POL41870 Political Economy of Institutions and Comparative Development

Academic Year 2023/2024

This course takes as its starting point the new literature on institutional economics and comparative political economy, with a focus both on the basic theory and on contemporary empirical research. Institutions have proven important for economic and social development. The course will look at how institutions shape the incentives of economic agents, and how this influence economic outcomes in various contexts. Much discussion nevertheless revolves around which types of institutions matter for long run economic growth and development, and to what extent these institutions change over time. This course takes up a number of topics in development economics in which political economy can provide either another angle or new insights into old issues.

There are four key components in this module. The first part of the course deals with the role of institutions which have proven important for economic development. What are institutions? Why are they important? Who shapes institutions and why? To what extent institutions change over time, and how institutions affect economic growth, investments, and prosperity. The role of geography in slave trade and how slave trade has affected economic growth via low levels of trust in society today. In the second segment of the course will critically examine the role of institutions. In the process, we will explore alternative explanations other than institutions which explain variation in economic development across countries. The third segment in the course will give a broad overview of "Dutch disease" and then turns to its consequences especially for socio-economic and political development. This part of the course also discusses various strategies (tried & tested and untried) available at the disposal of policy makers to counter the “Resource curse" problem. In the final segment, the course will focus on the role of regimes in economic development. What is the concept of democracy? How is it different from Constitutional liberalism? Why is liberal democracy a tough venture? How did the West succeed in managing liberal democracy? Why is there a democracy deficit in the Middle East? Why do democracies prefer FDI? Unpacking the empirical relationship between democracy, income, and socio-economic outcomes. This leads us to the final question on whether China is the new idol for emerging economies?

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

The objective of the course is to give students a solid foundation in the basic concepts of various topics covered under advanced development studies, as well as a first impression and understanding of the topics studied and the methodologies used at the frontier of development studies research today. Throughout the course, students will learn how to read research papers, evaluate the data and methodology used, and how to interpret scatter plots and regression results.

Indicative Module Content:

Key topics covered will be:

1. The concept of institutions. Types of institutions. What are they and why they are important?
2. How institutions shape economic and political outcomes.
3. How are institutions shaped?
4. Who shapes institutions and why?
5. Why explains variation in institutions across the world?
6. Do institutions really matter?
7. The "Dutch disease"
8. Democracy - Development debate.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Lectures

22

Autonomous Student Learning

228

Total

250

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The teaching and learning approaches used in this module will be as follows:

1. Lectures
2. Intensive class discussions.
3. Critical writing; Review of published research work
4. Problem-based learning
5. Case study-based learning
6. Reviewing research papers, understanding the identification strategy applied in models.
 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

The objective of the module is to give students a solid foundation in the advanced concepts of new institutional economics, as well as a first impression and understanding of the topics studied and the methodologies used at the frontier of institutional research today. Therefore, this module is designed especially for students who are either interested in or intend to specialise in the field of Development Studies, Political Economy, Development Economics and Politics of Development. Therefore, this module is highly recommended for those students who are deeply interested in the afore-mentioned fields.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Class Test: This is a mid-term exam consisting of a one-hour class test covering 30% of the overall weighting towards the final grade. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No

30

No
Oral Examination: There will be an oral exam covering 40% of the overall weighting towards the end of the trimester. The oral exam will take place on the last session. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No

40

No
Multiple Choice Questionnaire: There will be an MCQ test covering 30% of the overall weighting towards the end of the trimester. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No

30

No

Carry forward of passed components
No
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

1. A written feedback is provided to each student on their exam paper assignment within 20 working days of the assignment in according with university policy. 2. A written feedback is provided to each student on their oral exam within 20 working days of the exam date in according with university policy.