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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Political Economy and Economic Development

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

This course may be unavailable.


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.


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

Taught by

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and Benjamin Olken


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