Economics of Institutions, Culture and Development

Academic Year: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Description: 
Mandatory/Elective for One-year MAPP and MPA 1st year students S(tudents have to complete 2 credits of either this class or
Economics of Higher Education (2); or Political Economy of Reforms (2); or Data and Development (2))
Development Specialization

Institutional economics is the study of the evolution of economic organizations, laws, customs and their interactions with the process of economic development. The course examines the role of history and both formal and informal institutions (culture) in the performance of economies. The goals of this course are to (1) deepen your understanding of the role of institutions in the process of economic development, (2) provide you with empirical, conceptual and theoretical apparatus that have wide application for understanding the mechanisms, (3) suggest empirical and theoretical research projects for a nuanced perspective of culture and the long shadow of history on socio-economic outcomes, and (4) invoke and engage your curiosity about the “why’s and wherefore’s" of the world today. 


Lectures are intended to provide structure and a theoretical framework to guide the discussions and student presentations. Students interested in advancing their quantitative skill-sets are encouraged to write an empirical research paper. 

Learning Outcomes: 
Students will be able to:
  • understand the effect of institutional mechanisms (e.g., laws, customs and, history) on development
  • learn to apply empirical methods (R, STATA) in evaluating the impact
  • widen their understanding of the development process and develop thesis ideas
  • Paper discussion 15%

  • 4 Q’s for class & participation 10%
  • Assignment & 3 Short notes 15%
  • Research Paper outline 10%
  • Team presentation 20%
  • Final Research paper 30% 
There are no prerequisites for this elective (but students are expected to have
taken basic courses in statistics and economics).