Economics 309

ECON 309: Comparative Economic Systems

Prerequisite: ECON 205 and ECON 206

Credit Hours: (3)

Critical study of capitalism, socialism and corporatism. Analysis of contemporary systems with case studies of Japan, France, China, the former Soviet Union, central and eastern European countries, the Baltic nations, and other selected countries.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

The objectives of this course is to inform the students, through comparison and contrast, of the workings of the various economic systems encountered in theory and in practice; and the advantages and disadvantages both from a theoretical and empirical standpoint. Finally, methods and problems encountered during transition from one economic system to another are studied.

Topic Outline


1. Introduction to Systems
2. Criteria for Evaluation
3. Capitalism
4. Socialism
5. Transition Economics


Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

The following teaching strategies will be employed:


During the first two thirds of the course, lectures and in-class discussions will be predominant. During the last third of the class student presentations and discussions will apply the taught theory to analyze the economic systems encountered in various countries around the world. A written report is required. Guest speakers will be invited to provide insights whenever possible.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the end of the course students are expected to have learned:


1. The definition and classification of Economic Systems.
2. The performance criteria on which evaluation of economic outcomes under different systems is based.
3. The characteristics of capitalism in theory and in practice.
4. The characteristics of socialism in theory and in practice.
5. The characteristics of corporatism in theory and in practice.
6. The performance differences of each system overall and in representative countries.
7. Problems encountered during transitions from capitalism to socialism and vice-versa.


Assessment Measures

Tests, homework, reports, presentations, class participation. Grades and percentages depend on individual professors.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

Date Action Reviewed by
December 2004 Made alterations to syllabus N. Hashemzadeh, Chair
Revised    4/13/09    Charles Vehorn
April 16, 2012 Revised