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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Wolfram W. Latsch
JSIS 478
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Content varies from quarter to quarter.

Class description

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.

Recommended preparation

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.


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 M Jane Meyerding
Date: 10/16/2012