Welcome to

AGEC 340: International Economic Development

Spring 2010




Links to each week’s class slides now go to the complete classroom version, which includes all the material that had been omitted from the course packet on which you were to take notes in class. 




Prof. William A. Masters (www.agecon.purdue.edu/staff/masters)

phone 494.4235  or email wmasters@purdue.edu

office hours: TTh noon-1:00 in Krannert 606, or call for other times



Carrie Zylstra (czylstra@purdue.edu)



Click here for a complete course syllabus in PDF format, with click-through links and guidelines for the course project.  Most information about the class will be posted here, on this public website. 


Please also check the class site on Blackboard for grade information and to submit your course project assignments.


Class is Tues. and Thurs., 9:00-10:15 in room 172 of Wetherill Hall (click here for a campus map.)  If you miss a class, you can listen to it afterwards via BoilerCast.  Click here to open the archive on iTunes.  The first session is audio-only, filed under Podcast.  Others show video from the classroom projector, under Vodcast.


To prepare for quizzes and exams, be sure to take notes on your packet of preprinted class slides.  In addition you may want to consult the background textbook which is widely available for purchase, and can also be checked out from the reserve shelf at the Krannert Library.  The course packet is always available at Boiler Copy in Room 157 of the Purdue Memorial Union for only $8.45.  Click here to preorder online and prepay by credit card for faster service, either at the Union or at the Boiler Copy location in Wiley Hall. 


The course syllabus includes detailed guidelines for the course project. As you think about your project, you might want to look at this example of a successful lit review for this course.  Other useful handouts are the student questionnaire (which you should fill out and bring to class if you haven’t already), and a quick-feedback form (which you can use whenever you have comments about the class).



Class Schedule:


Class topics and assignment due dates are shown below, along with the optional textbook reading you may wish to consult for additional explanations.  Click each link for that week’s slides on which to take notes in class or when listening to the iTunes archive.  (As of 4/26, links now point to the complete classroom version of each week’s slides; the best way to study for the final exam is always to redraw these slides yourself, and redo the quizzes or midterm exam.)



Week 1: Overview


1/12    Introduction – what we’ll do in AGEC 340, and why

(chapter 1)

1/14   Why aren't all countries equally developed?  



Week 2:  Poverty and income growth


1/19    Productivity, income and purchasing power

(chapter 2)

1/21    Real income, health and nutrition

Quiz #1 (answer key)


Week 3:  Consumption patterns


1/26    Price elasticity and demand curves

(chapter 3)

1/28    Income elasticity and Engel’s law

Ex. #1 (answers in PDF and Excel)


Week 4:  Demographic transition 


2/2      Births, deaths and the transition from large to small families

(chapter 4 + web sources)

2/4      Demographic transition and age structure of the population

Quiz #2 (answer key)


Week 5: Structural transformation 


2/9      Income growth and the shift from farm to nonfarm activity

(ch. 5, pp. 81-86)

2/11    Rural-urban migration and the number of farmers

Paper topic + sources due  [rubric]




Week 6: Poor but efficient?


2/16   Are low-income producers "inefficient"?

(ch. 5, pp. 87-102)

2/18   Input response and production levels

Ex. #2 (Answer charts and spreadsheets #1 and #2)


Week 7: What drives growth?


2/23    Markets, specialization and growth

(chapter 12)

2/25    Innovation, technology adoption and growth

Quiz #3 (answer key)


Week 8: Is growth sustainable?


3/2    Productivity and the environment

(chapters 9 & 14)

3/4    Markets and environmental services

Ex. #3 due (answer key)


Week 9:  Review and mid-term exam


3/9     Mid-term review (with last year’s midterm)


3/11   Mid-term exam (in class)



                                    --spring break—





Week 11.  Markets and trade


3/23    Discussion of mid-term exam answers, scores, and lit reviews

(chapter 15)

3/25    Demand, supply and market prices

Quiz #4  (answer key)



Week 12 (formerly wk. 13): Trade policy


3/30    National policies: tariffs, quotas and subsidies

(chapter 17)

4/01    Remedying externalities: domestic policy vs. trade policy

Ex. #4 due (answer key)



Week 13 (formerly wk. 12): Globalization and comparative advantage 


4/06    Transaction costs, trade and globalization

(chapter 16)

4/08    Comparative advantage and trade

Quiz #5 (answer key)


Week 14: Macroeconomics and fiscal policy


4/13     Exchange rates and inflation

(chapter 18)

4/15     Monetary and fiscal policy

Ex. #5 due


Week 15: Capital flows, migration and aid


4/20    Capital flows and debt forgiveness

(chapter 19)

4/22    Migration, remittances and foreign aid

Paper due Fri. 4/23 5pm


Week 16: Wrap-up and review


4/27    Pre-finals review [with last year’s exam] (scores to date)

End-of-semester feedback form

4/29    Pre-finals review (continued)

Dead week--nothing new! 



Week 17: Final exam (Sat. May 8th, 8:00-10:00 am in room 129 of the Electrical Engineering Bldg,  

  (The earlier alternative is fully booked for Fri. May 7th, 3:30-5:30 pm in room G-16 of Krannert).





A few random shots on agriculture, and a family vacation in Ethiopia

Other resources:



Gapminder – A better way to look at data, or watch Hans Rosling explain his approach here.

Worldmapper – A new view of country sizes


Think ahead!  Maybe after this class you can study abroad, or consider the Peace Corps?


UN Population Projections – the standard source (used for Exercise 1)

The UNDP’s Human Development Report

The World Bank’s World Development Report

Gunilla Pettersson’s amazing Development Data gateway