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   Course Title    Introduction to Political Economy
Lecturer    Andrejs Jakobsons
Institution    Riga Technical University, Riga Business School
Country    Latvia


COURSE OBJECTIVES

Successful completion of the course gives 5 credit points.

The objective of the course is to help the students to develop their vision of the country's economic policy and its instruments. The course will concentrate on the problems of transition countries. To fulfill the requirements of the course, knowledge of some basic economic concepts is required. In addition, the student needs to understand the economic situation of Latvia and to be able to analyze it.

The students will be required to show their capability to understand the economic policy of the country, the impact of the decisions of state institutions on the economic processes and analyze the current topic of economic policy.

The seminars will encourage discussions to deepen the understanding of the topics covered during the course.

GRADING

  1. Class participation 5%;

  2. Written summaries 5%;

  3. Quizzes 10%;

  4. Participation in seminars 15%;

  5. Individual project 25%;

  6. Final exam 40%.

LITERATURE

  1. J. M. van Brabant The Political Economy of Transition, 1998

  2. R. L. Miller, D. K. Benjamin, D. C. North The Economics of Public Issues 11th edition, 1999

  3. L. Tsoukalis The New European Economy Revisited, 1997

  4. J. Forder, A. Menon The European Union and National Macroeconomic Policy, 1998

COURSE SCHEDULE

Date

Topic

Readings
(chapters)

 

Introduction. Economic institutions.

1 (1); 1-4 (2)

 

Demand, supply. Interaction between markets. Market structure.

5-6 , 9-10, 11-15 (2)

(S)

Market economy. Socialist economy.

7 (1)

 

Economic problems of transition countries.

2 (1)

(S)

Transition to a market economy: shock therapy vs gradualism

2, 3 (1)

 

Instruments of economic policy

16-20, 22-24, 30-32 (2)

(S)

Economic policy in transition countries - stabilisation, liberalization.

4, 5, 6 (1); 5 (3)

 

The role of the state in the economy

8 ,9 (1)

(S)

Integration in the European Union and world economy

4, 10, 11 (3); 2,3 (4)

 

The European Monetary System (EMS)

7, 8 (3); 4, 5 (4)

 

Final Exam

Review all

(S) - seminar

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  1. The students are expected to follow closely the current economic developments, and to introduce themselves to the publications and data on the transition to a market economy in Latvia

  2. The summaries are to be submitted before the seminars.

  3. Plagiarism and cheating will result in grade "0".

  4. Each student is required to write an individual project during the course. The title has to be confirmed with the instructor before October 15. The deadline for submission is December 1. The length of the project is expected to be about 10-15 pages. (A4 format, Word 11p, 1,5 space).

  5. A detailed summary of the themes to be discussed in the seminars will be distributed during the previous lecture.

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