Course 905 : Political Economics

Lecture Notes
Readings >>



1. Acemoglu and Robinson, Why nations fail (Book: Chapter 1 and 2)
2. Acemoglu, Johnson and  Robinson; Reversal of fortune: Geography and institutions in the making of the modern world income distribution, QJE 2002
3. Fisman, Estimating the value of political connections, AER 2001
4. Fisman and Miguel, Economic gangsters: Corruption, violence, and the poverty of nations (Chapter 2)
5. Ananthpur, Malik and Rao, The anatomy of failure: An ethnography of a randomized trial to deepen democracy in rural India, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper
6. Piketty and Saez, Income inequality in the United States, 1913-1998, QJE 2003
7. David Harvey, A brief history of neoliberalism (Chapter 1 and 2)

Topic 1: Comparative study of Autocracy and Democracy

Primary References:
1. Meltzer and Richard, A rational theory of size of the government, JPE 1981
2. B’enabou, Inequality and Growth, NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996
3. Husted and Kenny, The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government, JPE 1997
4. Easterly, Benevolent Autocrats

Related References:
1. Bardhan, Scarcity conflicts and cooperation, Chapter 1
2. North and Weingast, Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England, JEH 1989
3. Przeworski, Democracy and Economic Development
4. Sen, Democracy as a Universal Value

Topic 2: Visible sources of power in capitalist democracy – political office

Primary references:
1. Persson, Ronald and Tabellini, Separation of Powers and Political Accountability, QJE 1997
2. Banks and Sundaram, Optimal Retention in Agency Problems, JET 1998
3. Ferraz and Finan, Electoral Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from the Audits of Local Governments, AER 2011
4. Fisman, Schulz and Vig, The Private Returns to Public Office, JPE 2014

Related references:
1. Persson and Tabellini, Chapter 4, Political Economics
2. Wittman, The myth of democratic failure

Topic 3: Invisible sources of power – property ownership, interest group, cronyism

Primary references:
1. Grossman and Helpman, Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics, RES 1996
2. Coate and Morris, On the Form of Transfers to Special Interests, JPE 1995
3. Baldwin and Krugman, Agglomeration, integration and tax harmonisation, EER 2004
4. Cooper, Gulen and Ovtchinnikov, Corporate Political Contribution and Stock Returns, J Fin 2010
5. Khwaja and Mian, Do Lenders Favors Politically Connected Firms? Rent Provision in an Emerging Financial Market, QJE 2005

Related references:
1. Friedman, Capitalism and freedom
2. Fukuyama, The changing of political order
3. Chibber, Capitalism and the state
4. Miliband, The state in capitalist society
5. Varman, Cowboy capitalism
6. NYT report on Tax deals

Topic 4: Divide and rule

Primary references:
1. Padro I Miquel, The Control of Politicians in Divided Societies: The Politics of Fear, RES 2007
2. Mitra and Ray, Implications of an Economic Theory of Conflict: Hindu-Muslim Violence in India, JPE 2014
3. Basu, Why Local Riots Are Not Simply Local: Collective Violence and the State in Bijnor, India 1988-1993, Theory and Society 1995

Related references:
1. Esteban, Mayoral and Ray, Ethnicity and conflict: Theory and facts, Science 2012
2. Mann, A Sociology of Fascist Movements, Chapter 1
3. Esteban and Ray, On the salience of ethnic conflict
4. Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, The New Yorker, 1963