Needs, Wants, and Economic Rights (PEC2279.01)

Emma Kast

Commodities such as cars, smartphones, laptops, and refrigerators were initially considered luxuries but are now widely viewed as everyday necessities. This shift suggests that our understanding of need is shaped by social, historical, and cultural context. In this class we will explore questions such as: how do we distinguish what we want from what we need to live a dignified life? Moreover, how might societies determine which types of needs should be satisfied through market exchange and which should not? Is the recognition of economic rights as important as the recognition of political rights? Through critical exploration of both heterodox and neoclassical economic texts, we will examine the concepts of subsistence, scarcity, abundance, need, want, preference, choice, and right.

Learning Outcomes:
• Develop and sharpen writing, reading, and analytical skills
• Evaluate concepts such as subsistence, scarcity, abundance, need, want, preference, right, and choice through the lens of political economy
• Examine and compare heterodox and neoclassical perspectives on the role of the market and the state through written analysis and discussion

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 2:10PM - 4:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

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