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Course #3:

Teaching A Capstone Seminar: The Economics of Transition

 

Resource People: Dr. Jeff Miller (millerj@beu.del.edu)

Dr. Manijeh Sabi (sabim@sage.edu)

 

Course Description

 

This course provides participants the techniques 1) for establishing a collaborative classroom environment for students with a diverse set of backgrounds; 2) for developing an active participatory learning experience; and 3) for assisting the class synthesizing their learning experiences within the economics discipline. Participants from different countries will have the opportunity to collaborate with each other on a contemporary issue relevant to all - economies in transition. The process of transition from central planning to market economies is now taking place in twenty-eight countries. It now affects approximately one-third of the world's population. Because this experience is so varied, it is not possible to describe it as a single process.

 

The seminar explores the origin and evolving complexities of the enormous economic transformations that are underway in many countries. The participants will develop and present the case studies regarding experiences and sequence of transition of several countries. The teaching materials provided for this seminar focus on how to run a capstone seminar, where the students are active player and presenters in the seminar. Therefore, the participants will be encouraged to make presentations in the class. The last day of summer school, the participants will make presentations regarding changes in their country in regards to topics covered. The guideline for presentations will be distributed during the first week of seminar.

 

Course Requirements and Schedule

 

The course will be offered over a five-day period 25 hours. Morning sessions will emphasize lecture and discussion. Each morning session will end with a 3-minute graded evaluation. The afternoon sessions will be devoted to participant's presentation, and group activities. The participant's project will be presented the last day of seminar.

 

The course will begin with a discussion of the purpose of a capstone course and establish guidelines for a successful capstone seminar. In addition to the required and optional readings, additional material, relating to participants interest, for every section will be added to the Web-based interactive syllabus. The participants are encouraged to check the Blackboard.com for additional information and interaction.

 


 

DETAILED PLAN - Economics of Transition

 

DAY ONE

date: July 2, 2001

Morning Session

time: 9:30 to 12:30

 

topic(s):

Introduction to Economies in Transition: From Market to Plan

         Introduction to Meaning of Transition

         Legacies of Command Economy

         Difficulties of Implementing Market Economy (Discussion among participants and resource people)

 

 

instructor(s): Dr. Manijeh Sabi and Dr. Jeffrey Miller

 

format: Lecture and discussion

 

required reading:

         World Bank, World Development Report 1996: From Plan to Market (WDR). Publisher: Oxford University Press (English and Russian edition): Introduction and Chapter 1.

         Belassa, Bela, "Success Criteria for Economic Systems," in The Hungarian Experience in Economic Planning (New Haven, Yale University Press)

         Murrell, Peter, " Symposium on Economic Transition in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe", Journal of Economic Perspective (JEP), Fall 1991: 3-9.

         Mancur Olson, "Why Transition from Communism Is So Difficult", Eastern Economic Journal, Fall 1995, pp. 437-461.

 

Supplementary reading:

         Ericson, Richard, "The Classical Soviet-Type Economy: Nature of the System and Implications for Reform", JEP, Fall 1991: 11-27.

         Wolf, Thomas A., "The Lessons of Limited Market - Oriented Reform, JEP, Fall 1991: 45-58.

 

Assignments: Morning evaluation.

Break

 

Afternoon Session

time: 2:30 to 4:30

 

topic(s):

         Viewing the Video, "Out of the Red." Hoover Institute.

         Exercise: Developing review and test questions from the readings.

 

format: Discussion and workshop

 

Assignments:

Reading assignments for summarizing and presentation by participants for the next day. Participants in the seminar will be responsible for one or two, depending on the difficulty and length, article(s) from the reading list in each section for oral presentation. The presenter should provide a copy of written summary for other participants and resource people.

Break

 

Other activities

Individual or small group instruction on guidelines for summarizing articles.

 

 

DAY TWO

date: July 3, 2001

Morning Session

time: 9:30 to 12:30

 

topic(s):

Essential Elements of Transformation

         Stabilization and Liberalization: Inflation versus Unemployment

         Enterprise Reform Price and Market Reform

 

instructor: Dr. Jeffrey Miller and Dr. Manijeh Sabi

 

format: Lecture and discussion

 

required reading:

         WDR, Chapter 2.

         Fischer, Stanley and Alan Gelb, "The Process of Socialist Economic Transformation," Journal of Economic Perspective (JEP), Fall 1991: 91-105.

