BA Modern Language and Business & Management (Russian)

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Topics in Economic History

Course unit fact file
Unit code ECON30511
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
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 develop presentation and interpersonal skills through participation in tutorial sessions.

Pre/co-requisites

Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Introductory Statistics for Economists SOST10062 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Advanced Statistics ECON10072A Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Principles of Microeconomic Theory 1: Consumers, Welfare, Production and Costs ECON10171 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Macroeconomic Analysis 1 ECON10181 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomics 1 ECON10221 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Macroeconomics 1 ECON10241 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Macroeconomics 1 ECON10252 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomics 1 ECON10331 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
(ECON10221 or ECON10331 or ECON10171) and (ECON10252 or ECON10241 or ECON10181) and (ECON10072 or SOST10062.)

(ECON10221 or ECON10331 or ECON10171) and (ECON10252 or ECON10241 or ECON10181) and (ECON10072 or SOST10062)

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: Introduction (1 lecture).
Topic 2: Geography (1 lecture). 
Topic 3: Institutions (1 lecture). 
Topic 4: Culture (1 lecture). 
Topic 5: Demography (1 lecture). 
Topic 6: Colonisation (1 lecture). 
Topic 7: Why did Northwestern Europe become rich first? (1 lecture). 
Topic 8: Britain’s Industrial Revolution (1 lecture). 
Topic 9: The rise of the modern economy (1 lecture). 
Topic 10: Industrialization and the world it created (1 lecture). 

Teaching and learning methods

Synchronous activities (such as Lectures or Review and Q&A sessions, and tutorials), and guided self-study.

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

40% Online short answer tests (in-term) (2 tests, worth 20% each)

10% Draft Essay (1500-2000 words)

50% Essay (max 3000 words) - The final essay of 3000 words corresponds to a revision of the earlier draft.

Feedback methods

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

Recommended reading

The textbook for this course is: 

  • Mark Koyama and Jared Rubin (2022). How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth. Wiley

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

For additional and background reading about economic history and comparative development, take a look at: 

  • Larry Neal and Rondo Cameron (2016). A Concise Economic History of the World: From Paleolithic Times to the Present. Oxford University Press 
  • Robert Allen (2011). Global Economic History: A Short Introduction. Oxford University Press 
  • Karl G. Persson and Paul Sharp (2015). An Economic History of Europe. Cambridge University Press 
  • Oded Galor (2022). The Journey of Humanity. Penguin 

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nuno Palma Unit coordinator

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