Economics 341 Special Topics: Economies of East Asia

Loyola University Maryland

Fall 2015


Instructor: Dennis C. McCornac, Ph.D. 

Office: Sellinger 218D   


Phone: 410-617-5431


Office Hours:  Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm and by appointment.


Course Description: This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the contemporary economic development process and current economic environment of China and Japan, as well as such countries as Cambodia, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. We will place particular emphasis on understanding both the diversity of the region and the role that economics, politics and culture play in the growth of these economics.


Goals of the Course:

·       To expose students to the diversity of the economic and political realities of the East Asian region.

·       Develop an understanding of economic theory used to analyze the rapid development in the region.

·       To give students the opportunity to critically evaluate the development policies implemented in various countries.

·       Enable student to be become comfortable engaging in discussions of the current economic and political environment of the East Asian region.

·       Provide students with an understanding of how the dynamics of this region affect the world economy.


Students are expected to prepare for class by completing all readings PRIOR to each class meeting. Thoughtful and constructive class participation is expected, as it will both help you to better understand the material and enhance the learning process for all.  In addition, students will be expected to read a newspaper or news websites on a daily basis to keep abreast of events that affect the region.


Course Outline:  The outline for the course and the corresponding readings along with various practice problems are available on the course outline page. The link can be found in MOODLE and is also given below.


Recommended Texts: There is no one "complete" textbook on the economies of East Asia. Thus, a number of resources will be utilized. 


Required Readings: Required and optional readings will be posted on the course outline. The power point presentations may also contain links to additional readings.


Additional Readings: Additional readings will be put on the additional articles webpage (link from course outline page). You are also expected to read a daily or weekly news source looking for articles that relate to East Asia.


Internet Resources: The development of East Asia today moves so fast that overnight government policy changes or fluctuations of new markets can render the most recent books out of date. Thus, the instructor will make use of multi-media technology in classroom teaching, providing students with up-to-date information about East Asia. The Internet will become an important educational resource to stimulate student’s interest, expand classroom discussion, and enrich understanding of the course materials by bringing textbook theories to life with pertinent real-world examples. A comprehensive list of websites is available on the course outline.


Course Requirements: Exams, Short Papers and Country Report:


The course requirements are listed below:


1.   Three short written assignments. Details and due dates are available on the course outline. Each assignment is worth 10 points.

1.   There will be one in-class midterm worth 20 points on the date specified on the course outline.

2.   Country Report – This report is worth 20 points and the description is available below. Due date is specified on course outline. The report is to be done in groups of two (2) or three (3). Further details will be provided in class.

3.   Class Participation is worth 10 points.

4.   The final exam is worth 20 points and will be cumulative.


Grading Scale

Method of Evaluation

Points Possible

Assignments (3) – 10 points each


Exam 1


Country Report


Class Participation


Final Exam





Country Report: (Due Dates Specified on Course Outline)


One of the requirements for successfully completing this course is a country report on a topic relevant to a particular country or the region as a whole. The country report will need to be both in report and presentation form. The report is to be done in a groups of two (2) or three (3).


1. The purpose of a country report is to apply economic analysis to an issue in a country or the region of East Asia.

2. To accomplish this task, think of yourself as a consultant hired to recommend a solution to a specific problem.

3. Be sure to limit the scope of the problem.

4. Make sure you make use of all available resources to arrive at a well-researched recommendation. 

5. A fifteen to twenty-minute presentation to the class will be required.


The final report should be no longer than ten {10} pages (group) and should be a formal, typed report outlining the problem, current situation and proposed solution. The report should include:


a) TITLE PAGE—including alphabetized names, and signatures

b) PROBLEM DESCRIPTION—carefully and completely describe the problem you have researched

c) CURRENT SITUATION—explain and analyze how the country’s government and institutions and the international community are currently dealing with the specific problem

d) PROPOSED SOLUTION—using economic analysis tools, explain your proposed solution

e) BIBLIOGRAPHY—be sure to follow appropriate methods for citing sources; cite sources within the body of the paper

f) APPENDIX—include all appropriate tables, graphs, etc., that support your analysis


Academic Integrity: This course is covered by the Loyola College Honor Code.


Loyola College Honor Code Statement:  “The Honor Code states that all students of the Loyola Community have been equally entrusted by their peers to conduct themselves honestly on all academic assignments. The students of this College understand that having collective and individual responsibility for the ethical welfare of their peers exemplifies a commitment to the community. Students who submit materials that are the products of their own minds demonstrate respect for themselves and the community in which they study.”


All students of the College are expected to understand the meaning of the Honor Code.  Ignorance of the Code is not a valid reason for committing an act of academic dishonesty.  The following constitute violations of the Code and are defined in the Community Standards Handbook: cheating, stealing, lying, forgery, plagiarism and the failure to report a violation. Violations of the Honor Code will be handled by the Honor Council.


Student Athletes: If you are a student athlete, please provide me with your travel and game schedule indicating when you will need to miss class to participate in athletic events.  While travel for athletics is an excused absence, you will need to make up any missed work.


Students with Disabilities: To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disability Support Services (DSS), Newman Towers West 107, at or call (410) 617-2750/2062. If you already registered with DSS and requested an accommodations letter (and DSS has sent the letter to your professors via email), please schedule a brief meeting to discuss the accommodations you might need in this class.