What is economics? (PEC2270.01)

Lopamudra Banerjee

“Economics is what economists do” says Jacob Viner. But what do economists do? And, how do they do it? This seminar will be concerned with these two questions. Our main objective will be to develop an understanding of economics as a field of study and to explore how economics is applied to understand the large issues of our time that affect our everyday material wellbeing. Our concern will be with the contemporary leading global economic challenges such as world poverty, health crisis and conflict, global corporations and competition in a new era of globalization, environmental degradation and energy crisis, work and unemployment, inequality and social exclusion for both developed and developing economies. In examining these large issues, we will explore how economists view the world and how economics has evolved as an intellectual and moral discipline.

This is an introductory course and it has no prerequisites. The course has two requirements: [a] deep reading of assigned materials and related homework assignments, and [b] class participation based on the reading of assigned materials [You should not miss a class. Before coming to class, you must engage carefully with the assigned materials, and you must participate seriously in class discussions.]

We will explore the basic ideas in the course verbally and through written expositions, and make use of case studies to provide evidential support to our arguments. We will also explore how to read graphs, figures and facts that substantiate our economic opinions. All students (irrespective of their years of college) are welcome to attend this course. No prior knowledge of economics is necessary to take this course.

The course is designed to help students [1] to gain a critical understanding of key economic principles and apply them to the study of critical global economic issues of our time, and [2] guide them in formulating their own analytical questions as they expand their knowledge through active, self-determined investigation. Throughout this course, students will expand their capabilities for economic reasoning, and progress in their capacities to inquire, engage and communicate.

The course will be taught through synchronous meeting each week to be attended by all students in the class for lectures, class discussions and collective sharing of ideas. There will be occasional remote classes held online together with the more-frequent in-person meetings. There may also be occasional asynchronous group tutorial meetings [normally between four or five students and the course instructor] based around conversations on students’ work and research questions.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Political Economy , Updates
Tags: , , , ,