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«Nathan Nunn M-25, Littauer, Harvard nnunn Office Hours: By appointment (please email Prof. Nunn) Michael Kremer M-20, Littauer, ...»

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Development Economics

Spring 2014

Economics 2390c

(also HKS PED 319)

Monday and Wednesday 1:00-2:30pm

Class Location: Harvard Hall 103

Version: January 23, 2014

Nathan Nunn M-25, Littauer, Harvard


Office Hours: By appointment (please email Prof. Nunn)

Michael Kremer M-20, Littauer, Harvard


Office Hours: By appointment (please email Jeanne Winner:


Shawn Cole 271 Baker Library, HBS scole@hbs.edu

Office Hours: By appointment (please email David Frieze:

dfrieze@hbs.edu) Teaching Assistant: Jack Willis jackwillis@fas.harvard.edu Office hours: TBA Section hours: TBA Prerequisites: This class contributes to the fulfillment of requirements for the Development field for Economics Ph.D. students. Non-Ph.D. students are not permitted to enroll in the course. Ph.D. students should have either taken the fall development economics class (Ec 2390b), the fall comparative historical economic development class (Ec 2325), or have taken or be concurrently taking PhD level macro-economics, microeconomics, and econometrics.

The class will be team taught by Nathan Nunn, Michael Kremer, and Shawn Cole, with a special guest lecture by Philippe Aghion.

1 Part I of the course (taught by Nathan Nunn) will cover a host of topics including the role of population, culture, ethnicity, leaders, and corruption in economic development. The last three lectures will examine the efficacy of industrial policy and foreign aid in helping to spur economic growth.

Part II (taught by Michael Kremer) will cover macro-economic topics including aggregate and non-aggregate growth models, models of technology diffusion and choice.

Part III (taught by Shawn Cole) is intended to bring students to the forefront of research on finance in emerging markets. Topics will include the relationship between financial development and economic growth, consumer finance; small and medium enterprise finance; debt and equity markets; the role of management and corporate governance; the political economy of finance, and corruption.

Requirements: Students are asked to write a research paper over the course of the semester, the grade of which will contribute 40% to the overall grade of the class. The paper will be formally due by the end of the reading period (May 9th), though extensions to this deadline are possible under certain circumstances (e.g. to conduct field work). There will also be short student presentations during the last two weeks of the semester. This will allow students to provide feedback on each others’ work before the final paper is written. In addition, students will be asked to hand in a research prospectus (due March 25th), which will account for 20% of the grade.

Assignments (10%) and class participation (30%) will account for the remaining portion of the grade. Students are required to read the starred papers carefully prior to the corresponding lecture, usually two or three papers per topic. There will be no exam for the class.

Research Prospectus: Writing the research prospectus is intended to help you get started on your own research in development economics. You should motivate a research idea in the context of the existing literature, present suggestive statistics from available data, lay out the research design, and present preliminary results when possible. The prospectus should discuss any difficulties with interpreting the results in the desired manner, and ways how to deal with these problems. Your prospectus should be 5-10 double-spaced pages long (10 pages maximum), and there will be heavy emphasis on conciseness, precision, and clarity. You should discuss your project with one of the professors at least once prior to submitting it.

For a more theoretical paper, it should include the main model, some predictions, how • these predictions differ from existing models, and how these differences could be observed in data.

For a more empirical paper, it should include the question wish to address in the paper, • the empirical strategy/specification, and the data (and additional data that you plan to have – be realistic).

Research Paper: At the end of the class you will submit an actual research paper, which implements the research plans outlined in the research prospectus. It should be no longer than 20 double-spaced pages long (11 point font), inclusive of all tables, figure, references, etc. There 2 will be heavy emphasis on conciseness and clarity. You should be getting advice with one of the professors throughout the process. The expectation is that, if the project is promising, then you could present this in the Development Lunch next fall.

Development Seminar:

Everyone is encouraged to attend. It meets on Wednesdays, 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. at MIT in Room

E51-376. You can subscribe at:


Harvard Development Lunch:

Everyone is also encouraged to attend and participate. It meets on Thursdays from noon to 1:30 pm on the 4th floor of Rubenstein Building at Harvard Kennedy School, in the Perkins Room. To sign up for the mailing list, please email Sara Lowes.

Harvard Development Tea:

Everyone is also encouraged to attend and participate. It meets on Mondays from 3:00 - 4:00 pm in Littauer M-17. To sign up for the mailing list, please email Gia Petrakis. The webpage is located here: http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k97763

–  –  –

1 & 2. Introduction & Traditional Theories of Economic Development * Easterly, William. (2001). The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, Chapters 1, 2, and 3.

* Kremer, Michael. (1993). “The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 108(3): 551-575.

Lewis, W. Arthur. (1954). “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour,” Manchester School, 22(2): 139-191.

Solow, Robert M. (1956). “A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 70(1): 65-94.

Rostow, Walt W. (1960). The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto.

Cambridge, Cambrige University Press.

Baumol, William J. (1986). “Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the LongRun Data Show,” American Economic Review, 76(5): 1072-1085.

Makiw, N. Gregory, David Romer, and David N. Weil. (1992). “A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 107(2): 407-437.

Klenow, Peter and Andres Rodriguez-Clare. (1997). “The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?” In Bernanke and Rotemberg (eds) NBER Macroeconmics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pp. 73-114.

Grier, Kevin and Robin Grier. (2007). “Only Income Diverges: A Neoclassical Anomaly,” Journal of Development Economics, 84: 25-45.

Easterly, William and Ross Levine. (2001). “What have we Learned from a Decade of Empirical Research on Growth? It’s Not Factor Accumulation: Stylized Facts and Growth Models,” World Bank Economic Review, 15(2): 177-219.

3. Population and Scale Effects * Kremer, Michael. (1993). “Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 108 (3): 681-716.

* Andre, Catherine and Jean-Philippe Platteau. (1998). “Land relations under unbearable stress:

Rwanda Caught in the Malthusian Trap,” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 34(1):


* Henrich, Joseph. (2004). “Demography and Cultural Evolution: How Adaptive Cultural

Processes can Produce Maladaptive Losses: The Tasmanian Case,” American Antiquity, 69(2):

5 197-214.

Jeffrey Herbst. (2000). States and Power in Africa. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Diamond, Jared. (2005). Collapse: How Societies Fail and Succeed. New York: Viking Press, Chapter 10.

Miguel, Edward, Shanker Satyanath and Ernest Sergenti. (2005). “Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach,” Journal of Political Economy, 112(4): 725-753.

Urdal, Henrik. (2005). “People vs. Malthus: Population Pressure, Environmental Degredation, and Armed Conflict,” Journal of Peace Research, 42(4): 417-434.

4. Leaders * Jones, Ben and Benjamin Olken. (2005). “Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth since World War II,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120(3): 835-864.

* Stackhouse, John, “A Despot’s Delight,” Chapter 7 in Out of Poverty. Random House Canada, pp. 99-104.

* Duflo, Esther and Raghabendra Chattopadhyay. (2004). “Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India,” Econometrica 72(5): 1409-1443.

Jones, Benjamin and Benjamin Olken. (2009). “Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War,” American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 1(2): 55-87.

Beaman, Lori, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Duflo and Petia Topalova. (2009). “Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Prejudice?” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124(4): 1497Corruption * Olken, Benjamin. (2007). “Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia,” Journal of Political Economy, 115(2): 200-249.

* Reinikka, Ritva, and Jakob Svensson. (2004). “Local Capture: Evidence from a Central Government Transfer Program in Uganda,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119(2): 679–705.

* Khwaja, Asim Ijaz and Atif Mian. (2005). “Do Lenders Favor Politically Connected Firms?

Rent Provision in an Emerging Financial Market,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120(4):


Bjorkman, Martina and Jakob Svensson. (2009). “Power to the People: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on Community-Based Monitoring in Uganda,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124(2): 735-769.

