This course uses a historical and comparative approach to understanding the evolution and development of societies. In particular, we will examine research that asks whether differences in economic development today have historical roots. In addition, we will study different mechanisms and channels through which history matters. Particular attention will be paid to the role of domestic institutions and culture in explaining historical persistence.
This course is targeted to second-year Ph.D. students in economics. It is not open to Undergraduate or Masters students. The course fulfills the distribution requirement
Ec 1393 Poverty and Development (Spring 2019)
We will consider a number of important questions in the field of development economics: Why are some countries so rich and others so poor? What factors have determined which countries prosper? Which are the root causes and which are the proximate causes of economic underdevelopment? Can these factors be changed with specific economic policies? If so, what are they and how are they best implemented? Are there country-specific characteristics that determine economic fate? Or, is prosperity just the result of luck? Does the enjoyment of the rich somehow depend on the continuing suffering of the poor? We will consider these questions and more. The course is intended to not only provide a general overview of the dominant views about economic development and policy, but to also provide students a sense of the most recent research in the field. For this reason, the course will go beyond the usual textbook summary of the field. Students will also examine recent journal articles that have made important contributions to the field of development economics. In the course, a particular effort is made to link the theories and empirical evidence to the real world.
Ec 2905 Early Stage Research and Discussions on Economic Development (Full Year 2018-2019)
Participants discuss recent research in economic development and present their own work in progress. Popularly known as the Development Tea. Primarily, but not exclusively, for doctoral students in economics who have passed their oral examinations.
Ec 3010 Graduate Student Workshop in Political Economy and Culture (Full Year 2018- 2019)
The course is intended for students interested in research within the field of political economy or cultural economics, both broadly defined. Participants discuss research papers presented by scholars at Harvard and from elsewhere. They also present their own work in progress.
Ec 3004 Graduate Student Workshop in Economic History (Full Year 2018-2019)
Participants discuss recent research in economic history and present their own work in progress. Primarily, but not exclusively, for doctoral students in economics who have passed their oral examinations. Popularly known as The History Tea.
Ec 3104 Seminar in Economic History (Full Year 2018-2019)
Intended for students writing dissertations related to economic history themes and/or methodology and for others with interests in economic history. Discusses research papers presented by scholars at Harvard and elsewhere
Ec 3119 Political Economy of Religion (Full Year 2018-2019)
Current research on religion and political economy will be presented by outside speakers and Harvard faculty and students.
Ec 3005 Graduate Student Workshop in Economic Development (Full Year 2018-2019)