Course Details

Course Information Package

Course Unit CodeABSE402
Course Unit Details
Number of ECTS credits allocated5
Learning Outcomes of the course unitBy the end of the course, the students should be able to:
  1. Categorize the most acute contemporary economic problems and discuss their sources.
  2. Examine the nature of globalization and confront the opposing views on its impact on welfare
  3. Critically assess the role of institutions in the world economy and their constraints.
  4. Compare and contrast different theoretical approaches to the contemporary financial crisis and the recession in the real sector.
  5. Debate the merits and drawbacks of the European Monetary Union in relation to the current (2007-2012) debt crisis.
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of different approaches to face the current economic problems in Cyprus and globally, and arrive at a consistent personal point of view, assembling information and data to support it.
Mode of DeliveryFace-to-face
Recommended optional program componentsNONE
Course ContentsI. Globalization and the world economic order
The nature of globalization: technological, institutional and structural changes in the world economy. Confrontation of opposing views on globalization: Why globalization works (M. Wolf) vs. Globalization and its discontents (J.Stiglitz). The role of institutions in the world economy. The rules of the world economic order, established in the second half of the 20th century. The IMF, the World bank, G-7, G-8, G-20. Critical assessment of “the rules of the game”. The controversies of sustainable development. Discussion of different approaches to the establishment of new rules of the world economic order.

II. The World’s financial crisis and the recession in the real sector
An overview of the financial crisis. Drying up investment. Critical assessment of financial and institutional solutions, offered in the EU and in the U.S. Discussion of imperatives and alternatives of the world economic recovery and growth.
III. The EU: Multiple European Problems and Challenges
The single European market and the multiple European problems and challenges. Short run vs. long run economic problems in the EU. Critical assessment of the Lisbon Agenda: goals, tools, and achievements. Europe 2020. Analysis of the merits and drawbacks of the European Monetary Union. The current sovereign debt crisis and the controversies of approaches to handle it. Case studies.
IV. The world’s markets for commodities
Characteristics of the world’s markets for commodities (crude oil, natural gas, grains and vegetable oils, etc). Discussion of technological and structural changes and their impact on the world’s markets for commodities. Assessment of pros and cons of prospective future developments.
V. Current Economic Issues of the Republic of Cyprus
Analysis of the crisis in the real estate market. Discussion of alternative solutions for negative externalities - the water problem, the issue of energy saving, etc. Other issues of the day

Recommended and/or required reading:
  • Bonello F. J. and I. Lobo, Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Economic Issues. McGraw-Hill; 14th Edition, 2010.
  • Edgmand, M., Moomaw, R., Oslow, K., Economics and Contemporary Issues – Barnes & Noble (latest available edition)
  • Levitt, S.D. and Dubner, S.J., Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, Penguin, (latest available edition)
  • Sen A. Development as Freedom. Oxford University Press: 1999
  • Wolf M. Why Globalization Works. Yale University Press: 2004
  • Stiglitz J. Globalization and its Discontents, W.W.Norton & Company: 2002.
  • Current Publications of the EC, the WB, the WTO, and the IMF.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Ex cathedra lectures and discussions in class, by means of traditional tools or using computer demonstrations. Some of the key issues are revealed on the basis of simulation games.

Topic notes are compiled by students, during the lecture which serve to cover the main issues under consideration. Further literature search is encouraged by assigning students to identify a specific problem related to some issue, gather relevant scientific information about how others have addressed the problem and report this information in written form or orally.

Students’ teams (of two or three individuals) are assigned to study a current economic problem, related to the course subject, and approved by the instructor. The case study should be presented in class.

Assessment methods and criteria
Midterm 20%
Case study 10%
Participation in discussions10%
Final Exam60%
Language of instructionEnglish
Work placement(s)NO

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