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BAEcon Economics and Finance / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Topics in Economic History

Unit code ECON30511
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

The unit aims to:

•       Provide an intermediate-level exposure to modern research in economic history, with a focus on comparative and quantitative aspects.

•       Enhance student’s understanding of how economics can be applied to explain or help to understand past events, many of which still affect us today.

We will cover the economic (and when relevant, political) development of different societies in the past, with a focus on Europe but a comparative (and quantitative) dimension also present whenever possible.

Students will apply economic analysis to understand the past. But they will also realise how the past can itself be informative about economics as a discipline. By studying the economic aspects of past in a rigorous manner, students will develop a deeper understanding of not just history, but also the present. It will become clear to them which features of the modern world are recent, and which have been always with us. These skills will prepare them for a range of careers requiring knowledge of economic analysis and historical change, such as business administration or policy advising.

Students will apply economic analysis to understand the past. But they will also realise how the past can itself be informative about economics as a discipline. By studying the economic aspects of past in a rigorous manner, students will develop a deeper understanding of not just history, but also the present. It will become clear to them which features of the modern world are recent, and which have been always with us. These skills will prepare them for a range of careers requiring knowledge of economic analysis and historical change, such as business administration or policy advising.

Students will develop presentation and interpersonal skills through participation in tutorial sessions.

Pre/co-requisites

Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Microeconomics 1 ECON10221 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Introductory Statistics for Economists SOST10062 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Advanced Statistics ECON10072 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Macroeconomic Analysis 1 ECON10181 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Macroeconomics 1 ECON10241 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Macroeconomics 1 ECON10252 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomic Analysis 1 ECON10171 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomics 1 ECON10331 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
(ECON10221 Micro 1 or ECON10331 Micro 1 or ECON10171 Micro Analysis 1) and (ECON10252 Macro 1 or ECON10241 Macro 1 or ECON10181 Macro Analysis 1) and (ECON10072 Adv Stats or SOST10062 Intro Stats)

((ECON10221 Micro 1 and ECON10252 Macro 1) or (ECON10331 Micro 1 and ECON10241 Macro 1) or (ECON10171 Micro Analysis 1 and ECON10181 Macro Analysis 1)) and (ECON10072 Adv Stats or SOST10062 Intro Stats)

 

Aims

The unit aims to:

1.     Provide an intermediate-level exposure to modern research in economic history, with a focus on comparative and quantitative aspects.

2.     Enhance student’s understanding of how economics can be applied to explain or help to understand past events, many of which still affect us today.

Syllabus

Topic 1: Europe from obscurity to economic recovery (1 lecture).

Topic 2: Population -From Malthus to the demographic transition (1 lecture).

Topic 3: Preindustrial Economic Growth (1 lecture).

Topic 4: Institutions and Growth (1 lecture).

Topic 5: Knowledge, technological transfer, and convergence (1 lecture).

Topic 6: Money, credit, and banking (1 lecture).

Topic 7: Trade, tariffs, and international money regimes (1 lecture).

Topic 8: Towards the welfare state (1 lecture).

Topic 9: Inequality among and within nations (1 lecture).

Topic 10: Globalization and its challenge to Europe (1 lecture).

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and tutorial classes.

Knowledge and understanding

We will cover the economic (and when relevant, political) development of different societies in the past, with a focus on Europe but a comparative (and quantitative) dimension also present whenever possible.

Intellectual skills

Students will apply economic analysis to understand the past. But they will also realise how the past can itself be informative about economics as a discipline. By studying the economic aspects of past in a rigorous manner, students will develop a deeper understanding of not just history, but also the present. It will become clear to them which features of the modern world are recent, and which have been always with us. These skills will prepare them for a range of careers requiring knowledge of economic analysis and historical change, such as business administration or policy advising.

Practical skills

Students will continue to develop their ability to read economic literature, including research articles; they will have to produce a sustained and coherent written argument; and they will engage in classroom discussion in the form of a weekly debate which contrasts two different interpretations about one particular historical episode (e.g. the Industrial Revolution).

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students will develop presentation and interpersonal skills through participation in tutorial sessions.

Employability skills

Other
Students completing this course unit will be prepared for a range of careers requiring knowledge of economic analysis and historical change, such as business administration or policy advising. They will have learned to present an argument coherently in discussions and debates as well as in written form.

Assessment methods

10%                  Tutorial Participation

10%                  Draft Essay (1500-2000 words)

80%                  Essay (max 6000 words)

 

Feedback methods

  • Tutorial feedback.
  • Office hours.
  • Revision sessions.

Recommended reading

The textbook for this course is:

•       Karl G. Persson and Paul Sharp, An Economic History of Europe. Cambridge University Press, 2015

In addition, students will be given two weekly research articles for the classroom discussion.

For background about economic history, especially on a global perspective, take a look at:

•       Robert Allen, Global Economic History: A Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2011

•       Larry Neal and Rondo Cameron A Concise Economic History of the World: From Paleolithic Times to the Present. Oxford University Press, 2016

This course complements other courses which you may have taken or may be taking in economic growth and development. If you wish some basic background on these fields, then you can consult:

•       E. Helpman, The Mystery of Economic Growth (2004); David N. Weil, Economic Growth (2009); C. I. Jones, Introduction to Economic Growth (2002).

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nuno Palma Unit coordinator

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