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Course Date: 01 September 2014 to 10 November 2014 (10 weeks)
A survey of the history of economic development in the world in the past 300 years.
Jeff Borland is Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne, where he teaches economic history. He has a B.A. (Hons) in Economics and History from the University of Melbourne, and a PhD in Economics from Yale University. In 2010 he was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. He has also held visiting teaching positions at the University of Iowa and University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has been a senior research fellow at the Australian National University. As well as economic history, Jeff teaches microeconomics and sports economics. In 2007 he was awarded an Australian Carrick Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. At the University of Melbourne he has been a recipient of the Ed Brown University Teaching Prize and the Dean’s Award for Individual Teaching, and as a graduate student at Yale University he was awarded the Raymond Powell Prize for Excellence in Teaching in the Department of Economics.
you had been alive at the start of the eighteenth century, your material
well-being would have been much the same whichever region of the world you
lived in, and it would almost certainly have been a precarious existence. Go back 300 years before the eighteenth
century, and not much was different. But
come forward 300 years to the present, and we see a startling transformation.
in some parts of the world have increased more than ten-fold; and now it most
certainly does matter where you live – with income differentials of 50 times
between the world’s richest and poorest countries. What has changed in the past 300 years is the
development and application of new technologies at a pace unprecedented in
human history – the steam engine, electricity and the computer, to name just a
few. With these developments, for those
who have access to them, have come huge gains in living standards.
this course we’ll explore the spectacular (but uneven) story of economic
development – beginning with the Malthusian era, moving on to the take-off of
growth in the Industrial Revolution and the Great Divergence in living
standards that followed, and finishing in the present with the Global Financial
Crisis. We’ll cover the main episodes
and events in the development of the world economy in the past 300 years, and
have something to say about most regions of the world. As well as dealing with ‘what happened’, the
course will emphasise what is known about ‘why’ – and what lessons historical
experience can provide for understanding how some countries today are so rich
yet others remain so poor.
Will I receive a statement after completing this course? Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.
What sort of assessment will there be? There are three (3) peer assignments where students will be asked to submit a document assignment on a topic, and then review, mark (using a rubric provided by the course Instructor) and give feedback on a number of other students' assignments. All three assignments must be completed to a satisfactory level to achieve a Statement of Accomplishment for this course.
Do I earn University of Melbourne credits upon completion of this course? No. The Statement of Accomplishment is not part of a formal qualification from the University. However, it may be useful to demonstrate prior learning and interest in your subject to a higher education institution or potential employer.
The course will cover the development of the world economy by concentrating on the following main episodes and events:
Introduction to the history of economic development
The Malthusian Era
The Industrial revolution
The first era of globalisation and the rise of the United States
The Great Depression
The Golden Age
Japan and High Performing Asian Economies
China and former Soviet Union
The history of economic development in Africa
The history of economic development in Latin America
This course will run for ten weeks, including two weeks of assessment at the end. There will be a number of video lectures presented each week as well as discussion groups and written assignments.
The lectures are designed to be self-contained and there
are no required readings for this course.