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 2018-2019

Syllabus & Reading List 2018-2019

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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 4th & 11th 2018, 15h30-18h30)


(Tuesday September 18th 2018, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday September 25th 2018, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday October 2nd 2018, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday October 9th 2018, 15h30-18h30)


Lecture 7: Money, finance and crisis in historical perspective

(Tuesday October 16th 2018, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday October 23rd 2018, 15h30-18h30)


Syllabus, reading lists and slides used in previous years