DevSim: A PowerPoint-Based Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Game for Teaching Economic Development

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This paper explains how to use a game (“DevSim”) built using PowerPoint with an embedded Excel spreadsheet. DevSim plays out key structural changes studied in development economics. It provides a fun way to introduce students to central themes of economic development including industrialization, demographic transition, sources of growth, trade, institutions, and the resource curse. The foundation of the game is a production function, with the class allocating labor and capital to different industries each turn to grow their economy. More advanced concepts like trade and institutions are introduced each turn in the form of exogenous shocks.

Mark Fabian