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University of Oklahoma

[ECON 5990] Special Studies - 492

Firat Demir

Course Description

Special Studies: Comparative Economic Systems


This course analyzes and compares different economic systems and provides students with an understanding of their organization, operation and performance, both in theory and in practice. The course begins its analysis by establishing a historical context, exploring the transition from feudalism to capitalism, and the rise of market society in Western Europe. In this part we also cover debates on free markets vs. interventionism. We then move to an exploration of different schools of thought in economics, followed by a discussion of industrialization and developmental state. The fifth section provides a regional analysis of comparative economic systems in Europe, East Asia and Africa. The final section studies the rise of Neoliberalism. Students are expected to do the all assigned readings during the scheduled time period as there will be short-essay quizzes at the end of each section.

Course Dates

DatesJune 6 – July 29, 2022
Last day to enroll or drop without penaltyMay 8, 2022

Site Director

This is a three-credit hour online course. Please see your local Site Director or email our online site coordinator at

Professor Contact Information

Course ProfessorFirat Demir, Ph.D.
Mailing AddressDept. of Economics, 436 CCD1, 308 Cate Center Drive, Norman, OK 73019-2103
Telephone Number405-325-2861
Professor availabilityThe professor will be available via e-mail or Zoom. Students should email the professor to schedule an appointment.

Textbook(s) and Instructional Materials

Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll-free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. Text prices are available online.


Materials posted on the OU Canvas system: Access Canvas at , enter your OU NetID and password, and select course to access material. If you require assistance with Canvas, please click on the Help icon.  You can search the Canvas guides, chat with Canvas support, or contact OU IT. 

The Great Transformation The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time
The Great Transformation The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time
by Joseph E. Stiglitz
Published by Houghton Mifflin
ISBN: 9780807056431

OU Email

All official correspondence from instructors will be sent only to students’ address.


Email Account and Canvas: Students are expected to check their OU email accounts and the course site on Canvas daily for updates from the instructor


Online Orientation

The College of Arts and Sciences offers an online orientation for students who are enrolled in online or blended courses. The purpose of the orientation is to ensure that students are well prepared both technically and practically to take online courses. The orientation can be found on their website at:

The College of Arts and Sciences Online and Academic Technology Services office is here to assist you with any questions, problems, or concerns you may have. For assistance visit their website at or contact them by telephone at: (405) 325-5854 or email:

Course Objectives

  • To provide students with historical, theoretical and empirical knowledge regarding comparative economic systems.
  • To enable students to develop necessary skills to apply the methods and models to policy making as well as to current economic debates.

Course Outline

  1. The Rise of market society, laissez faire and interventionism
    • Hunt, Property and Prophets, Chs: 1-3
    • Polanyi Chs: 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13
  2. Modernism and modernization
    • Berman, All that is Solid Melts into Air, Ch.2
    • Watch: Germinal (1993, Claude Berri)
  3. Alternative schools of thought in economics
  4. Neoclassical economics
  • International Handbook of Development Economics, Ch. 13 (S. Rashid)
  • Hunt, Property and Prophets, Ch. 8
  1. Keynesianism
  2. Marxism
  • Hunt, E.K. Property and Prophets, Ch. 6 -7
  • K. Hunt and Mark Lautzenheiser (2011). History of Economic Thought: A Critical Perspective, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. Ch. 13.
  • Marx and F. Engels. The Communist Manifesto.
  1. Institutional Economics
  • Whalen, C. J. (1996). The Institutional Approach to Political Economy. In F.E. Foldvary (Ed.), Beyond Neoclassical Economics: Heterodox Approaches to Economic Theory, Ch. 5 (pp.83-89), Edward Elgar.
  • K. Hunt and Mark Lautzenheiser (2011). History of Economic Thought: A Critical Perspective, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. Ch. 12
  1. Industrialization, industrial policy, and the logic of developmental state
  • Shapiro, H. (2008). ‘Industry and Industrial Policy.’ In A.K. Dutt and J. Ros (Eds.), International Handbook of Development Economics, Ch. 32.
  • Chang, H-J. (2002). Kicking Away the Ladder, Ch.2, pp.13-68.
  • *Hamilton, A. (1791). Report on manufactures. Annals of Congress.
  1. Economic development experiences
    1. European Capitalism
  • ‘The Middle Way: Swedish Social Democracy.’ In Introduction to Political Economy, 7th Charles Sackrey, Geoffrey Schneider, Janet Knoedler (eds.). Dollars and Sense.
    1. The East Asian experiences
  • Rodrik, D. (1994). “Getting Interventions Right: How South Korea and Taiwan Grew Rich.” NBER Working Paper No.w.4964, December.
  • Wade, R. (1989). “What can Economics Learn from East Asian Success?Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 505, The Pacific Region: Challenges to Policy and Theory: 68-79.
  • Jenkins, R. (1991). The Political Economy of Industrialization: A Comparison of Latin American and East Asian Newly Industrializing Countries. Development and Change, 22:197-231.
    1. Africa’s growth tragedy
  • Collier, P and Gunning, J. W. (1999). Why has Africa grown slowly?
  • Easterly, W. The White Man’s Burden, pp. 269-293.
  • Watch: Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death (2003, by Peter Bate)
  1. Neoliberalism
    • Harvey, D. (2005). Neoliberalism, Ch. 1. 
    • Rodrik, D. (2006). Goodbye Financial Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion? A Review of the World Bank’s Economic Growth in the 1990s.” Journal of Economic Literature, 44: 973-987.
    • Rodrik, D. (2017). The fatal flaw of neoliberalism: it’s bad economics, The Guardian, Nov 14.
    • Watch: The Inside Job (2010, by Charles Ferguson)
    • *Williamson, John (2004). “A Short History of Washington Consensus”, Presented at From the Washington Consensus towards a new Global Governance, Barcelona on 24-25 September 2004.


