You can work on this on your own, or with one partner. If there are more than two names on the submitted work, then I will give a maximum grade of 60 to each person listed on the assignment.
What Am I Looking For When I Grade Your Assignment 1?
1. Do you demonstrate an understanding of the course content, course themes and tools that we have examined, and an ability to find information.
2. Have you clearly expressed yourself? Is your writing organized? Has it been proofread to a point that spelling mistakes, typos and grammatical errors are not frequent occurrences?
Some nasty grading details.
1. If I find more than 10 typos, spelling mistakes, or grammatical errors, I will deduct 5 percentage points from the final grade on the assignment for each typo spelling mistake or grammatical error. In other words, you should make sure that you take time to proofread your work.
2. There is also a heavy penalty for handing in your assignment after the set due date, -10 per day to a maximum of 7 days from the due date, after which time the work is worth 0.
Read the rules of the game, the overview and the almanac for the Board Game "Settlers of Catan". These documents are posted on the Blackboard for the Course. If you have questions concerning this assignment, please post them to the discussion board on Blackboard. I will monitor the discussion but I would also like other students in the class to try to respond to the questions as well. You can also debate what the correct answer might be on the discussion board.
1) A. Discuss what "economic development" means in the context of this game?
(Hint: How do you win, and what do you have at the end of the game?)
B. Can you describe what the production function for the game looks like?
(How are labour, capital and resources combined? Are there constant, increasing or decreasing returns to scale?)
2) We have discussed the importance of resource endowments and institutions for an economy's successful development.
a. In this game, what are the resources that make up the endowments, and what defines a given player's endowment of resource at the start of the game? (e.g. what do they have and how much? Is a "hex" a "hex"?)
b. How do institutions matter for the game's outcome? (Hint: Think of trade rules, the role of the robber, the "Monopoly Card" and the role of the army)
c. How does technical progress occur in the game? Is there any other way that technical progress could have been introduced to the game? (Hint: think about the numbers that indicate when a Hex pays-off)
d. Is being on the coast is an important determinant of growth in this game? Why or Why not?
e. What else would matter for the success of a player in this game?
3) I have provided you with a proposed board of play that is intended to represent the territory that becomes Canada.
a. How well does this "model" represent Canada? (Hint: look at an atlas)
i. Is the distribution of endowments a reasonable approximation to reality?
ii. Is there anything missing?
iii. What region of Canada is represented by each player colour?
b. Which colour/region on the game board seems to have the best chance of winning? Explain your reasons.
4) Read the article on blackboard in the assignments area, John McCallum
"Agriculture and economic development in Ontario and Quebec until 1870", Gordon Laxer, ed. Perspectives on Canadian Economic Development: Class, Staples, Gender and Elites (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1991).
a. If you think of Canada in 1867, is this game board historically accurate? How would you change the game board, or the conditions at the start of the game to make it more historically accurate?
b. If you were to play with the game board that you described in part a, then which colour/region on the game board would have the best chance of winning? Explain your reasons.