ECON 216
Global Crises and Socio-Economic Policies Spring 2024
Division II

Class Details

Socio-economic policies (health, education, welfare, jobs) that respond to global crises have evolved over the past four decades. For most of the last century, macroeconomic priorities in developing countries constrained the potential of these policies during crisis periods when governments faced pressure to cut public spending, with adverse consequences for the most vulnerable. However, over the past two decades, developing country governments have increasingly integrated health, education, welfare and employment policies to counter shocks and build economic resilience. These more comprehensive responses proved vital during the COVID-19 crisis’s cascading series of epidemiological, economic, social, and political shocks, as public health measures created severe livelihoods disasters for the most vulnerable. In this respect, COVID-19 serves as a harbinger of the future shocks that climate change threatens. This tutorial will focus on how developing country governments can build bridges across vital policy sectors–particularly health, education, welfare and employment–and link these to other economic interventions in order to better tackle future global crises. Building on a historical analysis, the course will examine the path-breaking examples of many developing countries’ bold responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting fiscal challenges, and the lessons these offer for future crises including those resulting from climate change. The course will conclude with a forward-looking exercise, examining the role of integrated health, education, welfare and employment policies in better enabling developmental responses to both climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. This will include an exploration of the emerging work across the global South on a Just Transition to green and sustainable development, which aims to optimally integrate climate, development and equity strategies.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3747
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Students will write five papers during the term and will prepare and deliver formal comments on five papers written by your tutorial partner.
Prerequisites: Econ 110 or equivalent
Enrollment Preferences: First-year students and sophomores intending to major in economics.
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: GBST Economic Development Studies Electives
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