Comparative Economics Systems in the Undergraduate Curriculum
“Comparative Economic Systems in the Undergraduate Curriculum: An Update,” Journal of Economic Education 47 (2), 2016: 168 – 173.
35 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2014 Last revised: 22 Jul 2018
Date Written: December 19, 2014
This study reports on the status of Comparative Economics Systems (CES) courses in the U.S. undergraduate economics curriculum. The treatment of CES topics in introductory courses is examined through a survey of standard textbooks; findings indicate that the education of American students is highly parochial compared to international peers. To evaluate the status of CES at the advanced undergraduate level, we rely on survey data, searches of course catalogs, and an evaluation of available textbooks. We find course offerings in CES have declined noticeably since Foley and Pyle’s (2003) survey, with departments shifting to courses that study the economics of specific regions or countries. We suggest this is a mistaken strategy. Rather than considering comparative economics systems as a niche course, a subset of theories of economic development or of the peculiarities of cross-country studies, we argue that economics is comparative by definition. Accepting this premise suggests we need to think of new methods for treating traditional subjects and the way comparative economic systems is taught.
Keywords: Comparative Economics Systems, Undergraduate Economics Curriculum, Teaching Undergraduates
JEL Classification: A12, A22, P50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation