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Political Economy and Economic Development

Explore why and how political institutions affect economic development, and apply key theories and empirical techniques to real-world examples ranging from voting and corruption to the role of the media.

There is one session available:

17,895 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Oct 5
Ends Dec 21
Estimated 11 weeks
12–14 hours per week
Instructor-led on a course schedule
Access to course at no cost

About this course

Skip About this course

This course is part of the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP). To enroll in the MicroMasters track or to learn more about this program and how it integrates with MIT’sMaster’s Program in DEDP, please visit the MicroMasters portal.

In this class, we will study some of the key theoretical and empirical ideas for why and how politics and institutions affect economic development. We will also look at a variety of empirical examples drawn from throughout the developing world.

We have three basic goals for this class:

  • Build a foundation for critical thinking about the role of political economy in understanding economic development.
  • Understand some core theoretical concepts in political economy, with illustrations from developing countries.
  • Understand empirical evidence in economics. What makes a good empirical study? How do we learn about the world empirically? What are some of the techniques we can use to better understand the world?

Course Previews:

Our course previews are meant to give prospective learners the opportunity to get a taste of the content and exercises that will be covered in each course. If you are new to these subjects, or eager to refresh your memory, each course preview also includes some available resources. These resources may also be useful to refer to over the course of the semester.

A score of 60% or above in the course previews indicates that you are ready to take the course, while a score below 60% indicates that you should further review the concepts covered before beginning the course.

Please use the this link to access the course preview.

At a glance

  • Institution: MITx
  • Subject: Social Sciences
  • Level: Advanced
  • Prerequisites:

    Basic understanding of statistics and familiarity with microeconomics will be helpful for this course. There are no prerequisites, but you may find it helpful to take 14.100x (Microeconomics) and 14.310x (Data Analysis for Social Scientists) before this course.

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Key theories and concepts in political economy and their application to studying economic development.
  • Evidence from recent studies on the role of politics and institutions in economic development, and how to interpret their findings.
  • Empirical techniques and econometric tools to study political economy and development.
  • Data analysis using the software R.

14.750x - Political Economy and Economic Development

Week One: Introduction
Week Two: Leaders and Democratic Institutions
Week Three: Deep Determinants of Economic Development: Macro Evidence
Week Four: Deep Determinants of Economic Development: Micro Evidence
Week Five: Voting Systems I
Week Six: Voting Systems II
Week Seven: Voting and Agency
Week Eight: Corruption I
Week Nine: Corruption II
Week Ten: Service Delivery and Discrimination
Week Eleven: Media

About the instructors

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

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