Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Spring 2022



Course Number


Course Description

The Covid-19 pandemic and climate change are the defining crises of our times. The pandemic has laid bare the fault lines in unequal access to healthcare, vaccines, resources, safe workplaces, and ability to work from home. Those who are socially and economically disadvantaged are the ones who are most at risk of contracting the virus as a result. Unmanaged growth and a singular focus on the economy aggravates climate change and the pandemic, which in turn hurt growth and development. What sound, evidence- based policies can we use to address this dilemma?

This undergraduate course in sustainable development analyses the interplay of economic, social, and environmental goals. Economic development is important for raising living standards, but development policies don’t automatically ensure that all sections of society gain. Nor do they necessarily preserve opportunities for current or future generations Sustainable development policies are meant to minimize environmental damage, foster environmental protection, and ensure that growth aimed to raise living standards is socially inclusive.

The course also recognizes that countries arc at different stages of development . Therefore, developed and developing countries’ preferences for and their ability to undertake sustainable development will vary. Keeping these constraints in mind, we wall learn and apply economic thinking to address the problems of reducing poverty, allocating resources over time, accommodating trade-offs between development and the environment, and solving collective action problems in undertaking sustainable practices.

Textbook readings will be supplemented with relevant policy briefs and academic or magazine articles through the semester. The course is both lecture-based and discussion-driven, giving students the opportunity to demonstrate their grasp of concepts. Coursework includes both individual assignments, and a solution oriented group project.