1. Face-to-Face Contact Time
There will be one three-hour session each week. Students are advised to attend all sessions. A major component of your assessment, the week;y worksheets will be discussed during this time period. These worksheets are an integral component of our face-to-face contact.
2. Online Lessons (ilearn)
For most topics, there will be an online lesson to be completed prior to coming to class. These lessons will be available in the relevant topic folder. The lessons are designed to guide through some of the course content for the week. Embedded in the lessons will be a series of short mostly multiple choice questions to assist you with the learning process.
2. Time and Location for Face-to-Face Contact
Thursday 12-3 pm in Room E7B100
3. The Book to Purchase for the Unit
Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo (2011) "Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty," USA, Perseus Books Group.
This book is written by two well-known development economists from MIT, one of the world's best universities for economics. It is a great read summarising the latest research on the lives of the poor, their problems, how they make decisions, and the environment in which these decisions are made. It discusses the reasons the poor can remain trapped in poverty. It also importantly presents and assesses the many micro-policy interventions intended to improve their lives.
The book also introduces you to some of the more recent ideas and approaches in economics. It introduces the reader to a new and exciting type of empirical study. This is the world of the randomised experiment where economists collect their own data in the field, observing the behaviour of the poor and the institutions (that don't sometimes exist) and policies that purport to assist them. These experiments use a similar method to scientists who conduct drug trials. In this research world, the economist gets out into the field, designing experiments so to understand the lives of the poor.
Another compelling aspect of the book is that it discusses research that does not assume imaginary economic agents who reach optimal outcomes. The research discussed in the book, explains the ways poor people make decisions providing evidence that sometimes people make mistakes or can't quite attain their goals, as they can become overwhelmed by the complexities and difficulties of their lives. The ultimate aim of much of the research of this imperfect world is to assist in the design of policy to improve the lives of the poor.
Many of the findings are surprising and the book offers no grand solutions or answers to poverty. It instead argues that the research provides information on how to improve the lives of the poor one small well thought out policy intervention after another. Most of these policy interventions are small and not particularly glamorous.
This book is available from the coop bookshop.
You may also wish to avail yourself of the resources associated with the poor at the following website
It is a good resource designed to assist students and educators.
4. ECON336 iLearn Site
Additional important materials including the required readings, videos and assessment tasks will be placed in the appropriate topic section on the ilearn site each week. It is your responsibility to access the website weekly to ensure you keep up with the requirements of the course.