Assignments, Grading and Due Dates

June 1-10

  1. The Rise of market society, laissez faire and interventionism
  2. Rise and fall of market society

E.K. Hunt, Property and Prophets, Chs. 1-3

Polanyi, Chapters. 3,4 5, 6

  1. Laissez faire & Interventionism:
    Polanyi, Chapters: 11, 12, 13.
    Quiz 1 (June 10)

June 11-20

  1. Modernization (January 24- 31)

Berman, Ch.2.

Quiz 2 (June 20)

Reaction paper 1: Germinal (due June 20)

June 21-30

  1. Alternative schools of thought in economics
    1. Neoclassical economics
    2. Keynesianism
    3. Marxism
    4. Institutional economics

Quiz 3 (June 30)

July 1-9

  1. Industrialization, industrial policy and the logic of developmental state

Quiz 4 (July 9)


July 10-19

  1. Economic development experiences
  2. European capitalism
  3. The East Asian experiences
  4. Africa’s growth tragedy

Quiz 5 (July 19)

Reaction paper 2: Congo (due July 19)

July 20-29

  1. Neoliberalism

Reaction paper 3: The Inside Job (by Charles Ferguson) (due July 29)


There will be 5 quizzes in the form of short essays from assigned readings. You can use outside resources, but I expect your answers to specifically refer to assigned readings and make connections between current and previous readings. They will be posted on Canvas and you will have seven days to complete them (they will be posted on the dates listed in the ‘Course Schedule”). Therefore, you should complete the assigned readings before the end of each section. You are expected to use all required readings in each section to answer the questions.


There are also three reaction paper assignments based on three movies and documentaries (Germinal, Congo, Inside Job). You are expected to obtain copies of these movies yourselves for viewing. Each maximum 4 (single-space) pages. Make sure to get hold of these movies ahead of time.

Final Examination:

The final exam will be in take-home format with essay questions and will be given one week before the last day of class (July 22). 

Term Paper

The term paper (4,000-6,000 words in length excluding references) should be on a problem or issue that is related to our class readings, or any topic dealing with comparative economic issues and systems. It should be focused, analytic, reflect critical thinking of materials read and must be well-documented with complete references given (at least 10 sources). Internet material should be used with care and very sparingly (Wikipedia is not acceptable). The paper must be your original and independent work for this course only. Cheating of any kind (i.e., plagiarism) will not be tolerated and will result in a failing grade for the course. A 1-2 page proposal of your paper is due on June 15, 2022 and the final paper is due on July 29, 2022. Both the proposal and the final copy of your paper need to be submitted online through Canvas. More details on term paper are provided on Canvas.


This is a letter-graded course: A, B, C, D, or F.

Assignment Due Date Percent of Final Grade
Short quizzes See course schedule 20%
Reaction papers See course schedule 10%
Take home final Examination July 22, 2022 40%
Term Paper July 29, 2022 30%

Attendance Policy

In addition to interaction via Canvas and email contact, students are expected to contact the instructor via email before the beginning of the course term for an initial briefing. Although physical class meetings are not part of this course, participation in all interactive, learning activities is required.

Student assignments and student/instructor communications will be conducted via Canvas, although students may contact the instructor via telephone, postal mail, email, video-conferencing, or fax as needed.

Policy on Late Assignments

Please contact the professor regarding his/her policy for late work.

Incomplete Grade Policy

Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.


A grade of “I” is not automatically assigned, but rather must be requested by the student by submitting to the instructor a “Petition for and Work to Remove an Incompleted Grade” form. An “I” can never be used in lieu of an “F” nor can an “I” be assigned because of excessive failure to participate in class activities.

Technical Support Information

If you experience technical problems, contact Information Technology by visiting their website at: or contacting them by telephone at: (405) 325-HELP (4357).


Materials posted on the OU CANVAS system:

Access CANVAS at; enter your OU NetID (4+4) and password, and select course to access the material.