         Svejnar, Jan, "Microeconomic Issues in the Transition to a Market Economy," JEP, Fall 1991: 123-138.

         Frye and Shleifer, "The Invisible Hand and the Grabbing Hand" American Economic Review, May 1997: 354 - 358

 

 

Supplementary reading:

         Hayek, F., "The Price System as a Mechanism for Using Knowledge," American Economic Review, (September 1945): 519-530.

 

Assignments: Morning evaluation.

Break

 

Afternoon Session

time: 2:30 to 4:30

 

topic(s):

A Look at Transition Statistics

         Problems With Measurement of Standard Economic Variables

         Measurement of Performance: Various Measure of Liberalization Index

         A Comparative Analysis of the Transitional Record

         Poverty and Living Standards Measurement

         Changes in Human Development Index for Various Countries

         Exploring the Internet for data (Participants will be provided with set of appropriate bookmarks for obtaining data).

 

format: Computer demonstration/lab, and directed group activities

 

required reading:

         Vincent Koen, "Russian Macroeconomic Data: Existence, Access, and Interpretation." Communist Economies and Economic Transformation, May 1996, Vol. 8, no. 3.

         European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Transition Report 2000. London: EBRD

         Marth de Melo and Alan Gelb, "A Comparative Analysis of twenty-eight Transitional Economies in Europe and Asia, " Post Soviet Geography Ecomom, May 1996: 265-285.

         Sachs, Jeffrey, "The Transition at Mid Decade," American Economic Review, May 1996: 128-133.

 

Assignments:

Participants presentation of articles summaries. .

Break

 

Other activities

Individual or small group instruction on exploring the Internet for presentation of final projects

 

 

 

DAY THREE

date: July 4, 2001

Morning Session

time: 9:30 to 12:30

 

topic(s):

Current Issues Regarding Transition --

Privatization

         Objectives and Constraints

         Approaches and Techniques of Privatization

         Labor Factor in Privatization

         Advantages and Disadvantages of Alternative Privatization Options

Financial Reform

         The Banking and Financial and Financial Sectors Reform

         Approaches to Banking Reform

         Current State of Financial Reform

 

instructor(s): Dr. Jeffrey Miller and Dr. Manijeh Sabi

 

format: Lecture and discussion

 

required reading:

Privatization

         WDR, Chapter 3.

         Murrell and Djankov, "Enterprise Restructuring in Transition: Quantitative Survey," University of Maryland, Working Paper 2000.

         Brada, Josef, "Privatization Is Transition -- Or Is It?" Journal of Economic Perspective (JEP), Spring 1996: 67-86.

         Spechler, Martin "Privatization is Not the Key to Successful Transition", Challenge, January/February 1996: 48-51.

         Naughton Barry, "Chinese Institutional Innovation and Privatization From Below", American Economic Review, May 1994: 266-270.

Financial Reform

         WDR Chapter 6.

         Borish, Michael et al., "Lessons from Bank and Enterprise Restructuring in the Transitional Economies of Europe and Central Asia," World Economy, January 1996: 39-62.

         Stiglitz, J. "The Design of Financial Systems for Newly Emerging Democracies in Eastern Europe" in Clague and Rausser (eds.), The Emergence of Market Economies in Eastern Europe Blackwell, 1992.

         EBRD: Transition Report 1998: Financial Sector in Transition, chapter 5, London: EBRD (1998): 92-104.

 

 

supplementary reading:

Privatization

         Frydman, Roman and Andzej Rapaczynski, "Privatization in Eastern Europe", Finance and Development, June 1993: 10-13.

         Shafik, Nemat, "Mass privatization in the Czech and Slovak Republic", Finance and Development, December 1994: 22-24.

         Koves, Andras, Central and East European Economies in Transition, Chapter 2, "Dilemmas of Privatization", Westview Press: Boulder, 1992: PP. 37-48.

         Svejnar, Jan, "Enterprises and Workers in the Transition: Econometric Evidence", American Economic Review, May 1996:123-127.

         Roland, Gerald, "On the Speed and Sequencing of Privatization and Restructuring", Economic Journal, September 1994: 1158-1168.

Financial Reform

         Manijeh Sabi, "Banking In Transition: Development and Current Problems in Azerbaijan", Communist Economies and Economic Transformation (1997), Vol. 9 (4): 491-499.

