Dr. P.V. Viswanath
|Courses / FIN 680V/FIN 360|
FIN 680V/ FIN 360:
|Office||W433, Pace New York|
|Office hours:||Wednesdays, 2pm to 5pm and Fridays, 1pm to 3pm and by appointment
Note: I am in my office in New York most of the week; let me know if you want to see me at other times.
The primary objective of this course is to provide the student with an introduction to the practice of microfinance in India. In order to prepare the student to understand how microfinance is practised in India, the course will also provide the student with an introduction to the Indian economy and to relevant issues in economic development.
Students will learn about the economics of microfinance; both the concepts and the practice of this revolutionary technique that has changed the life of many poor families in developing countries and which has earned its originator, Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Prize.
In our trip to India, we will visit microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Kerala and Mumbai. In Kerala, we will visit MFIs in Thrissur, Palakkad and Ernakulam; in Mumbai, we will visit several microfinance institutions involved in microsavings, microcredit and micromortgages. In several of these MFIs, students will also participate in a hands-on project to give them a feel for what microfinance is and what it entails.
Required Text: Reading materials will be provided on Blackboard in the Documents section. In addition, students will read from The Economics of Microfinance, MIT Press, 2010, written by Beatriz Armendariz and Jonathan Morduch. You can find an older version of this textbook online. This should be sufficient. I will post other chapters, as necessary. However, if you buy a copy of the second edition for yourself, it will be worthwhile.
You should obtain a Pace e-mail address as soon as possible, so that I can send you e-mail. Any student's Pace e-mail address can be obtained by going to http://whitepages.pace.edu/. More information about e-mail address, etc. can be obtained from the Pace ITS website. Even if you have another e-mail address where you wish to get your e-mail, you should still get a Pace e-mail address. Once you have your Pace e-mail account and password, have your e-mail forwarded to your preferred e-mail address. You can find information on how to have your mail automatically forwarded at the Pace ITS website. The only way that I can communicate with you is through your Pace e-mail account. So please get your Pace account information as soon as possible.
I am available for consultation by e-mail at email@example.com. I check my e-mail practically every day, and, in most cases, you should get a speedy response to any questions.
The school's academic integrity statement can be found here. Academic integrity infractions can include, but are not limited to, copying and presenting the work of another as your own, collaborating with others on assignments intended to be done individually, using unauthorized resources such as an instructor's manual to complete assignments, copying the work of others during an exam, and failing to reference the work of others or creating fake references in your assignments. You may receive a failing grade in any assignment, exam, or course in which an infraction takes place, and you may be suspended or expelled from the school. If you need more information on how to avoid plagiarism, you can find it on the Library's website.
Please refer to the Pace website for the school's policies on students with disabilities, affirmative action and emergency closings.
There will be three kinds of course activities:
Participation in all three aspects of the course is required.
There will be a single exam (only for undergraduates) at the end of the term, based partly on a pre-assigned question list.
Readings will be assigned every week. Online discussion will take place using the Discussion Board on Blackboard. New topics will be assigned every week.
The Discussion Board forums are an important part of the course. You will be given articles to read and react to. At the bottom of the article, you will generally find some comments/questions at the bottom of the article; however, you should not treat these questions as requiring "answers" necessarily. Rather treat them as my thoughts and simply comment on the issues raised by the article or by the information contained in the article. Even if you are reacting to my thoughts, the structure of your posting should not in the form of an "answer" to my questions. I will deduct points if you ignore this requirement! Postings must be made according to the schedule indicated on the calendar. Do not start new threads unless you have also responded to a previous posting in an existing thread.
Postings will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
There will be at least two Blackboard discussions. Please read everybody's posting and reply to them. Look at the discussion forum every couple of days, at least, and keep the discussion vigorous.
Information about in-class meetings are available on the Course Calendar on Blackboard.
In addition to attendance, there will several writing assignments.
For graduate students, MBA 648 (Minimum Grade of C)
For undergraduate students, FIN 260
Your final grade will be determined as follows:
Letter grades will be assigned as follows:
Note that the minimum and maximum quantitative scores for plus and minus refinements to the letter grades will be at my discretion. These will be partly determined by the distribution of student scores within each letter grade category. I place a high value on effort; at my discretion, I will raise your grade one notch if I feel that you have tried hard to satisfy all the requirements of the course.