NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College

ECON-UB.0223.001 (C30.0223): Social Enterprise and Economic Development: The In

Fall 2011

Instructor Details

Srivatsan, Venkataramani


T, H: 12:45-1:45 PM



Course Meetings

R, 4:55pm to 7:45pm

Tisch T-LC21

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

This is a course on Economic Development and the role that private social enterprise [both for-profit and not-for-profit] can play in promoting development.  The course has the three-fold goals of

[i] introducing the student to the academic discipline of human and economic development and

[ii] focusing on the role of the private sector in promoting development through social enterprise while

[iii] utilizing the context of India – one of the oldest, and the longest living , of human civilizations


Course Pre-Requisites


·         ECON-UB1 Microeconomics (formerly C30.0001) [or equivalent] AND

·         ECON-UB11 Economics of Global Business (formerly C30.0011) [or equivalent]

·         Open to Stern Juniors and Seniors

·         Minimum 3.0 GPA (study abroad requirement)

·         Must be enrolled at Stern in New York City for the Fall 2011 semester

·         Seniors who plan to graduate in January are not eligible


Course Outline

Economic development is a well-developed sub-field within economics in which we study the answers to questions such as: [a] Why are some nations/regions rich and others poor? [b] How have some nations/regions managed to become prosperous and others lose what prosperity they had?  [c] Are there some standard requirements for poor nations to become prosperous, if not wealthy? If so, what are they? [d] What is the role of national culture and value systems in driving economic performance? How have they changed over time? [e] What are the roles of the public sector, the private for-profit sector and the private not-for-profit sector in driving human development? How have they evolved through history? [f] What are institutions? What role do institutions play in development? How do institutions form and evolve?   [g] What is the role of the private sector – for-profit and not-for profit in promoting institutions? Economists have formulated good answers to many of these important questions and many of these answers have even been systematically organized into textbooks as well. We shall be making use of a standard textbook in the field to think about, and learn from, the answers to the above questions.   

One of the lessons that we will learn is that we cannot fully understand development without a deep understanding of a particular society’s history, culture, values, traditions, institutions and practices.  However the academic understanding of these issues is far less rigorous than those on market and government-related ones and thereby leads to many puzzles, enigmas and mysteries.  In order to gain a greater insight into how these societal particularities inter-relate and interact with economic development, we shall familiarize ourselves about the culture and history and the institutions of India by watching a PBS documentary on “The Story of India”, as well as by going on a field trip to [and many individual excursions in and around] Chennai, India.   The hope is that through these documentaries, field trips and excursions, students will gain a deeper understanding of human development in general, as well as economic development in the specific Indian context.   

Building on the previous conceptual understanding we shall be discussing, using cases, how various private sector actors – for-profit and not-for-profit, small and large, start-ups and ongoing initiatives – are helping to solve some of these deep problems and are overcoming some daunting challenges.  The focus of this course is to look at how developmental issues, which are usually believed to be in the domain of the public sector alone, can be fruitfully addressed by the private sector and/or by public-private partnerships.


Required Course Materials


Textbook:        Todaro, M.P & Smith, S.C. (2012):  Economic Development. 11th edition. Publishers: Prentice Hall [abbreviated as TS] . The cheaper ebook version of the book is available at www.coursesmart.com

Cases:              Harvard Business Case Studies – Details TBA

1 Book on Modern India for your book review assignment – Details TBA


Assessment Components

Class participation – 10%                                                                                                      Quality, rather than quantity, will be valued higher. Alert physical presence in the classroom is a pre-requisite for quality.

Book Review – 10%  (11/17/2011)                                                                                                                         You will have to do a book review [12pt font, 5-7 pages] on a popular book about modern Indian history, society, economics, culture, etc. The review should include a summary of the book and a critique of the main themes as well. More details on this assignment, along with a list of pre-approved books, will be provided in class.

In-class closed book exam – 40%  (12/1/2011)
Multiple choice and short answer closed book exam on Thursday, Dec 1, 2011.

Indian Culture and History - Presentation & paper           - 20% (12/8/2011)                                                        Students will form groups of about 5 people each and pick up a couple of historical topics from the vast list covered in the PBS documentary on ‘The Story of India’. Each group will present on these two topics, by building on the documentary, adding to it and preferably making connections to India in the 21st century.  More details TBA.

Pre-trip case analysis - 15%  (Due 1/04/2012)                                                                                                  It is due in the digital drop box of the course website by noon on Jan 4, 2012.

Trip learning paper –  5%  (Due on Thu 1/26/2012  by 6:15pm )                                                                                                      We have a number of non-classroom learning and experiential activities that are planned as part of the trip. This paper [12pt, 2 pages double-spaced] is meant to reflect your learning from all these activities.  My recommendation for you in writing this open-ended paper is to keep a travelogue/diary in India where you jot down your ideas/thoughts/learning on a daily basis.


Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

Note that while the School uses these ranges  as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well  you actually perform in this course.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course




In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:




Classroom Norms


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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