What is economic development and why is it important? This course explores how economic development relates to the human condition, focusing on the interplay of economic forces in the world’s lower-income countries and identifying the factors that can help promote development. Topics to be covered include the poverty trap, the possible sources of capital to break this trap, and other “traps” on the road to development (such as aid, an extractive colonial legacy, poor institutions, abundant natural resources, conflict, and others). The contributions of demography, investment, NGOs, social entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, education, environmental protection, and other forces will be discussed to discern how poverty might be ended and the Sustainable Development Goals met for today’s lower-income nations.
Since the voyage will bring students to various developing countries, the concepts discussed in class will be applied so to bring development issues to life. Indices along the lines of the Human Development Indicator will be constructed and measurements taken in port to contrast development levels in the countries visited and see firsthand what development means.