Econ 3479W: Economic Growth

For Fall 2010, this class is taught by Christian Zimmermann and meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00-9:15 in ARJ 241.

Office hours for this class are Wednesday 7:30-12:00, or by appointment, in Monteith 318.


This class will use the following textbook: Economic Growth, by David Weil. There is also a cheaper, online version of the book available at CourseSmart.

We will not cover every chapter of the textbook, and I will cover some material not covered in the textbook. Supplementary material along with links to more on certain topics on the web will be provided below.

Writing component

The writing component, as for any W class, includes several essays that will be graded along their composition. For this class, the following essays will be required: Fix deadlines will be given for each phase of each project. Paper copies need to be delivered at the start of the class. If you need to hand in an electronic copy because of an absence, this needs to be arranged beforehand. Grades decrease by 10% for every hour (or fraction thereof) a paper is handed in late. Of course, the usual rules about plagiarism apply and will be enforced.


This schedule is tentative. Mid-term dates are fixed.
Sep. 2: Article summary due (three copies)
Sep. 14: Data project pre-proposal due
Sep. 28: Data project draft due
Oct. 5: mid-term 1
Oct. 7: Data project final version due
Oct. 19: Survey motivation draft and literature list due
Oct. 26: Survey motivation due
Nov. 11: mid-term 2
Nov. 16: no class
Nov. 18: Survey draft due
Nov. 30: Survey due
Nov. 30: Discussion draft due
Dec. 7: Discussion due
Dec. 14: final exam


There will be one mid-term and a final exam. Each will last a full class. I will also sprinkle a certain number of quizzes here and there, both to entice you to work without delay and to allow me to check whether we are on the right track. In addition, the essays and reports will be graded, including drafts. The formula will be: According to university-wide policies for W courses, you cannot pass the course unless you receive a passing grade for its writing component.

A word about grades. When I grade, the average is usually around 60%. This allows me to reward better those who do well. Do not be too alarmed when you get a grade that is lower than those you get in other classes. But if it is really low, you should do something about it...

Mailing list

Students registered for this class receive regular emails with various updates about the material covered and about grading. Be sure to give me a valid email address that you regularly use.

To contact me: Phone: 6-3272, Email:

Supplementary material and links

World Mapper

Deirdre McCloskey, Economical Writing

Klenow slides

State GDP

The Penn World Tables: original site, extraction tool, graphing facility.

APA citations

Google Scholar



How to read an academic article

How to review a literature

Life after death powerpoint

Hans Rosling TED talk 2006

Traffic I, II, III, IV