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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 2023-2024

Syllabus & Reading List 2023-2024

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Office: Jourdan R5-04

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"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 a general introduction to economic history, with special emphasis on the interaction between capital accumulation, inequality regimes 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).


Lecture 1: Development, state formation & inequality in the long run: from ternary to proprietarian societies
(Tuesday September 12 2023, 15h-18h15)


Lecture 2: Property rights & development, 18c-19c: European variants (France, Britain, Sweden)
(Tuesday September 19 2023, 15h-18h15)

(Tuesday September 26 2023, 15h-18h15)


Lecture 4: Colonial societies, state formation and comparative development (India, China, Japan)

(Tuesday October 3 2023, 15h-18h15)


Lecture 5: The Great Transformation of the 20th century: from proprietarian to social-democratic societies

(Tuesday October 10 2023, 15h-18h15)


Lecture 6: Post-communist societies (Russia, China, Eastern Europe) and the rise of global capitalism

(Tuesday October 24 2023, 15h-18h15)


Lecture 7: Social inequality and party systems in historical perspective: Europe vs US

(Tuesday November 14 2023, 15h-18h15)


Lecture 8: Political cleavages in post-colonial societies: social-nativism vs social-federalism

(Tuesday November 28 2023, 15h-18h15)


Syllabus, reading lists and slides used in previous years