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 2019-2020

Syllabus & Reading List 2019-2020

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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 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 3rd & 10th 2019, 15h30-18h30)


(Tuesday September 17th 2019, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday October 1st 2019, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday October 8th 2019, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday October 15th 2019, 15h30-18h30)


Lecture 7: Money, finance and crisis in historical perspective

(Tuesday November 12th 2019, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday November 19th 2019, 15h30-18h30)


Syllabus, reading lists and slides used in previous years