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Online Courses

EC310 Economics 310: Economics of Developing Countries

Why are some countries rich and some countries poor? What policies can poor countries undertake, if any, to transition from poor to rich? How does globalization, including the rise of international trade and capital flows, affect poor countries’ prospects for economic development? What role does the financial sector have to play in economic development? What role does foreign aid play? What explains the phenomenally high rates of growth of some poorer countries in past few decades? Is the world as a whole moving toward greater or less poverty? Are poor countries getting poorer and rich countries getting richer, or vice versa; and why? How does poor countries’ economic growth impact rich countries’ growth opportunities? Must economic growth eventually die out, or is it sustainable in the long-run; and if so, how? The field of economic development takes an international perspective on economic well-being, addressing these questions and many more. The questions involved are not easy, but they are fundamental; in the words of Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas, “The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.”

EC 310 is a survey course that covers a broad range of issues in economic development. It uses the methodology of economics extensively, including economic reasoning and concepts, graphical models, numerical formulas and calculations, and basic statistical analyses. The on-line version delivers the same material as one would find in a conventional face-to-face class. Most of the material is presented in “lecture” style, with animated flash videos narrated by the professor. Each video is relatively short, typically lasting from 10-20 minutes, making it conducive to undertaking the work in small bits.

Exam Policy

All exams must be taken in the presence of a proctor. Arrangements will be available for students to take the exams at the East Lansing campus. Students who cannot take the exam at the East Lansing campus due to distance or time constraints must make alternative arrangements. Acceptable alternatives include proctoring by an MSU instructor for students enrolled in a study abroad program, proctoring by base personnel for students serving in the U.S. military, or taking the exam at an NCTA-certified testing center. A list of certified testing centers may be found at http://www.ncta-testing.org/cctc/find.php. Note that testing centers may charge a fee for their services, or have restricted hours of operation. These are the only testing options available for examinations, and only students able to use one of these options should enroll. No exams, except as listed above, will be given outside the United States.


Michigan State University Department of Economics