Jun 01 2011

Summer reading assignment for IB Economics students

Published by at 1:14 pm under IB Economics

I have decided to assign a summer reading to get my IB Econ students ready for our final two units. The books below are written by two of the preeminent development economists in the world, who also happen to be “intellectual rivals”. Jefferey Sachs is a professor at Columbia University, and he is known for his support for an increased role for development aid for eradicating global poverty. Paul Collier, of Cambridge University, argues that aid may actually limit the development prospects of poor countries, and instead sees an increased role for international trade in the development process.

Please choose ONE of the books linked below to read over the summer. Read the descriptions on Amazon, and the choice is up to you which one you’d like to read. I hope that in each class, there will be a selection of students who have read each book, so we can have a healthy debate next year about the roles of both aid and trade in economic development.

Both books cost around $10. You can buy them online and download them to any device (phone, computer, iPad, etc…). The links for the Amazin Kindle e-reader apps for all devices are below.

Once you’ve downloaded the Kindle App to the device of your choice, please then read the descriptions of the two books and choose one to download and read over the summer.

E-books on Amazon.com:

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet , by Jeffery Sachs


The Bottom Billion : Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It , by Paul Collier

The books are available in print from Orell Fussli here in Switzerland:

Common Wealth


The Bottom Billion

At the beginning of next year I will ask students to submit a short paper summarizing their views on the issues addressed in the book they’ve read over the summer.

Enjoy these books, they are excellent books, easy to read, and well within your level of understanding after a year of studying Economics.

Enjoy your summer, too!

Mr. Welker


About the author:  Jason Welker teaches International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Economics at Zurich International School in Switzerland. In addition to publishing various online resources for economics students and teachers, Jason developed the online version of the Economics course for the IB and is has authored two Economics textbooks: Pearson Baccalaureate’s Economics for the IB Diploma and REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course. Jason is a native of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and is a passionate adventurer, who considers himself a skier / mountain biker who teaches Economics in his free time. He and his wife keep a ski chalet in the mountains of Northern Idaho, which now that they live in the Swiss Alps gets far too little use. Read more posts by this author

One response so far

One Response to “Summer reading assignment for IB Economics students”

  1. Nick Marshon 03 Jun 2011 at 6:04 am

    Thanks for the suggestion Jason. I will discuss this with my years 12 in YCIS.