Theo S. Eicher
Provides the undergraduate student an opportunity to apply the tools of economic analysis in a critical examination of theoretical and empirical work. A list of topics is available in the departmental office. Prerequisite: ECON 200.
Econ 406, Winter quarter 2010 will cover the determinants of economic growth
In real terms, the average American is about six times richer today than s/he was a century ago; citizens of Hong Kong are sixteen times richer than they were fifty years ago. However, the level of income in Britain at the onset of the Industrial Revolution was not much different from that around the time of Christ. These observations emphasize the importance of economic growth, the motivate us to understand the dynamics of economic growth..
Economic growth is central to the study of economics. What determines whether future generations share increasing standards of living? Why is Britain richer than Burma? Why do lifetime incomes of observationally equivalent workers differ dramatically? Which simple policies can a government undertake to double the average income in ten to twenty-five years? Answers to such profound questions require an understanding of the basic mechanics of economic growth. The consequences for human welfare are staggering.
This seminar explores the economic foundations of growth. Readings will include works by modern growth theorists such as Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas, as well as a historic overview of the historic approaches to economic growth. Topics of discussion include questions such as "Why is there economic growth?", "Is growth 'good'?", " Is globalization good for growth", "Will growth continue forever? and "Are there limits to growth?"
Student learning goals
Critical Reading and Writing
Verbal application of economic concepts in economic analysis
Application of economic theory to policy analysis
General method of instruction
Highly interactive learning environment. Evaluation will be based to to a significant degree on verbal participation in the policy analysis and policy discussion
Class assignments and grading