MRU’s First Course: Development Economics

by on September 5, 2012 at 11:44 am in Economics, Education | Permalink

The first course from Marginal Revolution University is Development Economics and it will be taught by Tyler Cowen and myself. Development Economics will cover the sources of economic growth including geography, education, finance, and institutions. We will cover theories like the Solow and O-ring models and we will cover the empirical data on development and trade, foreign aid, industrial policy, and corruption. Development Economics will include not just theory but a wealth of historical and factual information on specific countries and topics, everything from watermelon scale economies and the clove monopoly to water privatization in Buenos Aires and cholera in Haiti. A special section in this round will examine India. There are no prerequisites for this course but neither is it dumbed down. We think there will be material in Development Economics that will be of interest to high school students in the United States and Bangladesh and also to PhDs in economics, even to those who specialize in this field.

Development Economics covers all the major topics of a sit-down class but because we have built it to be on online course from the ground up–no videos of us talking to a classroom–it will take less than half of the time of a sit-down class, plus no need to search for parking!

Our motto at MRU is “Learn, Teach, Share” so we will be inviting the world not just to learn but also to teach and share their knowledge. GMU is a very entrepreneurial university and we think we can be a world leader in online education.

Please do go to MRU and submit your email to be notified about our start date and registration which will allow you to contribute in our forums and online events. Development Economics is free to the world.

Stay tuned for more!

Someone from the other side September 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Small steps towards a much better world…

Jeff H. September 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm

“Development Economics is free to the world.”

For now

Design genius September 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

You need a new logo/banner.

I suggest;

a big “MRU” graphic
with
“Marginal Revolution University” written below.

MRUniversity is idiotic.

RR September 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm

+1. MRUniversity is bad.
MRU is at least a little better.

dearieme September 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm

During the next decade there will be growing interest in de-Development Economics.

prior_approval September 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

‘GMU is a very entrepreneurial university’

This reminds me of a joke shared among at least some of the (older) faculty at GMU (and I’m quite certain other universities, as it has a very general feel to it) –
‘What is the difference between a university president and a prostitute?’
Answer – ‘There are some things a prostitute won’t do for money.’

GMU is just about the most entrepreneurial university I have ever experienced, in a way that extends much further than just its president. And the developments that were so clear back in the 1980s and 1990s are starting to truly grow ripe.

Ted Levy September 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Among radiologists, MRU stands for magnetic resonance urography. Fortunately, there’s likely no great overlap between radiologists and economists, based on many conversations with radiologists…

Brian H. September 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I do research that involves neuroimaging and indeed, when I first saw “MRUniversity” I immediately thought “magnetic resonance university.”

ila September 12, 2012 at 9:16 am

No obstructions or inflammation here!

ChacoKevy September 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Looking forward to this class! Hopefully it will help me make sense of my Peace Corps service.

Turing Test September 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Does the world really need yet another online university?

Steve Foerster September 6, 2012 at 9:06 am

Seriously? Yes, it does. It’s estimated that India alone needs a thousand more universities in order to accommodate its large, young population.

Osman Rahman September 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Dear MRE(conomists)I
It is a noble initiative! But could you provide a broader perspective of development beyond a certain libertarian angle? Or will it be something easily anticipated coming from two Libertarian economists bordering on the very right side of the debate? Being a ‘born again’ economist (partly libertarian on some issues) from a developing country like Bangladesh (basically an English Literature graduate learning economics in my early 30s) living and working in Canada, I have a different perspective of development.
I am planning to attend these lectures.
Good Luck with your noble initiative!
Osman Rahman Ph.D.
Senior Economist (International Trade)
Government of Saskatchewan
Regina, Canada

Steve Foerster September 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

Out of curiosity, if the courses are free then what’s your revenue model?

Dana September 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm

To continue collecting their GMU salaries? Another private sector triumph.

Michael September 6, 2012 at 9:50 am

Will there be a Mr. University AP?

Jens Fiederer September 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

“MRU” would be a poor choice because it means Most Recently Used to a lot of people.

Sajit September 13, 2012 at 3:34 am

But is the initiative intended to be a knowledge bank or do you plan to structure the contents to be used in business, say like a certification course etc.

Niki September 28, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I think the plan isn’t to make money or necessarily give us a quick fix but to bring up the education level overall. A more educated society is better for us all and making it accessible to a much larger audience by not charging and keeping it online is a great step towards that.

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