January 10, 2011

Weinstein, David Silver_nugget
[W4325] Economic Organization and Development of Japan

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Weinstein is a great guy; he's a very passionate and strong lecturer, and makes some hilarious jokes. He tries his best to make the class enjoyable, and generally succeeded. I'd venture to guess that almost anyone who doesn't hate economics will enjoy this class. There are readings, all of which I did pre-midterm, but once I found that they weren't really that exciting or that relevant to class material/tests, I stopped. Still, I recommend reading from the Modern History book. It's really interesting.

The paper at the end is difficult, and can seem very overwhelming. Do start a bit early, and meet with Weinstein repeatedly until you feel like you know what you're doing. He's extremely helpful when it comes to finding sources, thinking about topics, etc. Seems like a legitimately cool guy.

Tests are not easy, but certainly not hard. Study a bit, go over the mathematical derivations and the slides, and you'll be fine.

I wasn't a huge fan of the class participation component of the grade - it seems to favor either the students who were extremely well-educated on the topic or the students who were willing to say absolutely anything to get a higher grade. But it's really not the biggest deal. He asks some painfully easy questions in class, presumably to help those who want participation credit but don't know much economics/Japan history.

In sum - highly recommend. Very fascinating material (most of it), and great professor. Hard at times, but well worth it.

Workload:

There really isn't any, unless you wish to obsess over the readings.