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First-Year Seminar (101-6-20)


Why Are Some Countries Richer?


James L Mahoney
Scott Hall, Room 402, Evanston Campus
Office Hours:

Meeting Info

University Library 4722: Mon, Wed 2:00PM - 3:20PM

Overview of class

Why are some countries richer than others? Why have some countries witnessed repeated industrial transformations, whereas others have economies that remain significantly non-industrial and agricultural? When and how did certain countries "get ahead" of others in the global economy? To what extent can less-developed countries "catch up" with more developed ones? How does "globalization" affect these chances? These are some of the questions that we will explore in this class. The goal of the seminar is to enhance our understanding of differences in levels of development among countries of the world, and to explore competing hypotheses designed to explain those differences. We will examine both the contemporary global economy and the historical processes that brought the current situation into being.

Class Materials (Required)

The assigned readings come from the following sources:
1. A Course Reader. This packet is available for purchase from Quartet Copy Center near Benson and Clark. If you need help purchasing the packet, please write the professor a note (or let him know in office hours).
2. Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. This book is available for purchase at various bookstores and on-line. First or second edition is fine; a used copy is also perfectly fine.

Class Attributes

WCAS First-Year Seminar

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for First Year & Sophomore only