World Economic History

Subject ECON90056 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 hours of lectures/seminars per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Approval of Department of Economics Graduate Programs Director.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Please refer to Prerequisites and Corequisites

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Laura Panza


Subject Overview:

This subject provides an introduction to the development of economic activity and material wellbeing in the world primarily in the past 200 years. The main objectives are to present an overview of the main phases and episodes in the evolution of the world economy, and to develop an understanding of the role of factors such as geography, institutions, politics, technological change and culture in explaining economic development. Topics to be covered include: Measuring economic development and main patterns of economic growth; The Malthusian economy; European colonial expansion and the rise of trading economies; The Agricultural Revolution and Industrial Revolution; The rise of the American economy; The rise of the settler economies (including Australia); New ways of producing – the firm, the modern labour market, and the household; The Great Depression; World Wars and economic activity; The main eras of globalisation in the world economy; The evolution of international trade and finance; The rise and decline of the mixed economy in the West; The rise of the Japanese economy and the Asian miracle; State planning and market economies China and Russia; The Great Divergence – India and Africa.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Explain the importance of economic activity for the well-being of societies;
  • Describe the main phases and episodes in the history of the world economy over the past 200 years;
  • Explain the roles of economic theory and analysis of historical data and evidence for understanding the causes of events and patterns in the world economy;
  • Explain the role of technological advancement for understanding economic development and its diffusion;
  • Explain the role of factors such as geography, political and legal institutions, culture, and economic policy, in the development of the world economy;
  • Explain the role of major episodes such as the Great Depression, World Wars and globalisation for the evolution of the world economy; and
  • Use their knowledge of the history of the world economy to inform analysis of current developments in economies in different countries.
  • Weekly participation in class (10%);
  • Review articles and 1-hour individual class presentation, due once during semester (25%);
  • Oral exam (15 minutes), at the end of semester (20%);
  • 2-hour final exam, at the end of semester (45%).
Prescribed Texts:

You will be advised of prescribed texts by your lecturer.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • High level of development: Written communication, apply theory to practice, interpretation and analysis, critical thinking, synthesis of data and other information, evaluation of data and other information, accessing data and other information from a range of sources, receptiveness to alternative ideas.
  • Moderate level of development: oral communication, collaborative learning, problem solving, team work, statistical reasoning.
  • Some level of development: Use of computer software
Related Course(s): Doctor of Philosophy - Business and Economics

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