Comparative Economic Systems [CRN 17865]

Discipline: Economics
Instructor: Strow
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 0810
End: 0930
Field Work: Day 1 | March 18, 2020 | South Africa
Prerequisites: One (1) introductory economics course Download Syllabus

This course begins with an examination of the origin and evolution of competing economic systems through world history. Why was life nasty, brutish and short? Why isn’t it that way today in most parts of the globe? What are slavery, serfdom, mercantilism, capitalism and socialism in theory? What have been their results in practice? Are North Korea, Cuba, and the former Soviet Union economically different than Western Europe and North America? Are Hong Kong and Taiwan economically different from mainland China? Where does the developing world fit in? Why is Botswana choosing a different economic system than Venezuela? This course builds on these ideas as it examines the economic history and current economic issues of Hawaii, Japan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, and the EU. In this course, students will be exposed in class to the economies of each place they will visit. Students will then get to experience the economies first hand in an effort to maximize their experiential learning.

Field Work

Country: South Africa
Day: 1
Date: March 18, 2020

The Economy of the Western Cape is a highlight among an otherwise anemic South African economy. This field trip provides students with deep understanding of current economic challenges faced by residents of Cape Town and the Western Cape. Students visit key individuals tasked with the economic development of and job creation and investment in, the Western Cape. A tour of the District 6 Museum will serve to place current economic challenges in the historic context of economic development initiatives of the Apartheid Era.

Learning objectives:
1. Understand the historic context of South African wealth creation
2. Understand the challenges facing developing countries generally and South Africa specifically
3. Understand the causes of South Africa’s 20% plus unemployment rate