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Political Economy of Development
Course Description

This course is a graduate-level seminar that introduces students to contemporary research on the political economy of development. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach and examines readings from both economics and political science.

Our course materials roughly fall into the following three categories: i) theoretical debates on the determinants and mechanisms of growth and development; ii) research designs and methods such as experiments and instrumental variable regressions used to empirically evaluate the effects of various factors on the development outcome, and iii) country cases that either support or challenge the existing development theories

 Why should you take this course?

Curiosity: You want to better understand how we can explain the political, social and human development – or the lack of it - across countries and time. Spoiler: There is no single answer to that.

Career: You want to keep up an interesting conversation, if you ever share a plane ride with an expert from the World Bank, the UN or with a professional from an international aid organization - or even plan to join such an organization later in your life.

Research & idealism: Our frontier of knowledge is moving fast. You want to become a researcher and contribute to better understanding of uneven development patterns across countries

Learning Outcomes

The course will provide students with

-        general understanding of the driving forces behind the uneven patterns of economic, political, social, and human development across countries and over time.

-        an introduction of the methodological tools that are commonly used to assess the impacts of these factors.

the necessary knowledge to recognize the current state of knowledge in the field and to conduct independent research


1. Participation and two presentations* (30%)

2. Comment papers* (30%)

3. Mock Job/Internship Application* (40%)


This course has no formal prerequisites. Some background in macroeconomics, international political economy and/or research methodology can be an advantage, but is not required or assumed in this course.

Course Level
Academic Year
US Credits
ECTS Credits
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