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World Economy

Module Code: ECU44022/ECU44024

Module Title: World Economy : History of the World Economy

  • ECTS Weighting: 10/5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 2
  • Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and 4 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Professor Ronan Lyons

Module Learning Aims 

The History of the World Economy module will focus on the historical development of the global economy, principally in the second half of the last millennium. 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. No prior knowledge of econometrics is required for this module. However, a willingness to learn how to read, understand and critique academic papers is.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will be able to:

  • Outline the development of the world economy to the mid-20th century
  • Identify the major changes in the world economy during the second millennium
  • Explain the causes and consequences of flows of goods and factors in the 19th Century world economy
  • Discuss the roots and effects of policy changes relating to globalization during the late 19th and early 20th century
  • Explain the Great Depression, using the tools of macroeconomics

Module Content

The module comprises five two-weeks topics:

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

Recommended Reading List

Detailed readings will be given in lectures and through Blackboard. In addition to a wide range of journal articles that students will be expected to read, there are two core books. The first is Findlay and O'Rourke, Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Princeton University Press, 2007), which is the closest thing to a textbook for this module. The second is O'Rourke and Williamson, Globalization and History: The Evolution of a 19 Century Atlantic Economy (MIT Press, 1999), which is of particular relevance for Topics C and D.

Module Pre Requisite

EC2110 & EC2111 Intermediate Economics

Assessment Details

The 10 ECTS module (ECU44021) is assessed as follows:

  • Review slide deck and presentation (30%)
  • Research proposal (40%)
  • Take-home exam (30%)

The 5 ECTS module (ECU44023) is assessed as follows:

  • Review slide deck and presentation (50%)
  • Take-home exam (50%)

Module Website