ECON 218
Markets, Distrust, and History Spring 2022
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed GBST 218 / ECON 218

Class Details

Global markets connect strangers: people of different races, religions, and classes. There are huge profits from such economic contact, but there are also risks: of being cheated, deceived, or coerced. This course examines how global markets have evolved over the past five hundred years using insights from the economics of incentives (principal-agent models, contracts, mechanism design). Case studies will cover: the spice trade and conflict in the Indian Ocean (early 16th century), capital markets and fraud in Amsterdam and London (17th and 18th century), the coffee trade and deception in Mocha and Java (18th and 19th), slavery and its abolition in Brazil (20th), colonial control and resistance in Kenya (21st), and the constraints on “fair trade” in Nicaragua and US (present). Required readings for this class will be sixty or more pages per week, and will include historical case studies, excerpts from novels, and reportage.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 3450
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Students will be evaluated based on class participation, weekly assignments, a midterm, and a final.
Prerequisites: Econ 110
Enrollment Preferences: If overenrolled, students will be asked to submit a short statement of interest.
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST 218 Division II ECON 218 Division II
DPE Notes: This course analyzes the evolution of economic inequity. It analyzes how global market opportunities have been shaped by race, religion, wealth, and power.
Attributes: POEC International Political Economy Courses

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