Inequality and Poverty

Dec 2018

Good professor very passionate Hard grader But great elective

Jan 2008

I have mixed feelings about this class, because at times I enjoyed the theories being discussed and at others I wanted to smash my head in boredom. Reddy is a sweet man, but is definitely not concise. When he speaks in lectures it's like he's reading from a wordy dissertation he wrote, and its hard to follow him at times. There are no books to purchase for this class--all the readings were available online. However, the amount of reading he assigns each week is completely unmanageable. He touches upon some readings more than others, but he ignores some completely. You can probably get by without doing most of the reading at all. I got an A- in the class and I stopped reading anything after the midterm. That said, there were plenty of people in the class that were truly interested in the material, and the questions they raised made the class more interesting. Reddy tries to accommodate the students interests (he brought in a guest lecturer because we were more interested in topics on NYC) and he also grades extremely generously and will weigh the final more if you do poorly on the midterm. Take this class if you're really interested in inequality or poverty, or if you want a fairly easy A in an economics elective.

Oct 2007

I LOVED this class and Professor Reddy is BY FAR one of the best professors I have ever encountered at Columbia. He is SO SWEET and you can tell that he really cares about his students. Professor Reddy is an extremely good lecturer and very eloquent. The good thing about this class is that it puts economics in to many different contexts like sociology and anthropology so you don't just have to be an econ major to enjoy this class. I HIGHLY recommend this class to ANYONE, whether they are interested in economics or not. Professor Reddy is amazing.

Jan 2007

I found Sonia very engaging. She goes by slides but still manages to generally make an argument, which with you can choose to agree or disagree. Although the class is often oversimplistic, it was generally very thought-provoking and interesting. If you are interested in an economic interpretation of public policy, this class is for you.

Jan 2007

This class is a waste of time to attend - the lectures display intellectual laziness (data from 1995) and the tone is far from scintillating. And it's taught like no one in the class has any economic background whatsoever. But as long as you go through the tedium of outlining the answers to the midterm/final essays (conveniently given out as pass/fail assignments before the tests), you will get an A. Easily. You might even learn a couple interesting facts.

Dec 2006

Unfortunately this was a very lack-luster class. The professor is amiable and passionate about the subject, but she isn't able to present the material in an engaging manner. We spent the first week of class looking at broad measures of poverty and inequality in the world, but we never really moved on from there. It was always more graphs and statistics, or summaries of studies. She posted all of the PowerPoints online, so there seemed to be no reason to go to class. We didn't have very many reading assignments, but the ones we were responsible for she would have already summarized in the lecture notes. So there wasn't any need to read either, although I found the papers much more interesting than her lectures. The structure of the exams was kind of odd...they were virtually the same as the two "Quizes" that we had a week to complete for homework, and the answers came directly from the slides. Most of us were surprised when we got our midterms back though, because our grades were much lower than expected. She posted "answer keys" for the quiz and the midterm, but I don't see much of a difference between what I wrote and what she was supposedly looking for. For the final, she has already posted the answers to the second quiz. There is also the option of writing a research paper instead of the two exams; the student paper presentations the last week of class were actually very interesting. Bottom line: In my opinion, this was a pretty boring course, even if the subject matter was intriguing. The workload is close to nil, but the grading seems to be unfair.

Nov 2006

The focus of this class, Inequality & Poverty is very interesteing, but this professor doesn't quite do it justice. Her slides are very thorough and well planned, but it has become quite annoying to be in an upper level class where the professor teaches by reading the slides word for word. This has been a tough class to stay awake in at times. She is simply not engaging. Our midterm was a disaster. It was based on the problem set which she refused to provide answers to. A lot of people were confident going into the exam, but did horribly because she did not explain to us what she expected in our replies.

Jul 2006

Easy A, don't bother to buy the books. All slide show, posted on coursework. Don't ask questions, most of the times she doesn't have an answer.

Aug 2003

class drags by so incredibly slowly with him. BUT he is so incredibly nice and personable. he's ALSO nice with the grades. if you show improvement over time, he'll give you the benefit of the doubt and curve it. in addition, he curves the tests anyways. so it's doublely nice. the only prob is the telephone thickeness of his combined readings... there;s few books to buy. but it's alot of dense material. he's always up for suggestions on ways to grade you... if you want to avoid a final... he has mentioned that previous students did extensive interviews and etc for papers.. or you could do a regular paper

Jul 2003

The class is likely to receive mixed reviews, because I myself have mixed feelings about it. The class itself digresses vastly from other econ classes, since we do not analyze as many graphs, equations, etc. There is tons of reading that can be regarded as highly theoretical as well. You need very little from the intermediate macro and micro classes to follow this class. You just simply have to read. It is true that Professor Reddy's voice is very monotous, but his lectures are excellent and they are a perfect summary of all the readings. He definitely shows consideration for his students, deliberately asking questions or opinions to reach out to his large class. However, the class is still very impersonal.

Mar 2002

The absolute BEST class I've taken at Columbia. Professor Reddy is, without a doubt, an unbelievably articulate and fascinating lecturer and an absolutely brilliant man. His lecturers couldn't be further from "boring" or "monotonous." His genuine passion for the topic at hand come across loud and clear and the time spent in class absolutely flies by. The topics he selected for exploration were truly interesting and timely and were drawn from a variety of disciplines including philosophy, sociology, and of course, economics. Anyone who bothered to put a little effort into attending class and listening to his lectures came away with a very strong foundation in looking at the question of inequality and poverty in this country and abroad. Both lectures and assesments definitely are biased toward the qualitative, rather than quantitative, side. So this is an ideal class for those of us who want to go beyond endless graphs and confusing superscripts. He is very responsive to suggestions and made a real effort to alter the course so as to accomodate student feedback.

Jan 2000

Indifferent and rude to students. Clear antipathy to his undergrads, the education process, and the world in general. It's certainly possible to get an A, and he is qualified as an instructor, but even his TAs have complained about him.