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Topics in Political Economy


The vast differences in economic development in the world are most likely caused by differences in institutions. But institutions are collective choices and, therefore, the outcome of political processes. Therefore, the study of comparative economic development involves asking questions like: why do different countries make such different choices? how do their political institutions influence those choices? how is power distributed, and how is it constrained or directed in the interests of society?

This half of this course discusses these puzzles, focusing on empirical evidence around the causes and consequences of comparative economic development and some of its most salient correlates.

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