Introduction to Economic History: Capital, Inequality, Growth

Introduction à l'histoire économique: capital, inégalité, croissance

(Master APE & PPD, EHESS & Paris School of Economics)

Thomas Piketty - Academic year 2017-2018

Syllabus & Reading List 2017-2018

Email : name at

Office: Jourdan R5-04

Course web page :

"Introduction to Economic History" is a compulsory first-year master course and can also be attended as an optional second-year master course. The objective is to present to a general introduction to economic history, with special emphasis on the interaction between capital accumulation, the global distribution of income and wealth, and growth.

Students wishing to specialize in economic history and related subjects are also strongly encouraged to attend the optional second-year master course "Advanced Economic History".

Students with special interest in the history and theory of optimal taxation and redistribution or wishing to specialize in public economics are also encouraged to attend the optional second-year master course "Public Economics".

"Introduction to Economic History" is organized in 8 lectures of 3 hours each. To validate the course, students are required (1) to attend and actively participate to all lectures; (2) to tale the exam (exemples of past exams are here).

Lectures 1-2: Income, capital and growth in the long run: How did rich countries become rich?
(Tuesday September 5th & 12th 2017, 15h30-18h30)

(Tuesday September 19th 2017, 15h30-18h30)

Lecture 4: Inequality in the long-run: labor income vs capital ownership

(Tuesday September 26th 2017, 15h30-18h30)

Lecture 5: Slavery, forced labor and political rights in historical perspective

(Tuesday October 3rd 2017, 15h30-18h30)

Lecture 6: Historical demography, family structures and the population transition

(Tuesday October 10th 2017, 15h30-18h30)

Lecture 7: Money, finance and crisis in historical perspective

(Tuesday October 17th 2017, 15h-18h)

Lecture 8: The rise of the fiscal, social and capital state

(Tuesday October 24th 2017, 15h30-18h30)

Syllabus, reading lists and slides used in previous years