–  –  –

6. Ethnicity * Habyarimana, James, Macartan Humphreys, Daniel N. Posner, and Jeremy M. Weinstein.

(2007). “Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision?” American Political Science Review, 101 (4): 709-725.

* Hjort, Jonas. (2013). “Ethnic Divisions and Production in Firms,” Mimeo, Columbia University.

Francois, Patrick, Ilia Rainer and Francesco Trebbi. (2012.) “How is Power Shared in Africa?” Mimeo, University of British Columbia.

Easterly, William, and Ross Levine. (1997). “Africa’s Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112 (4): 1203-1250.

Michalopoulos, Stelios. (2012). “The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: Theory and Evidence,” American Economic Review, 102 (4): 1508-1539.

Habyarimana, James, Macartan Humphreys, Daniel N. Posner, and Jeremy M. Weinstein.

(2009). Coethnicity: Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action. New York: Russell Sage.

Pappaioanou, Elias and Stelios Michalopoulos. (2011). “The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa,” NBER Working Paper 17620.

Alesina, Alberto, Stelios Michalopoulos and Elias Papaioannou. (2012). “Ethnic Inequality,” NBER Working Paper 18512.

Alesina, Alberto and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya. (2011). “Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross Section of Countries,” American Economic Review, 101(5): 1872-1911.

Montalvo, Jose G. and Marta Reynal-Querol. (2005). “Ethnic Polarization, Potential Conflict, and Civil Wars,” American Economic Review, 95(3): 796-816.

Esteban, Joan, Laura Mayoral, and Debraj Ray. (2012). “Ethnicity and Conflict: An Empirical Study,” American Economic Review, 102(4): 1310-1342.

7. Culture * Stackhouse, John, “Daddy George,” Chapter 6 in Out of Poverty. Random House Canada, pp.


7 * Clingingsmith, David, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, and Michael Kremer (2009). “Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam's Global Gathering,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124(3): 1133-1170.

* Henrich et al. (2010.) “Markets, Religion, Community Size, and the Evolution of Fairness and Punishment,” Science, 327: 1480-1484.

* Beaman, Lori, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Duflo, and Petia Topalova. (2009).

“Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Prejudice?” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124 (4): 1497-1540.

Miguel, Edward and Ray Fisman. (2007). “Corruption, Norms and Legal Enforcement: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets,” Journal of Political Economy, 115(6), pp. 1020-1048.

Henrich, Joseph, Robert Boyd, Sam Bowles, Colin Camerer, Herbert Gintis, Richard McElreath and Ernst Fehr. (2001). “In search of Homo Economicus: Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies,” American Economic Review, 91(2): 73-79.

Campante, Filipe and David Yanagizawa-Drott. (2013). “Does Religion Affect Economic Growth and Happiness? Evidence from Ramadan,” Mimeo, Harvard University.

Madestam, Andreas and David Yanagizawa-Drott. (2013). “Shaping the Nation: The Effect of the Fourth of July on Political Preferences and Behavior in the United States,” Mimeo, Harvard University.

Nunn, Nathan and Leonard Wantchekon. (2011). “The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa,” American Economic Review, 101(7): 3221-3252.

Alberto Alesina, Paola Giuliano and Nathan Nunn. (2012). “On the Origins of Gender Roles:

Women and the Plough,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 128(2): 469-530.

Jensen, Robert and Emily Oster. (2009). “The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women’s Status in India,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124(3): 1057-1094.

Gorodnichenko, Yuriy and Gerard Roland. (2013). “Culture Institutions and the Wealth of Nations,” Mimeo, University of California Berkeley.

8. Trade and Industrial Policy * Chang, Ha-Joon. (2003). “Kicking Away the Ladder: Infant Industry Promotion in Historical Perspective,” Oxford Development Studies, 31, 21-32.

* Edmonds, Eric, Nina Pavcnik and Petia Topalova. (2010). “Trade Adjustment and Human

Capital Investments: Evidence from Indian Tariff Reform,” American Economic Journal:

Applied Economics, 2(4): 42-75.

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