Objectif du cours
This course provides a graduate-level introduction to political economy, with a focus on the functioning of institutions and their impact on economic development and politics. It discusses a heterogeneous field in terms of methodology with an effort to combine economic theory and data.
The course is divided in four parts. Part I provides an introduction to the course with a focus on the econometric tools that will be used in the rest of the course. Part II covers topics in democratic politics such as voting, electoral competition, electoral control and accountability. Part III deals with dictatorship and institutional change. Part IV focuses on bureaucracy, corruption, and a “case study”, i.e. the Italian Mafia.
The questions discussed in this course constitute an increasingly important subfield of economics. Both recent theoretical advances and cutting-edge empirical approaches will be covered. An objective of the course is to provide students with adequate technical background and knowledge of existing literature to critically think about the link between development, institutions and politics, as well as to produce original research work on these topics.
Lectures of this course are inspired from those taught by D. Acemogly, N. Berman, H. Muller, B. Olken, and M. Sangnier.
The course builds and extends in important applied fields on previous and concurrent courses in the MSc program, in particular, Microeconomics and Econometrics. Familiarity with contents of these courses is assumed. Familiarity includes a working knowledge of how to apply economic models in context and how to select and use appropriate econometric tools to test the theory. In addition, student should be familiar with basic optimization techniques used in economics (i.e. utility maximization problems). Moreover, students should be familiar with the most common statistical methods in econometrics, e.g. OLS and Fixed Effects estimators. Students should also have working knowledge of statistical packages such as STATA.
Lecturers : Sophie Hatte et Lavinia Piemontese
The course consists of 24 hours (9 sessions of 2 or 3 hours), each covering a separate topic in Political Economy.
1. Introduction to political economy (week 1)
a. Political economy and economic growth
b. Under the thumb of history ?
c. Empirics : toolkit
2. Democratic politics (weeks 2-4)
d. From social choice to political economy
e. Political agency and electoral control
f. Case study : the role of the media
Institutional change and dictatorships (weeks 5-6)
g. Democracies and autocracies : stylized facts
h. Revolutions and democratization : theory and empirics
i. Dictatorship and economic performance
Bureaucracy and corruption (weeks 7-9)
j. Bureaucracy as an institution: a theoretical
k. Bureaucracy and corruption: an empirical approach
l. Case study: the Italian Mafia
Students will be graded on the basis of continuous assessment (1/3 of the final grade), one in-class presentation (1/3 of the final grade), and a research project (1/3 of the final grade). Continuous assessment consists in four problem sets to be completed in groups of 2 students. Detailed guidelines for the research project will be discussed in class.
The course focuses on research applications in the field of Political Economy with a strong theoretical and econometrical foundation. Here is the list of the main textbooks. Articles and papers presented in class will be listed on the Portail des Etudes.
- Acemoglu, D., and J. Robinson (2006) Economic origins of dictatorship and democracy, Cambridge MA: Cambridge University Press.
- Besley, T. (2006) Principled agents? The political economy of good government, Oxford University Press.
- Morton, R. B. (2006) Analyzing elections, WW Norton.
- North, D. (1990) Institutions, institutional change and economic performance, Cambridge MA: Cambridge University Press.
- Persson, T., and Tabellini, G. (2002) Political economics: explaining economic policy, MIT Press.