History | Social Growth-Poor Countries
W300 | 26199 | Riley


A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to undergraduates only

In a few low-income countries people live as long as they do in the
US and other rich lands.  Discovering this leads to three questions.

1: How did this happen?  To answer this, the course will explore how
Albania, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, South Korea, Sri Lanka
and some other countries built better survival.  The key period in
this development came between 1890 and 1960.  The key factors deal
with social growth: primary schooling, public health systems, access
to medical treatment, and the people's cooperation in achieving
health goals.  In each case we will study a case of success in
comparison to a neighboring country where life expectancy did not
rise so fast or so far.

2: What lessons can other low- and middle-income countries learn
from the successes of these few countries?  Which programs might
plausibly be adopted in countries that lag in life expectancy?

3: Do the stories of success provide clues about how to reorganize
health systems in the rich countries?  In most rich countries health
spending is rising more rapidly than any other major area.  In the
US it has now surpassed 15 per cent of national income.  Most
observers think that a 15% level cannot be sustained, but most
observers also predict continuing increases up to perhaps 20%.  Can
the US and other rich countries learn anything about cost control
from the health successes of poor countries?

This class satisfies the intensive writing requirement.  Lectures,
class analysis and discussion of important problems and issues,
interesting reading and other material.  Grades will be based on
seven papers, class discussion, and reports.