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IFCO 2190 - Political economy of Development

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

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 and political institutions, accumulation of human capital, international trade and migration, management of natural resources, and transition from plan to market.


  • DEWITTE, Edgard (Etudiant doctorant à Sciences Po)
  • GURIEV, Sergei (Professeur)
  • RUSSO, Sophie (PhD student)

Pedagogical format


Course validation

Two examinations during the semester (20% each) and one final exam (60%). The two mid-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 before each take-home exam, the teaching assistant will explain the grading criteria and what is expected to be covered in the essay. In the second session (after the respective exam), the teaching assistant will discuss the grading strategy and the common mistakes made by the students. The two-hour final exam will consist of questions similar to the respective home assignments above; students will be asked to write 500-word essay on two of these questions (students will have a choice of two questions out of four). The grading criteria for all exams will be disseminated before the exams. Please note that the exams will take place during the periods dedicated to the midterm and final exams at Sciences Po.

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