In my section of ECON 2101 we start with one of the biggest issues that the global community faces today – inequality. More generally, we first start with the empirical focus on the current state of global economy and move on to how the latest economic theory helps us understand it as is, and, hopefully, make it better. This is the exact opposite of the approach used in most introductory econ courses, that first ask you to abstract away from our reality into clean theories with unrealistic assumptions and then suggest relaxing or dropping those assumptions in order to fit the observed world and the theory together. In this course, students start with an empirical look at the current data and trends, i.e. they connect to what they already observed – that the world of social and market interactions is inherently messy, sometimes incredibly unfair, and lacking in equitable, let alone perfect, solutions. Once these connection between the world economy and us is reinforced, we then dive into the theoretical paradigms of how the help us explain where we are and which theoretical solutions are available to improve the world we live in. The course uses an open-source textbook (i.e. FREE, yay!) developed by an international consortium of economics scholars called “CORE” (https://www.core-econ.org/about/). As such, the textbook is not US-centric, but incorporates the empirical and theoretical discussions within global and international contexts making it a nearly perfect fit for such courses as Global Economics. The course is designed using the Significant Learning methodology, which goes beyond the objectives of understanding and applying the concepts, but being able to relate Global ECON to other courses, understand social and personal implications of the main concepts, daring to learn more, knowing how to keep on learning about global economy and how it affects us all after the course is over. Finally, the course aspires to assist students to further understand and contribute to the following SDG goals: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.
Core Curriculum Requirements