Line with Globe

Economic Systems
of the World

Steve Gardner
Spring 2021

Class Time/Location:
TR 3:45-4:45pm
ONLINE Zoom Office Hours:
MWF 2:00-4:00pm
and by appointment.

You can "drop in" during these office hours,
but you may need to spend time in the Zoom waiting room.
You can avoid that by reserving a time on Calendly, here.

    • H. Stephen Gardner, Comparative Economic Systems, manuscript (see links below).
    • Richard Haass, The World: A Brief Introduction. Penguin, 2020. (Available either in print or as a Kindle e-book)
    • 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, weekly quizzes, participation in the PackBack discussion forum, and an optional term paper or video. Your grade may also be affected by your participation in our Zoom discussions. Depending on whether you choose to prepare a term paper or video, this will be the grading scheme:
3 exams (25% or 20%, each) 75% 60%
Weekly Quizzes 15 10
PackBack Discussion Forum 10 10
Term Paper or Video 0 20
TOTAL 100% 100%

Exams and Quizzes: All of the exams and quizzes will be administered within Canvas. Unless you are told otherwise, each test will include a combination of multiple choice and essay questions.

PackBack Discussion Forum:
Each week, you will be expected to post one open-ended question related to our course material, and you will respond to at least two of the questions that have been posed by other class members. Each of your questions and responses will need to rate a "curiosity score" of at at least 40 by the Packback system. To receive your points for the week, you will need to complete your submissions by 11:59pm each Saturday.  For additional information about Packback, including registration instructions, look here.

Term Papers and Videos
: Look here for guidelines on writing the term paper and here for video guidelines.  You will need to present a brief prospectus by February 16, and the finished paper or video will be due no later than April 20. See other important information under Attendance, below.

Extra Credit: This semester, in cooperation with the World Affairs Council of Dallas and Fort Worth, I am organizing a series of webinars under the title, Global Business Forum: Economic Issues for the Next Decade. I will also distribute information to you about other online events that relate to this course. You can gain extra credit for attending up to three of these sessions and by writing brief summaries of their content and your reaction to the conclusions. Each of these reaction papers can add up to an additional point to your final course average.

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.

Attendance and Engagement 

For this online course, attendance and engagement can take several forms, including participation in our Zoom sessions and responding to assignments and quizzes in Canvas.  Under normal circumstances, in keeping with University and Business School Policy, students who miss over 25% of class meetings would automatically fail the course.  If you miss an excessive number of classes not related to COVID-19, no concessions will be made and you will receive the grade earned in the course according to guidelines established in the syllabus and the Hankamer School of Business Attendance Policy.

Absences related to COVID-19 will be excused and you may request that due dates for course deliverables be extended if I an notified in a timely manner. If  anything happens that interrupts your ability to fully attend and engage in the course - health concerns, technological problems, or otherwise - please discuss the issues with me as quickly as possible by email or during Zoom office hours.

If absences due to confirmed COVID-19 reasons exist for an extended period of time and/or too many assignments or tests are missed that make it impossible to successfully complete the course, I will ask you to schedule a conference to discuss your academic performance in the class. 

On the positive side of the ledger, I also have a practice of awarding extra credit to students who have excellent records of class attendance and participation.

Academic Success 

I want to be sure that you have every opportunity to be successful at Baylor and in this course. If you have an unexplained pattern of absences or if you seem to be struggling in the course, I will submit an Academic Progress Report to the Success Center and will work with you get the support that you need. Familiarize yourself with the services provided by the Foster Success Center: http://www.baylor.edu/successcenter/.

Academic Integrity 

You can find the university honor code here. In line with university policies, cheating, plagiarism, or other acts of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Honor Council and may result in failure of the course or even suspension from the university.

Students Needing Accommodations 

Any student who needs academic accommodations related to a documented disability should inform me immediately at the beginning of the semester. You are required to obtain appropriate documentation and information regarding accommodations from the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation (OALA). See the OALA website or or email OALA@baylor.edu immediately if you have not done so already.

Online Classroom Conduct 
  • During our Zoom meetings, please be sure that your webcam is turned on, so we will have more of a sense of community and know you are engaged.  If your camera is not turned on, I'll call on you more often. If you cannot turn on your camera for technical reasons (such as a bad web connection), please send an email to me, describing the problem that you are having.
  • For our Zoom meetings, please make every effort to "arrive" on time and avoid leaving early. If you have difficulty with this, please let me know via email or during Zoom office hours.
  • When you are not speaking, please mute your microphone to reduce background noise.
  • Please give your full attention during our Zoom sessions. It will be obvious if you are texting and websurfing.
  • 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.
  • For additional information on classroom conduct, see corresponding section of the Student Handbook .
        Tentative Course Schedule

      I. Introduction

      Jan 19 First Day
      Jan 21 Classification of Economic Systems--Gardner, ch. 1 and NRGI, "The Resource Curse"-- outline 
      Jan 26 Measuring National Income --Gardner, ch. 2 and World Bank and Dervis-- outline 
      Jan 28 Living Standards, Income Inequality-- Gardner, ch. 2--- outline 
      Feb 2 Unemployment and Inflation--Gardner, ch. 2--- outline

      II. Economic Systems

      Feb 4 Capitalism--Gardner, ch. 3 and Haass, pp. 5-28 -- outline   
      Feb 9 Capitalism -- concluded --- Haass, pp. 29-57 and Milanovich and Johnson
      Feb 11 Socialism--Gardner, ch. 4  and these two Gallup polls: one, two--- outline
      Feb 16 Economic Development--Gardner, ch. 5 and Haass, pp. 240-250 and Jayachandran and Yang-- outline


      III. The Western Hemisphere

      Mar 2 Introduction--Gardner, ch. 6 and Haass, pages 143-153 and USMCA Overview and Staudt--- outline 
      Mar 4

      United States--Gardner, ch. 7; and Blanchet/Chancel/Gethin------ outline  

      Mar 9

      Latin America--Gardner, ch. 8 and -- outline  

      IV. Western Europe and Middle East

      Mar 11 Introduction to Europe--Gardner, ch. 9 and Haass, pp. 67-81 -- outline 
      Mar 16 Introduction to Europe, continued
      Mar 18 Great Britain--Gardner, ch. 10 and Economist and Perri and outline
      Mar 25 Germany--Gardner, ch. 11 and Economist -- outline.
      Mar 30 France and Sweden--Gardner, ch. 12 and Nossiter and ch. 13 and Goodman-- outline and outline


      V. Central Eurasia

      Apr 6 Economic History of Central Eurasia--Gardner, ch. 14-- outline 
      Apr 8 Economics of Central Planning--Gardner, ch. 15--- outline
      Apr 13 Market Transition--Gardner, ch. 17 and Ellman and Aslund/Miller  --- outline 

      VI. Asia and Africa

      Apr 15 Introduction to Asia--Gardner, ch. 18 and Haass, pp 82-110 and Woetzel/Seong-- outline
      Apr 20

      Japan --Gardner, ch. 19 and Fujikawa-- outline 

      Apr 22

      China--Gardner, ch. 20, Economy, and Rudd -- outline

      Apr 27 Africa and Middle East--Gardner, ch. 21 and Haass, pp. 111-142 and Stiglitz/Schiffrin-- outline

      Saturday, May 1, 9:00-11:00am

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