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Economics: Latin America


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
Limited places are also open for exchange students.
Please note: this course takes place in The Hague. Traveling between University buildings from Leiden to The Hague takes about 45 minutes.


This course gives students a foundation in economic development as it occurs in the Latin America region. The course is split into two blocks. Block one investigates the economic features of the region as a whole, starting with the different approaches to economic policy (state-led, market-led approaches) that have characterized the region since the second half of the twentieth century, before moving on to examine the state of the ‘factors of production’ in the region – land, labor, capital and technology. The second block explores issues in Third World economic development and looks at different ways they have been approached in Latin America. Issues like poverty and inequality, debt and international finance will be covered here. Throughout the course, students will learn about economic and development challenges in the region, but they will also learn about innovations that have emerged in the realm of economic activity in the region. The course therefore looks at the Latin American economy not just as a problem to be solved, but as a source of dynamic expression that we can learn from.

Course objectives

Students have:

  • Acquired an overview of the historical and contemporary economic developments and political economy dynamics in their chosen area and deepen their existing knowledge and understanding of different economic systems, economic institutions, economic processes and actors in the different regions/countries of the region, using the concepts acquired during the courses Economics and Configuring the World.

  • Been acquainted with academic debates on selected topics in the specific region.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction


Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.


Tutorials are held once every three weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence. Being absent without notification and valid reason or not being present at half or more of the tutorial sessions will mean your assignments will not be assessed, and result in a 1.0 for the tutorial (30% of the final grade).

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 140 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 24 hours

  • Attending tutorials: 8 hours

  • Assessment hours (midterm and final exam): 4 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: (approximately 7 pages per hour): 64 hours

  • Time for completing assignments, preparing classes and exams: 40 hours

Assessment method


  • Midterm exam: The mid-term exam will be in the format of short answer questions and will correspond to 30% of the final grade. This exam will cover the material in the first half of the course, including the required readings.

  • Final exam: The final exam will be in the format of short answer questions and will correspond to 40% of the final grade. This exam covers the second half of the course, including the required readings.


Partial grade Weighing
Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of tutorial, midterm exam and final exam.

  • The weighted average of the midterm exam and final exam needs to be 5.5 or higher.


If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), or the weighted average of midterm- and final exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier midterm and final exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the resit exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.

Retaking a passing grade

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2017 – 2018.

Exam review

How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.


Blackboard will be used for tutorial groups. Students are requested to enroll on Blackboard for this course, but only after correct enrolment in uSis.

Reading list

A reading pack will be made available for purchase.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis can be found here.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


For tutorials M.G. Palacio Ludeña

When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.