Wolfram W. Latsch
Content varies from quarter to quarter.
Institutions, Growth and the Environment. This class will look at the relationships between economic growth, prosperity and the environment. Some argue that economic growth and increased resource use will prove devastating in environmental terms; others argue that the forces involved in economic growth and innovation will or do result in greater compatibility of environmental protection and the increases in living standards that are required to lift many billions of people out of poverty. We will look at arguments from both sides, particularly from the perspective of economics and political economy. We will look at different ideas about economic growth, especially the role of ideas and innovation, and at how small and large institutions create and manage valuable resources.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Specific readings include recent works on the nature of prosperity, on understanding common property resources that operate between markets and hierarchies, and on threats to the environment that emanate from poverty and political conflict. Through these readings we will explore the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development, an important part of the debate on growth and the environment.
Students with a basic background in economics will find this course particularly useful.
Class assignments and grading
Short assignment due in every class meeting, one or two longer written assignments applying concepts and ideas to current issues and debates.