1.1 — The Big Questions — Class Content

Tuesday, August 24, 2021


Welcome to ECON 317 — Economic Development! Today’s lesson will be an overview of the content and the assignments of the course. Please read and familiarize yourself with the syllabus.

This is not just a “syllabus day,” as we need to hit the ground running, but today will give you a “big picture” look at this semester by starting with some of the biggest questions, not just in “development economics” or “economics,” but arguably all of social science:

  1. Why are some countries wealthy, and others poor?
  2. How did/do countries become wealthy?

We then also consider the history “development economics” as a self-identifying field of economics, as compared to the original motivations for economics or political economy (in Adam Smith’s time) as a discipline.


Today is introductory, but please heed this timeless message:

Please note going forward, the lesson numbers and topics (e.g. 1.1) on this website are my design, and will not match up with any books!


Below, you can find the slides in two formats. Clicking the image will bring you to the html version of the slides in a new tab. Note while in going through the slides, you can type h to see a special list of viewing options, and type o for an outline view of all the slides.

The lower button will allow you to download a PDF version of the slides. I suggest printing the slides beforehand and using them to take additional notes in class (not everything is in the slides)!


Download as PDF