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ECO 296V Topic: Economics of Poverty and Income Distribution

Course Description: This course will focus on the twin issues of poverty and income distribution from an Economics perspective. The topic is timely since, as current conditions indicate, the poverty population is rapidly rising and the distribution of income is becoming highly unequal. Issues of wealth distribution are also addressed since not only do the poor receive less income (i.e. earnings) but also have accumulated less wealth (i.e. net worth). We not only explore poverty, income, and wealth distribution on a national scale, but take a close look at these concepts from a global or international perspective.

The basic premise of the course is to link economic theories of poverty with a commitment on the part of the student to engage in some medium of Community-based work within the poverty population. This hands-on community involvement allows the student to pursue poverty issues in an environment outside the traditional classroom. The course material will help the student understand the economic causes of poverty on a first-hand basis. The community component is crucial in illustrating exactly how economic theory can be applied to current real-world public policy issues as they relate to the poverty population. In short, how these economic issues are resolved today help shape future opportunities available to large numbers of individuals in society.


3 credits


ECO 105 Min Grade C or ECO 106 Min Grade C