ECON 255 Understanding Globalization SYLLABUS Instructor: Mauricio Drelichman Office: Buchanan Tower 928 E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org Office hours: TBD Course web pages: http://mauricio.econ.ubc.ca/teaching.html http://www.vista.ubc.ca/
What is the course about? Globalization is often the subject of heated debate. Its advocates highlight its promise to lift entire populations out of poverty through trade and economic growth. Its detractors argue that it promotes environmental damage and cultural homogenization, leads to increasing inequality and weakens the national state at the hands of multinational corporations. These debates will be at the centre of the course. To understand them, we will have to step back and ask some basic questions. We will first explore the web of phenomena that make up globalization, and define them precisely. We will also take a look at the history of globalization and put out current situation in the context of more than two millennia of history. Globalization is intricately related to economic growth. In order to understand their links, take a deep look the determinants of growth. What makes some countries rich and others poor? Are there policies that can promote growth everywhere? If so, why aren’t they implemented? Is growth sustainable? Does growth reduce poverty? Does globalization promote growth? The interaction between globalization and growth is all-important because many of the negative aspects of globalization are also attributable to growth. Environmental degradation, widening inequality, cultural consolidation, and governance issues all arise to some extent in rapid growth scenarios, with or without globalization. One of our challenges will be to separate the effects of globalization from those of growth when possible, and to recognize their interaction when not. Ultimately, we shall seek to acquire tools to evaluate national and transnational policies in a context marked by the twin forces of globalization and growth. If our ultimate goal is to reduce global poverty, how should we harness these forces? Can we afford to have growth and economic integration? Can we afford not to?
You will soon realize that most of the questions posed in this course do not have a black or white answer. In that spirit, I urge you to come to class with an open mind, and to argue your points from a perspective of logical reasoning rather than ideological dogmatism. Leave political slogans aside; gather evidence, think through the issues, and form your own opinion. We all stand to learn from each other. How does the course work? Let’s get the bad news out first: this course is going to be a lot of hard work. You will be reading large amounts of material, some of which will require you to learn novel concepts and grasp complicated economic models. You will have to come prepared to both the lectures and the tutorials, and you will be expected to discuss the assigned material in class. Each week, there will be a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial. They will cover different material, all of which will be examinable. In the lectures, you will need to be prepared to participate in debate and in-class exercises. In the tutorials, you will be expected both to present fresh material and to debate you classmates’ presentations. Your participation in tutorials will determine a significant portion of your grade. All the tutorials will be based on Thomas Oatley's book “Debates in International Political Economy”, which is available at the bookstore. Please get your copy as soon as possible. All readings for the lectures will be made available online at least a week in advance. Please ensure you have access to the Vista site of the course to download the material. Go to http://www.vista.ubc.ca/ and use your CWL to log in. Anything I send over the university’s broadcast email will be considered an official communication. It is your responsibility to ensure that your email address on file works. By the time you get this printed syllabus in class, you should have received a test message from me. If you have not, please solve the problem as soon as possible. You may not use a laptop or a cell phone in class at any time. Grading The grading scheme for the course is as follows: Tutorial presentations: Tutorial attendance and participation: Midterm: Final exam (cumulative): 14% 6% 30% 50%
In addition, you may earn up to 5 bonus points for participating in lectures and in online discussions. I assign these bonus points myself; the TAs play no part in it. To earn the inclass bonus points I must know who you are, and this is not easy in a 250 student class. I will only assign bonus points for thoughtful and constructive comments (both in class and
online); blurting out nonsense or filling the discussion board with one-liners in the hopes of skimming a point will not work. Lectures outline Jan 4 Jan 11 Jan 18 Jan 25 Feb 1 Feb 8 Mar 1 Presentation. Defining globalization, economic growth, and economic development. The reach of globalization. The multiple faces of globalization. Economic, social, environmental and cultural effects. A brief history of globalization. The case for economic growth. Income inequality and poverty reduction. The theory of economic growth. Institutions and economic growth. The Washington Consensus. Growth and democracy. The theory of international trade. Comparative advantage and gains from trade. Costs and benefits of trade liberalization. MIDTERM Globalization and the environment. The environmental Kuznets curve. International climate agreements and their effectiveness. International organizations.The Bretton Woods System: IMF, World Bank, GATT. The emergence, role and future of the WTO. Financial crises. History and current examples. The Asian crisis of 1998, and the crisis of 2007-9. Easter Monday – no class. Private politics. NGOs, pressure groups, and their role in influencing regulation outside the political system.
Mar 8 Mar 15 Mar 22 Mar 29 Apr 5 Apr 12
This course has traditionally included the screening of the PBS movie “Commanding Heights: The Agony of Reform” after the lecture on international trade. This year we are losing one lecture to the Easter Monday holiday, so there will be no in-class screening. You are encouraged to watch the movie on your own at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/lo/story/index.html Its material will not be part of the course exams.
Tutorials (with chapters from Oatley’s book): You must attend all tutorials – attendance will be taken and factored into your grade. Tutorials start the first week of class, and run until the end of the semester. Week of Jan 4 Jan 11 Jan 18 Jan 25 Feb 1 Feb 8 Mar 1 Mar 8 Mar 15 Mar 22 Mar 29 Topic Organizational meeting. Sweatshops (ch. 6). Trade and jobs (ch. 1). The race to the bottom (ch. 7). Training vs. redistribution (ch. 2). Foreign aid (ch. 12). Trade and growth (ch. 11). Midterm week - no tutorials Free trade areas (ch. 4). The WTO and the environment (ch. 5). The international financial architecture (ch. 16).
Friday April 2 tutorials cancelled for Good Friday holiday. Responsible groups will hand in a Powerpoint file with their presentation instead.
Capital account liberalization (ch. 13).
Monday April 5 tutorials cancelled for Easter Monday holiday. Tutorials will meet on Monday April 12 instead.
Last week of class – no tutorials (except for Monday groups).