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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 2021-2022

Syllabus & Reading List 2021-2022

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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 7 2021, 15h30-18h30)


Lecture 2: Property rights & development, 18c-19c: European variants (France, Britain, Sweden)
(Tuesday September 14 2021, 15h30-18h30)

(Tuesday September 21 2021, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday September 28 2021, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday October 5 2021, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday October 12 2021, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday October 19 2021, 15h30-18h30)


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

(Tuesday November 9 2021, 15h30-18h30)


Syllabus, reading lists and slides used in previous years