relate to populations, environment and development. Readings will include introductory texts on property rights and collective action, on the evolution of institutions in Africa and on the challenges of institutional change and reform. The course does NOT assume familarity with economics or any particular social science! The concepts and tools used have a wide variety of applications and can be appreciated and used broadly, this course will introduce them in a largely non-technical fashion!

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Wolfram W. Latsch
Date: 02/22/2006