Course number:  Economics 234 (next offering: Winter 2007)

 Current catalogue description:  “Are Japan and the U.S. financially separate but inseparable? This course covers the evolution, institutional structure, cultural context, and efficiency of these two financial systems with special emphasis on their interdependence via institutions, trade, and capital movements.

 Course summary (from initial offering, Spring 2006): The Japanese and American financial systems can be compared with saplings planted long ago and seemingly far apart which now appear as one large and flourishing grove of vigorous, mature trees.  As the Japanese and American economies have grown since World War II, their financial systems have become inextricably linked. Course readings are quite varied, with readings on both history and current issues. For economics majors, the course can serve as a “bridge” between our introductory and intermediate courses, helping you learn applied economic ways of thinking and pick up some technique and institutional information related to financial markets and international trade and finance. Majors in Economics, East Asian Studies or Political Science, or even the merely curious, should leave the course with a better understanding of:

  1. The economic evolution of modern Japan in its political and cultural context.

  2. The unique development of American money, commercial banking, central banking, and financial markets, as well as the changing international exchange rate regimes and trade practices in the 19th and 20th centuries.

  3. The Japanese-American economic and political friction related to trade imbalances and exchange rates, which can also aid in understanding U.S. relations with China and other countries as well.

  4. The mutual influences of Japan and the U.S. on each other in an era in which developed countries are increasingly interdependent but most U.S. citizens still seem to subscribe to a strong cultural myth in which the U.S. makes its own way in the world.

For students majoring in economics, the course also serves as a “bridge” between our introductory economics course and the intermediate sequence, helping you to apply economic ways of thinking and to pick up some technique and institutional information related to financial markets and international trade and finance.

Aerial view of Hakodate, a Japanese port on Hokkaido.

In Japan, the saying is that "the customer is god."

Top Banner:  Coca-Cola, featured at a booth at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, is also a top soft drink brand in both the U.S. and Japan.

This course carries a CDEA designation in the general education program.

The only prerequisite is Economics 101.  The course is designed for sophomore and first-year students and there has normally been room for both groups. Economics majors who have reached the junior or senior year are not eligible for the course.

Click here for pre-registration information for this course for the initial offering in the Spring of 2006.

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Last Updated: 07/21/06 02:11 PM