ECON 508
Skills for a Modern Economy and How to Pay for Them Spring 2024
Division II
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Class Details

Skills are a major driver of economic growth. The skills gap between rich and poor countries explains many of their income differences. The skills gap is a determinant of structural change, the process by which economies grow certain sectors (like manufacturing and services) and shrink others (like agriculture) in the process of achieving high-income country status and reducing poverty. The skills gap both affects and is affected by every other aspect of the economy: agricultural productivity, health, poverty rates, and fiscal capacity. This course will examine the economic policies that are essential for nations to upgrade the skills of their workforce, including the fiscal policies to finance those investments. The course will also explore complementary economic policies–in areas from labor markets to agriculture to healthcare–that allow maximum returns to skills investments.
The Class: Format: tutorial; Students will meet the professor in pairs, approximately one hour each week.
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 4015
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: During a typical week one student in the pair will write a short paper, and the other will respond. The following week the roles will be reversed. Evaluation will be based on the papers written as well as the responses.
Prerequisites: For CDE Fellows: fall semester courses. For undergraduates: Econ 251, Econ 252, and Econ 255, or permission of instructor.
Enrollment Preferences: CDE Fellows, Economics majors.
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: POEC Depth
POEC Skills

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