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DECO 2085A - Economic History: Society, Trade and Institutions in the Long Term

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Basic knowledge in macroeconomics, statistics and the development of institutions across histoy. In addition, familiarity with the two most important globalization processes would be desirable.

Course Description

The present course aims to construct, through the analysis of historical economic facts, a critical view about long-term economic growth and convergence/divergence across nations. For that purpose, understanding how the early modern divergence and the colonization processes of the Modern Age contributed to create the further economic and institutional framework will help us to obtain a general view about the pre-industrial world, to see how early institutions could affect long-term economic development. The course will continue in the mid XIX century, in order to cover the period from the first industrial revolution to nowadays. Thus, the course aims to answer to the following questions: When did the world start to be unequal across nations? Why there are some countries less developed than others? Why economic theory does not fulfil (completely) and countries tend to diverge? The structure is organized as follows: • The early modern divergence and the origins of capitalism. The course will start by summarizing the colonial processes of the XVI century, the institutional framework arisen as a consequence, and its subsequent effects in the long-term patterns of economic development until the XIX century. This is the period when modern nations start to be configured; when we see the rise and fall of system, the mercantilism, and its substitution for a new economic framework which will determine the subsequent centuries: Capitalism. • Globalization across time: Three periods (1870-1914, 1945-1973, 1973-2008), three stages of globalization. What is the trend after the 2008 crisis? This section aims to analyse the patterns of international trade between nations, and how integrated was the world in every period. Furthermore, this block will cover topics such as the main monetary regimes, trade freedom and institutional framework (i.e. Gold Standard, Bretton-Woods or Floating Exchange Rate; level of freedom and restrictions to trade and capital flows, etc.).


ORTIZ SERRANO, Miguel Angel (Assistant de recherche)

Required reading

Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. A. (2013). Why nations fail: The origins of power, prosperity, and poverty. Crown Business.

Additional required reading

  • Allen, R. C. (2011). Global economic history: a very short introduction (Vol. 282). Oxford University Press Chicago
  • Eichengreen, Barry . The European economy since 1945. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2007
  • Epstein, S. R. . Freedom and Growth. The rise of states and markets in Europe, 1300-1750. London and New York: Routledge. 2000
  • O'Rourke, K. H., de la Escosura, L. P., & Daudin, G. (2010). Trade and empire. The Cambridge economic history of modern Europe, 2, 96-120.