Introduction to International Economics in Latin America

Universidad Veritas

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to International Economics in Latin America

  • Host University

    Universidad Veritas

  • Location

    San José, Costa Rica

  • Area of Study

    Economics, International Economics, International Relations, International Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course name: Introduction to International Economics in Latin America
    Course code: ECON 3403
    Total contact hours: 48 hours

    This course is intended for the first Latin American economics course at the undergraduate level. It focuses on all those questions students have when they take an international economics course emphasizing a specific region?questions about the world economy, development theory, economic policy, about the impact of geography, about why certain economic aspects are the same or different in countries, the effect of the different environments on international development, and many, many more. There are always new questions, and sometimes there are new answers to old questions.
    This is a course designed to give the student the concepts and tools for the understanding of the basic concepts regarding the Latin American social and economic history and present situation. It defines the nature of Latin American development and the environments in which it is conducted, the continuing importance of international organizations and the international monetary system and how they affect the region. It explores the historical causes of underdevelopment and how governments are dealing with the diverse social and economic problems that Latin American countries face today.

    1. To define the field of world economics and emphasize the differences between regions and among national economies.
    2. To define and discuss briefly basic terms relevant to world economics.
    3. To discuss the specific aspects of the Latin American economy globally and by individual countries.
    4. To emphasize the importance of history in understanding current Latin American economic phenomena.
    5. To emphasize the importance of the social, cultural, political, and legal environments in understanding current Latin American economic situation.
    6. To discuss Latin American economic data, historically, globally, by individual countries, etc.
    7. To analyze the impact of economic integration in Latin America.

    I. Framework, Concepts, Perspectives.
    a) Economics, Economy, Economic Theory.
    b) The Scientific Method of Economics.
    c) Economic Policy and Practice.
    d) The Economic Problem.
    e) Theory of economic development versus theory of economic underdevelopment.
    II. The Changing World Economy: Introduction and Early History.
    a) Mercatilism and Commercial Expansion.
    b) Competitive Capitalist Industrialisation.
    c) Finance Capitalism and the New Imperialism.
    d) Modern Times.
    III. Abundance and Scarcity in Latin America.
    a) The Economic Problem in Latin America.
    b) Economic Potential versus Economic Development.
    IV. Physical And Environmental Forces In Latin America.
    a) The Land.
    b) Natural Resources
    c) Climate And Vegetation
    d) Geo Facts
    e) The People.
    V. Brief Economic History of Latin America.
    a) Before Independence
    b) First Half of the XIX Century.
    c) Second Half of the XIX Century.
    d) The XX Century.
    e) Regional Integration.
    f) Present-Day Latin America.
    VI. Specific Latin American social and economic problems:
    a) Import substitution and trade liberalization.
    b) Debt
    c) Inflation
    d) Stabilization
    e) Economic populism
    f) Poverty
    g) Agrarian Reform
    VII. Political and Social Components In Latin American Life.
    VIII. Costa Rica: A Case Study.

    1. Lectures on each topic, trying to generate class discussion.
    2. Presentation by individual students of specific countries and or topics that he/she will do research on to enlarge his/her knowledge of it.
    3. It will be of extreme importance that the student read each new topic before the respective lecture and discussion so that active class participation can be accomplished.
    4. Reading and discussion of articles and books other than the textbook will be recommended to the students and done in class whenever possible.
    In order to facilitate learning, we will utilize current news articles, comprehensive country studies, text readings, and class participation.

    Learning Approach:
    ? Your learning is the primary objective of all class activities. Research shows that learning occurs when information is transformed into knowledge. Economic knowledge is also defined as the ability to think about information, adapt and apply it effectively and successfully to different countries.
    Grades are intended to reflect how well you have learned. I recommend a focus on learning ? good grades will follow. Grades are an outcome of the learning process. This course assumes a basic understanding of general economics.

    This course is structured for International Students attending the Study Abroad program at Universidad Veritas. However, courses are not exclusive to foreigners so a few native student could enroll in this course.

    Students are only allowed 2 absences (justified or not). The student will fail the course if he/she has more than 2 absences. Students will have a 0 on any assignment evaluated in class (presentations, evaluations, field trips, etc.) if he/she is absent in this class, unless an official document is presented to justify the absence the class after the absence. In this case the assignment will be done this day. An unjustified absence to a fieldtrip will immediately mean failing the course. You can only have two total absences in your elective courses HOWEVER, if you miss more than one day of class in a given month, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT for that particular course.
    Electronic devices:
    The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Please turn all devices OFF and put them away when class begins. Devices may be used ONLY when the professor assigns a specific activity and allows the use of devices for internet search or recording. Those who fail to comply with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.

    Professors have the right to expel a student from the classroom should he / she:
    1) be disruptive in the classroom
    2) be under the influence of alcohol or even smell like alcohol
    3) Behave in a disrespectful way.
    If you tend to be late for class, you will lose 25% of your total grade

    Time table
    Week 1 Activities
    ? Outline of the course objectives, contents, activities, assessment, etc.
    ? Economics, Economy, Economic Theory.
    ? The scientific method of economics.
    ? Economic policy and practice. Week 2 Activities
    ? The economic problem.
    ? Economic systems.
    ? The changing world economy: introduction and early history.
    ? Mercatilism and commercial expansion. Week 3 Activities
    ? Competitive capitalist industrialisation.
    ? Finance capitalism and the new imperialism.
    ? Modern times. Week 4 Activities
    ? The economic problem in Latin America.
    ? Economic potential versus economic development.
    ? The land.
    ? Midterm test. Week 5 Activities
    ? Natural resources
    ? Climate and vegetation
    ? Geo facts
    ? Students? presentations Week 6 Activities
    ? The people.
    ? Brief economic history of Latin America.
    ? Before independence
    ? First half of the xix century.
    ? Students? presentations Week 7 ? Activities
    ? Second half of the xix century.
    ? The xx century.
    ? Regional integration. Week 8 Activities
    ? Poverty and inequality.
    ? Land reform.
    ? Students? presentations Week 9 Activities
    ? Social problems
    ? Students? presentations
    Week 10
    ? Activities
    ? Debt crises.
    ? Inflation
    ? Students? presentations
    Week 11
    ? Present-day Latin America.
    ? Political and social components in Latin American life.
    ? Students? presentations
    Week 12
    ? Final exam.
    A. Materials:
    Handout packet.

    Class participation (including attendance) 10%
    Case applications 30%
    Individual presentations 30%
    Final exam 30%
    Total 100%

    Class participation. The student is expected to participate actively in class with comments, questions, answers to questions, group discussions, etc. Needless to say, presence in class is a fundamental prerequisite to get the full 10 points of class participation.
    Projects. Each student will carry out research of specific countries and or topics that he/she will do research on to enlarge his/her knowledge of it and present orally in class.
    Final exam. The final exam will include the totality of class material, including newspaper and magazine articles, references to other books, students? presentations, and other information covered in class.

    Frederick Stirton Weaver. Latin America in the World Economy. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2000.
    Hand out material
    Referece books
    Howard J. Wiarda and Harvey Kline. Latin American Politics and Development. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2001.
    Reference books and sources
    INTERNET sources. businessmain.asp/ResourceCategoryID=8 Follow ?Research and Statistics? path.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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