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ECON 3808 – ECONOMICS OF TRANSITION Course outline – Winter 2011 Instructor: Dr. Crina Viju Email: Phone: 520-2600x8440 Office: DT 1303 Classes: Mondays, 11:35 AM – 2:25 PM, Room: Tory Building 340 Office hours: Thursdays: 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM or by appointment Prerequisite: ECON 1000 or FYSM 1003 Teaching Assistant: Sara Rose (Email: ) Office hours: Mondays, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Room: Loeb 867 Course description: The overall aim of this course is to understand the process of transition from a socialist, centrally planned economy to a capitalist market-type economy. “Classical socialism” is criticized and the processes of transition in countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Asia are compared. In order to provide a background for our in-depth study of the economics of transition, we will first examine the legacy of the Soviet economic system, which these countries inherited. We then explore the demise of central planning and the debates about the best practices in transforming socialist economies. We review the progress of transition in various countries concentrating on macroeconomic stabilization, market liberalization, firm privatization, institutional development and the establishment of a social safety net. The final task of the course is to examine to what extent differences in economic performance in post-communist countries during transition are associated with: - The initial level of economic development; - The magnitude of initial distortions in industrial structures and trade patterns; - Chosen reform paths (shock therapy or gradual transition), speed of liberalization; - Institutional capacities of the state; - Macroeconomic stabilization and industrial policies; - Other factors.
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Course requirements and policies There will be a Midterm and a Final Exam. The Midterm will be given on February 28 , while the date for the Final exam will be announced later. Each student is expected to solve two assignments which will be given by the instructor on Session 5 (January 31) and S ession 11 (March 14) . The assignments will be posted on WebCT and you will have one week to solve them. The assignments will include a combination of theoretical problems, which students can solve based on the information taught in the class and analytical issues for which students are allowed to use any other materials. The Midterm and Final exams will follow the example of the assignments. If a student is unable to take an examination or turned in a scheduled assignment, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor prior to the scheduled completion date; students who miss an exam and fail to make alternative prior arrangements will receive a grade of zero for the assignment. Late work is penalized 10% per day and assignments are not accepted after 7 late days except for documented medical reasons . Reading is required for most classes. Readings should be done in advance of class meetings to
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