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IFCO 2190 - Political economy of Development

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies


We will refer to basic concepts from economics, statistics and econometrics (at the introductory undergraduate level). For those without any exposure to econometrics, we recommend Angrist and Pischke's book “Mastering Metrics”

Course Description

The course is to introduce the students to the recent research in political economy of development. The course will consist of three parts. We will start with the normative approach understanding what government should do in a developing economy discussing missing markets, externalities, public goods, and redistribution. The second part of the course will be devoted to the modern positive political economy theory that explains why real-life democratic and non-democratic governments do what they actually do. In the third part of the course we will apply the tools of political economy theory to specific issues of economic development: economic institutions, accumulation of human capital, international trade and migration, management of natural resources, and transition from plan to market.


  • GURIEV, Sergei (Professeur)
  • MOUGIN, Elisa (Doctorante)
  • VISKANIC, Max (Doctorant)

Pedagogical format


Course validation

Two examinations during the semester (20% each) and one final exam (60%). The term examinations will take the form of take-home assignments; the students will have one week to write a 1000-word essay on the topics discussed in class. There will be four tutorial sessions available to help students prepare for these exams. In the first session, the teaching assistant will explain what is expected to be covered in the essay. In the second session, the teaching assistant will discuss the grading strategy and the common mistakes made by the students. The two-hour final exam will consist of three questions; each will be similar to the respective home assignment; students will be asked to write 500-word essay on the respective topics. The grading criteria will be similar to those for the mid-term exam.

Required reading

  • Acemoglu, Daron, and James Robinson (2012) Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. Crown Business.
  • Easterly, William (2002). The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics. MIT Press.
  • Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke (2014) Mastering 'Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect. Princeton University Press.
  • Deaton, Angus (2013) The Great Escape : Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality. Princeton University Press.
  • Caplan, Bryan (2007). The Myth of the Rational Voter. Why Democracies Choose Bad Politicies. Princeton University Press.

Plans de cours et bibliographies