Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / sessions


11.701 or permission of instructor

Topics Covered

Topics covered are:

  • Employment and local economic development with respect to the informal sector, clusters and supply chains (global as well as local, large firms as well as small and medium, modern as well as rustic)
  • Compliance with labor, environmental, and other standards in the context of upgrading
  • Associations among firms, and among workers, and among professionals and other staff in the public and private sectors
  • The politics and political economy of such initiatives
  • Lessons from policy and implementation experiences. The course links these approaches to the broader literature on poverty reduction, economic development, politics, and the reform of government


An average of two article- or chapter-length readings will be assigned each session, to be read before the session for which they are assigned. Students should attend class regularly, have read the required readings before class, and be prepared to participate in class discussions based on the readings.

Students will also prepare two 10-page double-spaced papers based on questions related to the readings, and a short oral presentation on the last day of class.


Grades will be based on:

  • Participation in class
  • Knowledge of the readings as reflected in class discussions
  • Written assignments
  • The extent to which improvement over the course of the semester is apparent
  • Attendance