Latest version of this page
|Meetings:||Thursdays 0900h-1200h, MM Seminar Room 3-1 (2016-2017 Sem 2)|
|E-Comms:||D.Quah@nus.edu.sg | @DannyQuah | /DannyQuah|
|Office:||OTH, Wing A, #02-03a; +65.6601.5506|
|Related Pages:||PP5183 homepage | Presentations Schedule | Making Course Presentations | Writing Course Papers|
|Synopsis||All emerging economies face common challenges: usually, inadequate resources; otherwise, waste and distortion; often, corruption and technological deficiency. Developed nations can demonstrate best practice. But they can also foist on developing countries restrictions on favored pathways to success: tight boundaries between state and market; unhelpful interpretations of political freedoms, intellectual property rights regimes, open capital markets; a constraining carbon-sensitive global environment — conditions that, while claimed universalist, did not operate when today's advanced economies started their climb to success. All these problems test Asia's emerging economies: this course develops economic and policy responses to help policymakers understand and deal with these challenges.|
This course introduces students to the international political economy
of development, with emphasis on understanding:
This course module is self-contained, but some prior knowledge in economics
(formally acquired or otherwise) will be helpful.
The most useful background is wide reading of general economic problems—such as might be covered in the best international general-interest writings (in, e.g., the Economist, the FT, the Wall Street Journal)—and the wish to understand how those different positions need to be backed up by rigorous, empirically-falsifiable reasoning.
Some optional general background references include:
Nothing is compulsory; just look at those books periodically to see how our discussions in the course align with ideas there.
Each week's meeting begins with student presentations, 15
minutes each. These — as well as your midterm paper
— will revolve around the question indicated for Weeks
06-07. Obviously, the “conventional, disciplinary” background
referred to there is something that remains to be developed between
now and then. However, independent of that material, based on only
your current general understanding (and perhaps a little forward
reading), your presentation should seek to provide insight on
circumstances and history for an economy of your choice. (Think of
this as a briefing for the CIA - they want to know what you consider
the salient facts, history, risks, and prospective trajectories for
country X, not so much an analytical, disciplinary framework for
it.) Then as the course unfolds in the first six weeks and develops
more analytical, disciplinary material, your midterm paper can build
on your presentation by merging that presentation's substance with
additional analytical content. This “circumstances and
focus applies even for those making presentations after the mid-term
paper: in the 15 minutes available for your presentation, you won't
have time to bring in much more additional material.
The penultimate course meeting will involve breakout groups, assigned
to discuss an economic development challenge, with everyone
returning to make group presentations on their solutions. No
individual student presentations will be made that week.
[Class presentation schedule.
Presenters are invited to submit, by 1700h three working days ahead of their session, some readings they reckon might be useful for what they will say. After the presentations we will have a 15-minute break—just enough to grab a cup of coffee or tea. Then the instructor lectures for the remaining time going over some other related background material, using that to bring out some of the points that the presenters have themselves made. The session then ends with general discussion on the questions arising from the readings, the presentations, and the lecture. I give here some suggestions for how individual presentations might usefully go.
Active participation in the discussions is an integral part of the learning experience in this course. Students will be assessed on both quantity and quality of their interventions; reading the materials beforehand is therefore important. The participation that attracts the highest marks will be one that critically reflects on the readings but then also engages with the thread of the discussion generally.
However abstract our discussions end up, still the end-result needs to be one that policy-makers and observers need to remember concretely and to take forwards in their work. Try to make our discussions thus. When discussing proposals and recommendations, be hard on ideas, not on people (least of all your fellow students!). Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and end up spending too much time on semantics, terminology, and abstract definitions. Try to get to something that works, and then improve from there as needed.
Both continuous engagement and persuasive writing count for
the course grade:
You're welcome to submit your papers in either PDF or some common editable format (e.g., Microsoft Word). However you do it, please make sure to provide a wordcount somewhere in the paper itself. The midterm and final papers should be submitted by IVLE / Files (Workbin) / Student Submissions. In this folder, only the submitting student and instructor will be able to see the contents of the submission.
Additionally, I have put down some suggestions for rules you might want to adapt in writing your course papers.
Topics are sufficiently extensive that more time could easily be devoted to each. But we will keep to a discipline that engages on their key dimensions for just two weeks per topic.
Some readings overlap in coverage and so are repeated in different sections. Just skim the parts that don't apply when you're in a particular topic.
Links that appear below are embedded so please view this document online. If you're reading this only in hardcopy, this document will likely be of less use.
For each section I also provide the lecture slides I will use in 3 per page and full-page formats. The latter should not be printed but are just available if you want to view things online with variable resolution. These lecture slides will be more for certain sections than for others: in particular, for a couple sections the literature remains nascent. (To be clear, the lecture slides are provided so you have a record of key points; what I actually present will often differ from the linear record in the slides for reasons of emphasis and flow.)
Week 01 Shopping Week:
Course Introduction and
Slides 3pp | Full
Randomized Controlled Trials. Program Evaluation.
Why does evidence matter? What is the appropriate scope for analysis in economic development? How do you use ideas to change a policy position? How is economic development not just program evaluation?
Slides 02 3pp | Full
Slides 03 3pp | Full
Growth, Externalities. Increasing returns. Knowledge
What do you reach for first when you start talking about growth and development? Why is productivity important, and what can policy-makers do about it? Why is intellectual property different from other kinds of property? Why do advanced and developing nations, in trade deals and elsewhere, argue over intellectual property rights?
Slides 3pp | Full
The Middle Income Trap. Lewis Turning Point. Natural Resource Curse.
Carbon and Global Climate Change
Against a background of conventional, disciplinary thinking on growth and development, what are the most significant obstacles to your chosen economy's continued growth? [Or perhaps it's never even actually taken off, much less now face the hazard of a middle-income trap.] Be sure to clarify the circumstances and history specific to your selection.
Slides 3pp | Full
States and Markets. Political Meritocracy. Democracy
“All rich, successful economies are now democracies.” But did they all become rich and successful through practising democracy?
Slides 3pp | Full
Guest lecture 09 Mar 2017: Waheed Hussain (Visiting Distinguished Fellow). The Practice of Democracy in Economic Development
Why did major developed economies turn against globalisation and trade? Why was it the emerging economies who originally were suspicious of globalisation but have now become ardent proponents?
Slides 3pp | Full
Guest lecture 30 Mar 2017: Antonio de Lecea (EU Fellow). Globalization East and West
Breakout and Final Assignments slides 3pp | Full
International Finance. Balance of Payments Crises. Trilemma
Why are developing economies so susceptible to foreign exchange crises?
Slides 3pp | Full
For those who wish to use ideas here for working with actual data - whether for your other papers or whatever you wish - you are welcome to take data and R code I provide:
Finally, I regularly tweet, blog, and post on Facebook concerning many issues that appear in the course.