         Manijeh Sabi, "Comparative Analysis of Foreign and Domestic Bank Operations in Hungary, Journal of Comparative Economics (1996), Vol. 22: 179-188.

         Miller, J. and S. Petranov, "Problems of Transition in Bulgaria," The Free Initiative Foundation (WP 67), 1998.

 

 

assignments: Morning evaluation.

Break

 

Afternoon Session

time: 2:30 to 4:30

 

topic(s):

       Continuation of morning discussion

Workshop on Developing Assignments

         Guidelines for students writing and grading journal

         Guidelines for students interviewing technique as learning tool

         Participants Oral Presentation

 

format: Group activities

 

assignments: Presentation of article summaries

 


 

 

 


DAY FOUR

date: July 5, 2001

Morning Session

time: 9:30 to 12:30

 

topic(s):

Current Debates

         Evaluation of Current Reforms and Assessing Current Strategies

         The Role of International Organization in the Process of Transition

         The Present State of the Debate

 

instructor(s): Dr. Jeffrey Miller and Dr. Manijeh Sabi

 

format: Lecture and discussion

 

required reading:

         Olson, M. "Preface" in Clague and Rausser (eds). The Emergence of Market Economies in Eastern Europe Blackwell, 1992

         EBRD, Transition Report 1999. London: EBRD.

         WDR Chapter 10.

         Finance and Development June 1999: Transition Achievements and Challenges (online)

         Katz, Barbara and Owen, Joel, " Choosing Between Big Bang and Gradualist Reform: An Option Price Approach." Journal of Comparative Economics, 2000(28): 95-107.

         Allan Meltzer and Jeffrey Sachs, A Blueprint for IMF Reform," The Wall Street Journal, 8 March 2000: A15.

         Salvatore Zecchini, "The Role of International Financial Institutions in the Transition Process." JCE, February 1995: 116-138.

 

Supplementary reading:

         Boeri, Tito, "Learning from Transition Economies: Assessing Labor Market Policies Across Central and Eastern Europe." Journal of Comparative Economics 25: 1997: 366-384.

         Lavigne, Marie, "Russia and Eastern Europe: Is Transition Over?" Journal of Comparative Economics, August 1996: 92-102.

         Murrell, Peter, "How Far Has the Transition Progressed?" Journal of Economic Perspective, Spring 1996: 25-44.

         Blanchard, Oliver, "Assessment of the Economic Transition in Central and Eastern Europe: Theoretical Aspects of Transition," American Economic Review, May 1996: 117-122.

         Michael Phillips, "IMF, World Bank Face Mounting Attacks," The Wall Street Journal, 26 October 1999: A2.

         Josef Brada et al. "The Role of International Financial Institutions in Central and Eastern Europe." Journal of Comparative Economics (JCE), February 1995: 49-56.

         Christine Wallich, "What is Right and Wrong with the World Bank Involvement in Eastern Europe." JCE, February 1995: 62-90.

         Markus Rodlauer, "The Experience with IMF-Supported Reform Programs in Central and Eastern Europe." JCE, February 1995: 103-113.

 

 

Assignments: Morning evaluation.

Break

 

Afternoon Session

time: 2:30 to 4:30

 

topic(s):

The Future: Towards a Theory of Transition

 

format: lecture and discussion

 

required reading:

         Fischer and Sahay, The Transition Economies After 10 Years, IMF WP/ 00/30, February 2000. (Online)

         Stiglitz, Whither Reform? Ten Years of Transition Keynote Address World Bank ABCDE Conference 1999. (Online)

         Marie Lavigne, The Economics of Transition: From Socialist Economy to Market Economy, Chapter10: 241-254. New York: St. Martin's Press.

 

 

 

DAY FIVE

date: July 6, 2001

Morning Session

time: 9:30 to 12:30

 

topic(s):

Presentation of Participants Projects

Written guidelines for presentation will be distributed the first day of seminar.

 

instructor(s): Dr. Manijeh Sabi and Dr. Jeffrey Miller

 

format: Participant presentations

Break

 

Afternoon Session

time: 2:30 to 4:30

 

topic(s):

Wrap -up of summer seminar. Instructors synthesize the lectures and activities.

 

format: Participant presentations

 

assignments: Evaluation of summer school experience