The national and international macroeconomic environment is of great importance. Moreover, the global economy is highly dynamic, as witnessed by key players such as the EU, Brazil, Russia, China, and India. This course is intended to provide students with the tools necessary to intelligently interpret the national and international economic environment, including the impact of economic policies.

We will begin with a unit on the U.S. economy, using a set of cases and materials which provide a historical perspective. We start with the events of the Great Depression and the development of Keynesian views advocating a more active government role in the economy. These notions became prominent after the initial success of the Kennedy tax cut, which we explore in detail. The prevailing notion of the role of government in the economy shifted sharply with the election of Ronald Reagan, as discussed in our case on Reaganomics. We examine the strong performance of the U.S. economy in the 90s, and then proceed to the present, with cases on the subprime mortgage crisis and the economic challenges currently facing President Obama.

The second unit of the course surveys major economies throughout the world, beginning with a comparison of the economic models of Europe and the European Union. Detailed coverage is provided on the key emerging BRIC economies: Brazil, Russia, India and China. The emphasis throughout this section is on a multi-disciplinary approach, combining elements of history, culture, and political economy.

The hope is that this course will stimulate your interest in the global economy and increase your awareness of the steady stream of news and information on important developments in this area. There is no specific prerequisite for this seminar. We recognize that students come into the course with a wide range of backgrounds and interests regarding the global economic environment and will incorporate these diverse perspectives into our case discussions.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to

• Discover the history of globalization along with the threats to today’s global economy

• Learn to talk and write about global economic issues

• Assess continuing and future developments regarding the global economy

Assignments include:

• Students are expected to attend class every day and will be graded on the quality of class participation

• Each student is asked to submit in writing the answers to the study questions for all of the cases

• There will be an essay-based final exam, focusing on application of the course material to analysis of a recent news story or editorial

Readings include:

Our primary reading for the course will be a set of cases, which will include the following:

Inequality and Globalization
The Tax Cut of 1964
The Reagan Plan
The United States in 2001: Macroeconomic Policy
And the New Economy
Barack Obama and the Bush Tax Cuts
U.S. Subprime Mortgage Crisis: Policy Reactions (A)
U.S. Subprime Mortgage Crisis: Policy Reactions (B)
The Euro in Crisis: Decision Time at the European Central Bank
Mexico: Crisis and Competitiveness
Russia: Revolution and Reform
China ‘Unbalanced’
India on the Move
India: The Road to Inclusive Growth
Brazil: Leading the BRICs?
The Business Environment of Nigeria
Cracking the Next Growth Market: Africa