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World Economy

Module Code: EC402B

Module Title: World Economy

  • ECTS Weighting: 10
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas Term
  • Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and 5 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Ronan Lyons

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Outline the development of the world economy to the early 1900s
  • Explain the causes and consequences of flows of goods and factors, and of political economy and trade policy in the 19th Century world economy

Module Content

The module will focus on the history of the world economy. The aim is to look at the global economy as whole and how it developed from pre-industrial times to the early 1900s. The world economy, particularly the period leading up to World War I, provides a rich environment in which to examine economic questions such as the link between politics, technology and globalization. The course also examines the impact of the flows of goods, capital and labour associated with globalization, themes of interest to this day. It concludes by looking at the deglobalization experienced in the Interwar years and the concurrent Great Depression.
The module comprises five two-week topics:

  • Mongols & Plagues: The world economy before Magellan
  • Slaves & Sugar: The world of empire and Industrial Revolution
  • Migration & Steamships: Nineteenth century globalization
  • Backlash & War: The lead-up to the Great War
  • Deflation & Depression: The interwar world economy

Recommended Reading List

Detailed readings will be given in lectures and through Blackboard. Core texts will be O'Rourke and Williamson, Globalization and History: The Evolution of a 19 Century Atlantic Economy (MIT Press, 1999); and Findlay and O'Rourke, Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Princeton University Press, 2007).

Module Pre Requisite


Assessment Details

One-term international students are expected to undertake two assessments, a referee report and a research proposal.

  • Research Proposal (70%): The student will present a research proposal, identifying a research question that can be addressed. As outlined in lectures, this will consist of five parts: the broad aim, the specific objective, the related literature, the proposed dataset and the proposed methodology. The research proposal will consist of no more than ten pages, and is to be submitted (via Turnitin) between November 9 and November 23. A .docx template for the Research Proposal will be circulated to students to assist them.
  • Referee Report (30%): Choosing from a list of ten papers, students are expected to prepare a referee report of no more than five pages, which assesses and critiques an existing publication. Students are expected to touch on five areas, namely summarizing the paper's methods (1) and findings (2) and identifying its strengths (3) and weaknesses (4), as well as suggesting avenues for future research (5). The referee report will consist of no more than five pages, and is to be submitted (via Turnitin) between November 23 and December 7. A list of ten papers, from which students may choose one for their referee report, will be made available by Reading Week.

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