Info
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Course 2019-2020 a.y.

30466 - CULTURE, INSTITUTIONS AND DEVELOPMENT

BESS-CLES
Department of Economics

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 13

BESS-CLES (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/01)

Classes: 13 (II sem.)
Instructors:
Class 13: MARA PASQUAMARIA SQUICCIARINI


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

How do institutions and culture affect economic outcomes? This course is designed to provide students with key methodological tools and substantial knowledge from cultural and political economics. The course examines competing hypotheses on the role of geography, institutions, and culture for long-term economic growth and cross-country differences in economic outcomes. Then, it analyzes how technological progress and innovative ideas interact with local culture and institutions. The course also studies the role of religion (and religiosity) for accumulation of human capital and economic progress. Finally, it explores how politicians’ incentives influence economic policies and it concludes by discussing the determinants for the rise of populism and its consequences.

CONTENT SUMMARY
  • The Role of Geography for Economic Growth and Development.
  • The Role of Institutions for Economic Growth and Development.
  • The Role of Culture for Economic Growth and Development.
  • Flows of Ideas and their Interaction with Local Culture and Institutions.
  • The Economics of Religion.
  • Political Institutions, Politicians' Incentives, and Economic Policies.
  • The Rise and Consequences of Populism.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Illustrate the different hypotheses on the role of geography, institutions, and culture for economic development.
  • Describe how local culture and institutions shape the patterns of diffusion of innovations and ideas.
  • Illustrate the role of religion (and religiosity) for accumulation of human capital and economic growth.
  • Recognize how politicians’ incentives affect economic policies.
  • Describe the determinants of the rise of populism.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Critically compare the different hypotheses on the role of geography, institutions and culture for economic progress.
  • Evaluate how technological progress and innovative ideas can be fostered/hampered by local culture and institutions.
  • Evaluate the consequences of religion (and religiosity) for economic development across time and space.
  • Assess how politicians’ incentives influence economic policies, and, in turn, how these incentives are shaped by political institutions.
  • Discuss the determinants of the rise of populism and its consequences.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Group assignments
DETAILS

The learning experience of this course is based on face-to-face lectures by the instructors.

  • In addition, students also are asked to prepare one group presentation on a research paper at the frontier of the field. These presentations are used for the student assessment as well as a basis for a discussion of the papers in class, during which students are encouraged to bring their own views and to share their insights on the most significant, controversial or innovative aspects of the research project.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    In order to evaluate the acquisition of the aforementioned learning outcomes, the assessment of attending students is based on two main components:

    1. Written exam, consisting on a mix of open questions and multiple-choice questions. This accounts for a maximum of 30 points.
      • Open questions are aimed to assess students’ ability to describe and establish connections among the different hypotheses on the role of geography, institutions and culture for economic development; to evaluate the role of religion for economic progress; to describe how politicians’ incentives affect economic performance; and to identify the causes for the rise of populism and its consequences.
      • Multiple choice questions are designed to test students’ knowledge of the key notions and concepts about different political institutions and cultural norms as well as their consequences on economic outcomes.
      • Students can take a partial written exam and complete the written exam at the end of the course. The partial exam focuses on the material covered in the first part of the course. The second partial exam focuses on the material covered in the second part of the course. In this case the weight is: 50% for the mid-term exam and 50% for the end of term exam. Alternatively, students can take a final written exam (100%).
    2. An in-class group presentation. The presentation accounts for a maximum of 2 points. At the beginning of the course, the instructor forms small groups of students and assign to each group a research paper at the frontier of the field. This assignment tests the ability of students to summarize the research question and results presented in scientific journal articles, to enhance their critical thinking, and to engage them in the most recent debate on the role of institutions and cultural norms. The aim of this assignment is also to improve students’ communication and presentation skills.
    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The assessment method for non-attending students is based on a final written exam. As for the case of attending students, the written exam is based on a mix of open questions and multiple-choice questions. It covers all topics analyzed during the course and it accounts for a maximum of 31 points.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Teaching materials are announced before the start of the course and indicated or uploaded to the Bboard platform.

    Last change 01/06/2019 09:43