Procedures for Completion of Course Evaluation: 

Upon completion of the course students should go to the Advanced Programs Online Learning Information webpage and click on the applicable semester link under “Online Course Evaluation” which will direct them to the evaluation.  The evaluation will take approximately five minutes to complete.  Completion of the online evaluation is an important tool allowing Advanced Programs to gain information and student feedback for improvement of courses.

Your responses will be kept confidential.  They will be reviewed by the department and only supplied to the professor once grades for the course have been submitted.


Materials posted on the OU CANVAS system:

Access CANVAS at; enter your OU NetID (4+4) and password, and select course to access material. Please contact your local the IT Help desk at 405-325-HELP if you require assistance.  IT is available 24/7

Statement about the MHR Program Planner and Human Relations Website

Students should become familiar with the MHR Program Planner that was sent to each student upon admission into the program.  The planner has a description of the HR program objectives and requirements, suggestions for graduate study, financial assistance, and graduation information. Of particular interest is the information on the comprehensive exams and the internship.  For further information please visit the Department of Human Relations Website at:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for all students with disabilities.  Any student in this course who has a disability that may prevent him or her from fully demonstrating his or her abilities should contact me personally as soon as possible so we can discuss accommodations necessary to ensure full participation and facilitate your educational opportunities.  Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services prior to receiving accommodations in this course.  The Office of Disability Services is located in Goddard Health Center, Suite 166, phone 405-325-3852 or TDD only 405-325-4173. For more information please see the Disability Resource Center website


Civility/Inclusivity Statement:

We understand our members represent a rich variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The Human Relations Department is committed to providing an atmosphere for learning that respects diversity. While working together to build this community we ask all members to:

  • share their unique experiences, values and beliefs
  • be open to the views of others
  • honor the uniqueness of their colleagues
  • appreciate the opportunity we have to learn from each other in this community
  • value each other’s opinions and communicate in a respectful manner
  • keep confidential discussions the community has of a personal (or professional) nature
  • use this opportunity together to discuss ways in which we can create an inclusive environment in this course and across the University of Oklahoma community.

Religious Holidays

It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without a penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays, without penalty.


Attendance/Grade Policy

Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.

Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.

If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.

Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.

OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct 

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.

Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at 

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at 

Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.

Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see

Title IX Resources

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at 

Course Policies

Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.

Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.

For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at:

Statement on Respect

The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement.  Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.

Recording Devices/Phones/Computers

It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.


Firat Demir, Ph.D.


  • D. in Economics, University of Notre Dame, 2006.
  • A. in Economics, University of Notre Dame, 2002.

Current Positions

  • Professor, Department of Economics, University of Oklahoma, 2018 – present.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Oklahoma, 2012 – 2018.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Oklahoma, 2006 – 2012.

Frequently Taught Advanced Programs Courses

  • ECON 5990 Comparative Economic Systems
  • ECON 5853 World Economic Development
  • ECON 5990 Economic Development in the Middle East

Major Areas of Teaching and Research Interest

  • Development Economics
  • Open Economy Macroeconomics
  • Political Economy

Representative Publications and Presentations

  • “South-South Trade and Finance in the 21st Century: Rise of the South or a Second Great Divergence.” Anthem Press, 2016 (with O.S. Dahi).

Publications in Refereed Journals

·         “Local Corruption, Total Factor Productivity and Firm Heterogeneity: Empirical Evidence from Chinese Manufacturing Firms.” Forthcoming in World Development 151, 2022 (with C. Hu, J. Liu and H. Shen).

·         “Institutional Similarity, Firm Heterogeneity and Export Sophistication.” Forthcoming in The World Economy, 2021 (with C. Hu).

·         “The Real Exchange Rate and Development: Theory, Evidence, Issues, and Challenges.” Forthcoming in Journal of Economic Surveys, 2021 (with A. Razmi).

·         “Effects of Motherhood Timing, Breastmilk Substitutes and Education on the Duration of Breastfeeding: Evidence from Egypt.” World Development 133, 2020 (with P. Ghosh and Z. Liu).

·         “Effects of Cultural Institutes on Bilateral Trade and FDI Flows: Cultural Diplomacy or Economic Altruism?” The World Economy 43(9): 2463-2489, 2020 (with H. Im).

·         “Destination Institutions, Firm Heterogeneity and Exporter Dynamics: Empirical Evidence from China.” Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv) 156: 183-217, 2020 (with C. Hu).

·         “Exchange Rate Movements, Export Sophistication and Direction of Trade: The Development Channel and North-South Trade Flows.” Cambridge Journal of Economics 43(6): 1623-1652, 2019 (with M. Caglayan).

Representative Honors and Awards Received

Fulbright Award, University of Montenegro, 2015-2016; Vilnius University, 2022.

Major Professional Affiliations

  • American Economic Association
  • Eastern Economic Association
  • Southern Economic Association