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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2023/2024

Economic Growth: Lessons from the Past

Type: Elective course (Economics)
Area of studies: Economics
When: 4 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of one campus
Instructors: Andrei Markevich, Timur Natkhov
Language: English
ECTS credits: 6
Contact hours: 56

Course Syllabus

Abstract

This course presents recent research on the origins of economic growth. The two main questions that underlie the lectures will be: why are contemporary societies so much wealthier than the past ones, and why are there such large differences in living standards across societies today? To investigate these questions we will overview long-run trends in economic and demographic history, and theories that aim to explain patterns in the data. Unlike traditional courses in economic history that present a chronological sequence of key events, this course is organized around important theoretical questions in the fields of economic growth, development economics and political economy. We will see that history is an invaluable source of data, a “natural laboratory” that social scientists have at their disposal to confront their theories with evidence. In addition, the course focuses on modern empirical methods that are widely used in economics and political science. Discussing papers with interesting research questions, original data and clever empirical strategy will give students a taste for empirical work in social sciences. A “fun part” of the course relates the best papers in the field to the famous historical movies. You may watch a movie while reading a paper to acquaintance yourself with the historical background and boost your intuition about the mechanisms of the observed quantitative results.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The goal of the course is to expose students to the latest research in economic history and long-run economic development. The lectures will present the connections between economic models and historical data. During the seminars students will learn to work with quantitative evidence and replicate the most important papers in the field.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Understanding of basic models of economic growth. Knowledge of empirical facts and regularities observed in the data. Ability to analyse and critically assess academic studies in the field of economic history.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Lecture 1. Why Economics Needs History?
  • Lecture 2. The Malthusian Trap: Population and Economy Before 1800.
  • Lecture 3. Escape from the Malthusian trap: The First Divergence
  • Lecture 4. From Malthus to Solow: The British Industrial Revolution
  • Lecture 5. Engines of Growth: Knowledge and Technology
  • Lecture 6. Human Capital and the Demographic Transition
  • Lecture 7. The Role of Political Institutions in Great Divergence
  • Lecture 8. Culture and Growth
  • Lecture 9. Topics in Russian Economic History
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Activity
  • non-blocking Test
  • non-blocking Presentation
  • non-blocking Written assignment
  • non-blocking Экзамен
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2023/2024 2nd module
    0.15 * Activity + 0.15 * Activity + 0.05 * Presentation + 0.05 * Presentation + 0.075 * Test + 0.075 * Test + 0.15 * Written assignment + 0.3 * Экзамен
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • A culture of growth : the origins of the modern economy, Mokyr, J., 2017
  • A farewell to alms : a brief economic history of the world, Clark, G., 2007
  • Bourgeois equality : how ideas, not capital or institutions, enriched the world, McCloskey, D. N., 2017
  • Economic origins of dictatorship and democracy, Acemoglu, D., 2006
  • Institutions and the path to the modern economy : lessons from medieval trade, Greif, A., 2006
  • The economics of the industrial revolution, , 2011
  • The institutional framework of Russian serfdom, Dennison, T., 2013
  • Unified growth theory, Galor, O., 2011

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Serfdom and social control in Russia : Petrovskoe, a village in Tambov, Hoch, S.L., 1989