A new approach to comparative economic systems

Report
COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS
AND THE UNDERGRADUATE
CURRICULUM
Alexander Kovzik and Marianne Johnson
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS SYSTEMS

Previous studies
Ross (1995) – 56.3% of institutions continued to offer
CES course following the break-up of the Soviet Union.
 Foley and Pyle (2003) – 57.5% of institutions have a
course, but only 35% offered it annually.


Time for a reassessment?
CES at the Introductory Collegiate Level
 CES at the Advanced Undergraduate Level

AT THE INTRODUCTORY LEVEL, WE EXAMINED TEXTBOOK
COVERAGE OF CES TOPICS…
McConne Mateer/
ll/Brue/
Coppock
Flynn
Mankiw
Frank/
Bernanke
Miller
Mandel
Bade/
Parkin
Schiller
Guell
Organization of
Decision Making
Provision of
Information and
Coordination
Property Rights
13
14
14
13
23
5
2
7
5
3
2
2
1
Incentive System
3
2
3
1
1
3
6
1
15
Organization of
Public Choice
Economic System
Global
Perspective
Efficiency
Economic Growth
Income
Distribution
Stability
Viability
Total
Text Pages
(5960 total pages)
Examples per
100 pages
(5.2 per 100
pages)
1
7
1
4
1
3
1
13
2
10
7
2
1
4
1
1
4
1
1
8
2
1
1
1
2
2
4
1
53
5
5
8
1
1
4
4
39
31
6
1
33
61
23
17
24
26
801
1053
816
763
748
396
556
369
458
6.6
3.7
3.8
4.3
8.2
5.8
3.1
6.5
5.7
1
26
1
4
2
9
1
1
2
Guell (2015)
“In 1980, in response to the Soviet invasion to Afghanistan, the United States imposed a grain embargo, making it
illegal to sell wheat to Russia” (205; one sentence).
That Uzbekistan is “sitting on significant oil and natural gas reserves, but its political leadership is so corrupt that you
never know from one year to the next whether the leadership will nationalize those assets” (231; 3 sentences).
Frank and Bernanke (2013)
That episodes of hyperinflation occurred “in several countries attempting to make the transition from communism to
capitalism, including Russia” (456; one sentence).
Mankiw (2015)
That after the World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union “were engaged in a prolonged competition over
military power” (356; 16 sentences).
“In 1998, the Russian government defaulted on its debt, inducing international investors to take whatever money they
could and run” (699; one sentence).
Mateer and Coppok (2014)
That in 1984 there was a movie Moscow on the Hudson, which chronicled shortages of bread, milk, and shoes in the
Soviet Union (153; 11 sentences).
Schiller (2011)
That “After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, Russia also experienced price increases that exceeded 2,000 percent a
year” (215; one sentence).
“Soviet planners allowed Chernobyl to become a nuclear nightmare” (16; one sentence).
That in 1990s, “Virtually every sector, every factory and every worker in Russia has been touched by the flood of
surrogate money” and the Russians preferred to hold and use US dollars rather than the rubles (273; 17 sentences).
STRATEGIES TO ASSESS THE SITUATION
AT THE UPPER UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL
Electronic survey of the top 100 public and
private colleges and universities (163 Economics
Departments identified; responses = 84).
 Online search of course catalogs ( = 184 colleges
and universities of our 200 that offer upper level
economics courses).
 Online search of syllabi for CES courses.
 Examination of CES textbooks.

Question
Survey Response
Statistics*
On-Line Course
Search Statistics
Does your department currently offer one of the
following types of courses?**
Comparative Economic Systems
Economies in Transition
Economics of a Particular Region/Country
20.0%
11.8%
42.4%
32.6%
25.2%
51.6%
If your department does not currently offer such a
class, has your department offered a course in
Comparative Economic Systems or Transitional
Economies in the past?
Yes
No
67%
33%
NA
Does your department offer Comparative
Economic Systems or Transitional Economies
more frequently, as frequently, or less frequently
than it did five years ago?
More Frequently
As Frequently
Less Frequently
2%
70%
28%
NA
Does your department offer Comparative
Economic Systems or Transitional Economies
more frequently, as frequently, or less frequently
than it did ten years ago?
More Frequently
As Frequently
Less Frequently
6%
53%
41%
NA
Comparative Economics Systems
Textbooks
Authors (Edition Years)
Information
Provided by
Electronic
Survey
2
2
-1
1
---
Information
Provided by
Syllabi Search
no required textbook
7
13
Total number of responses
13
50
Overall Survey Response
84
50
Gregory and Stuart (2014, 2004, 1999)
Rosser and Rosser (2004, 2001)
Kennett (2004)
Gardner (1998)
Schnitzer (2000)
Angresano (1996)
D. North (1990)
13
8
6
4
3
2
1
Foley and Pyle (2003) state that “theory and practice of socialism and
the postsocialist experience continue to occupy a disproportionate
amount of attention”. Is that true?
Percentage of Course
Topics Focusing on
Socialism
Percentage of Course
Topics Focusing on
Transition from
Socialism
Weighted Average for Textbooks
16.0%
18.4%
Weighted Average for all Syllabi
17.0%
19.3%
Average of the Averages
17.6%
19.5%
Weighted Average for 2004 –
2010
Weighted Average for 2011 2014
16.8%
18.9%
17.2%
19.8%
THANK YOU.
Questions, comments and suggestions are very
welcome!!

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