ECON 490 - Current Topics in Economics
Section: 101 Economics and the Markets for Human Beings
Term: SP 2009
Subject: Economics (ECON)
Department: LSA Economics
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
ULWR
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Enforced Prerequisites:
ECON 401 and 402 with a grade of at least C-.
Advisory Prerequisites:
ECON 404 or 405.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

How much are you worth if you die? Why do ova cost more than sperm? Is it acceptable to sell your kidney? These questions, while gruesome and perhaps unsettling to consider, address realities about markets today. In this class, we will work through the economics of pricing human beings.

  • How do markets associated with people arise?
  • How do such markets function?
  • What are the ethical questions associated with markets in people or body parts?
  • Where does the law prevent such markets? Where not?

We will discuss the actual pricing of human beings or body parts(as in slavery or kidney markets) and attempts to assign a value to a human life when an accidental death occurs (wrongful death). We will consider cost-benefit analysis, the role of standard economic analysis, the roles of altruism and the profit motive, and the consequences when certain markets for people, parts of people, or genetic components are allowed to exist. In our ethical inquiries, we will examine the ideas of repugnance and commodification. Among other topics, we will explore the international market for babies, the market for cadavers, and the markets for human organs, tissue, blood, sperm and ova.

Requirements:

  • Class participation in all class discussions. This class is not a lecture.
  • Class participation during presentations and problem solving
  • Acceptable research on the semester’s theme topics

This class will require multiple writing assignments. We will work together at every stage to improve the quality of your arguments and writing. Students may work together to acquire or set up a data set, work through the literature, and deal with research problems. The papers are individual projects.

The advisory prerequisite of ECON 404 or 405 is very strongly recommended for this class.

ECON 490 - Current Topics in Economics
Schedule Listing
101 (LEC)
P
54041
Open
26
26Ugrd
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ECON 490 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Digital Innovation Greenhouse, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)