Line with Globe

Economic Systems
of the World

Steve Gardner
Spring 2018

Class Time/Location:
TR 2:00-3:15pm, 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, each of which will include a combination of multiple choice and essay questions.  Class preparation, participation, and completion of out-of-class assignments will also be taken into account. See other important information under Attendance, below.

Optional Term Paper: If you have a comparative advantage in research and writing, if you are taking this course for some special purpose (honors credit, area studies, etc.), or if you would like to explore a particular topic in depth, you may write an optional research paper and/or give a class presentation of a working paper from this list. In this case, the grade for the course will be spread evenly across the examinations and term paper and/ presentation. If you wish to give a class presentation, you should send me your preferences from the working paper list by January 18.  If you wish to write a research paper, turn in a topic statement and a preliminary bibliography by February 6. The finished paper is due April 19.  Guidelines for writing the research paper may be found here.

Optional Video Production: Another skill that is growing more valuable and accessible is video production. If you would like have an opportunity to use and strengthen your skills in this area, you can produce a 5-10 minute video that explores a topic or concept from this course in an engaging way, and present it as an optional course assignment. In this case, the grade for the course will be spread evenly across the examinations and your grade on the video. If you wish to pursue this option, turn in a topic statement and a preliminary bibliography by February 6. The finished video is due April 19, and should be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo, and a link should be sent to me at steve_gardner@baylor.edu. Guidelines for production and evaluation of the video may be found here.

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.