Instructor Information Course Information
Anthony Howell, PhD Course Meeting Time: TBA
Office: #322 School of Economics Bldg. Office Hours: By Appt.
Email: Course Website: Piazza Link


The rapid emergence of China as a new economic player and global leader is one of the most significant developments of the 21\(^{st}\) century. But is its rise sustainable? Will China be able to successfully transition away from an export- and investment-led growth model towards a `new normal’ that relies more on domestic consumption, innovation, and promoting the green economy? What are the implications of the rise of China for the rest of the world and for the global system as a whole? This course will introduce students to both the economic problems that China faces domestically and abroad, as well as how China’s rise influences, and is influenced by, the global economy.


Activity Grade Contribution
Quizzes 15%
Group Debates 10%
Group POGIL Exercises 15%
Proposal 10%
Group Final Paper/Presentation 50%

Quizes: Mini-quizzes will be given on occasion to ensure students remain engaged during lectures and group debates.

Group Debates: Each student will be required to sign-up and participate in a debate regarding a relevant current-event selected by the instructor. More information will be provided in class.

POGIL Excercises — Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning: This course is designed to provide students with on-hands training in analyzing and visualizing relevant data using open-source statistical software R and Rstudio. POGIL Exercises will begin as in-class activities led by instructor guidance and may then be extended as homework, if necessary.

Final project: Projects will be done in small groups of 2-3 students. Groups will perform an exploratory analysis of a data set of your choosing, with an emphasis on data visualizations and professional report writing based on skills developed in class. Each group will submit a short report (approx. 10-15 pages), data (if possible), code, and tables/figures.

A note about the Final Project: Projects are one of the most important learning tools of this class. The final project is entirely to the discretion of the group (upon instructor approval). Students are free to explore a problem of their interest and propose their own solution.

Piazza and WeChat Groups

I have created a Piazza for the course. All course resources will be posted to piazza, including the course syllabus, lecture materials, guidelines for group debates, and helpful tutorials for learning R. The WeChat group and the Piazza forum serve as discussion forums for the class in order to facilitate interaction between students and to promote broader participation. Students are expected to conduct themselves with respect by posting comments and replies only in the context of the course. Use the Piazza group to ask general questions about the homework, group debates, and lectures. You can also paste small snippets of code (on Piazza) to clarify an idea. Students are encouraged to answer each others’ questions. Recall that your thoughtful participation in this forum accounts for part of your final grade.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is expected and note taking encouraged. Important information may be communicated only in the lectures. We may also cover additional material (not available in the notes) during the lecture. If you miss a lecture, you should find what material was covered and if any announcement was made. Handouts for each course lecture will be posted on the course website. Quiz questions will be based entirely from lectures.


Excessive tardiness or absences will negatively affect your final grade. Any late work will be subject to a 5% grade reduction for each late day. Plagiarism is not allowed in any form. To avoid distractions, please do not use your cell phones or surf the web during class.


I value students’ opinions regarding my teaching effectiveness and the content, pace and level of difficulty of the course. I will take student feedback in consideration to make this course as exciting and engaging as possible. Thus, I will ask students for feedback through the semester by giving students a short survey on my teaching effectiveness, preferred teaching methods, and pace of the class. You can also leave anonymous feedback in the form of a note in my departmental mail box.

Course Outline

Week Topic Reading Activity
1 Introduction: Key Drivers of China’s Growth China in Six Charts
2 Key Challenges to China’s Growth China’s Demographic History and Future Challenges
3 Balance of Payments: China and U.S. Balance of Payments and the Currency Risk POGIL 1
4 Long-Run Economic Growth Can China Avoid the Middle Income Trap?
5 High Savings Rate in China Why are saving rates so high in China?
6 China’s Path of Investment (Living in a Bubble?) High Investment Rates and Internal Rebalancing POGIL 2
7 No Class No Assigned Readings
8 Group Presentations No Assigned Readings Research Proposal
9 RMB Internationalization The Benefits and Costs of Renminbi Internationalization
10 China’s Industrial Policy The Rise of Industrial Policy in China POGIL 3
11 Innovation in China Innovation and the Visible Hand in China
12 Industrial Clusters in China Trends and Determinants of China’s Industrial Clusters POGIL 4
13 Urbanization in China State-led Urbanization in China
14 Air Pollution in China Mapping Air Pollution in China
15 Final Presentations No Assigned Readings PREZI
16 No Class - Holiday No Assigned Readings Final Paper (TBA)