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ECO 5338
Seminar on World Economic Systems

Steve Gardner
Spring 2018

Class Time/Location:
TR 3:30-4:45pm, Foster 123

Gardner Office Hours/Location:
MF 2:00-4:00pm
TR 1:00-2:00pm
and by appointment,
McBride Center, Foster 230.05

    • H. Stephen Gardner, Comparative Economic Systems, manuscript (see links below).
    • Ruchir Sharma, The Rise and Fall of Nations. W.W. Norton, 2016.
    • Additional required readings may be posted on this web site and/or distributed in class.
    • A collection of optional supplementary readings, arranged by course topics, may be found here.

Recommended References


    The primary objectives of this course are to:
  • Explore differences between economic institutions, policy, and performance in countries around the world;
  • Provide information on the methods used to make economic comparisons across countries -- historical and social analysis, statistical methods, theoretical methods, and others; and

  • Encourage analysis and discussion of major developments in the world economy, including the current policy debates in the United States, difficulties with enlargement and monetary unification of the European Union, the continuing economic and social transitions of the former Communist countries, economic development strategies in poor countries, and programs of economic integration in Europe, the Western Hemisphere, and other regions.


Semester grades will be based on your performance on three examinations (22%, each), each of which will include a combination of multiple choice and essay questions; a term paper or video presentation (22%); and class presentation of a working paper selected from a prescribed list (12%).  Class preparation, participation, and completion of out-of-class assignments will also be taken into account. See other important information under Attendance, below.

Guidelines for writing a term paper may be found here or guidelines for a video presentation may be found here. In either case, you should turn in a topic statement and a preliminary bibliography by February 6 and the finished paper or video is due April 19. Papers may be sent to me by email and videos should be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, or another similar service, and a link should be sent to me at steve_gardner@baylor.edu.

Your working paper presentations will be given when the subject of your presentation arises in class (see schedule below). Each should be about 5-10 minutes long, and should include, if applicable, information about the author(s), the topic, the previous literature, the methods of research and analysis (data and information sources, statistical methods, etc.), conclusions, your evaluation of the validity of the conclusions, and suggestions for future research.  In most cases, you will not be able to discuss all of the information/arguments in the paper, so focus on the most interesting and important points.

Extra Credit: All of you will attend the session of the Global Business Forum that's held during our class time on March 15. You can gain extra credit by attending up to three additional sessions on March 15-16, and by writing brief summaries and responses to the sessions. Each of these reaction papers can add up to an additional point to your final course average.

See other important information about extra credit under Attendance, below.

Semester grade averages will be converted into letter grades according to the following scale: A 91-100; A- 89-90; B+ 87-88; B 81-86; B- 79-80; C+ 77-78; C 71-76; C- 69-70; D+ 67-68; D 61-66; D- 59-60; F below 59.

Classroom Conduct

  • Generally, classes will begin and conclude in a timely manner. Please make every effort to arrive on time and avoid leaving early. If you must leave early, please tell me before class begins. For more information on this subject, see "Attendance" below.
  • Please switch off cell phones before class begins.
  • Please give your full attention during class. Texting, e-mailing, web surfing, and side conversations are disrespectful and distracting. If we have problems of this kind, I will be forced to outlaw all computer use during our classes.
  • Our classes will be more interesting if we have broad and lively discussions.  Please participate, but avoid monopolizing the discussion. Respect alternative points of view and help me to "draw out" shy class members, some of whom may be insecure about their fluency in English.
  • With the exception of bottled water, we are not allowed to have food or drinks in the Foster classrooms.
  • For additional information on classroom conduct, see corresponding section of the Student Handbook .

Title IX

Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Interpersonal Violence Policy
Baylor University does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any of its education or employment programs and activities, and it does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex or gender. This policy prohibits sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, intimate partner violence, and retaliation (collectively referred to as prohibited conduct).
For more information on how to report or to learn more about our policy and process, please visit www.baylor.edu/titleix or call the Title IX Office at (254) 710-8454.