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Course 2020-2021 a.y.

30466 - CULTURE, INSTITUTIONS AND DEVELOPMENT

BESS-CLES
Department of Economics

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 13

BESS-CLES (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/01)

Classes: 13 (II sem.)
Instructors:
Class 13: MARA PASQUAMARIA SQUICCIARINI


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

How do institutions and culture affect economic outcomes? This course is designed to provide students with key methodological tools and substantial knowledge from cultural and political economics. The course examines competing hypotheses on the role of geography, institutions, and culture for long-term economic growth and cross-country differences in economic outcomes. It also studies the role of religion (and religiosity) for accumulation of human capital and economic progress. Finally, the course analyzes how local culture and institutions affect technological progress and inflows of innovative ideas, and it examines the interaction between patents, scientific production, and economic development.

CONTENT SUMMARY
  • The Role of Geography for Economic Growth and Development
  • The Role of Institutions for Economic Growth and Development
  • The Role of Culture for Economic Growth and Development
  • The Interaction between Culture and Institutions
  • The Economics of Religion
  • Flows of Ideas and their Interaction with Local Culture and Institutions
  • Patents and Scientific Production

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Illustrate the different hypotheses on the role of geography, institutions, and culture for economic development.
  • Illustrate the role of religion (and religiosity) for accumulation of human capital and economic growth.
  • Recognize how local culture and institutions can foster/hamper the flow of innovative ideas and scientific production.
  • Describe the interaction between patents, scientific progress, and economic development.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Critically compare the different hypotheses on the role of geography, institutions and culture for economic progress.
  • Evaluate the consequences of religion (and religiosity) for economic development across time and space.
  • Assess how local culture and institutions impact the flow of innovative ideas and scientific production.
  • Discuss the interaction between patents, scientific progress, and economic development.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Group assignments
DETAILS

The learning experience of this course is based on face-to-face lectures by the instructors.

In addition, students also are asked to prepare one group presentation on a research paper at the frontier of the field. These presentations are used for the students’ assessment as well as a basis for class discussions, during which students are encouraged to bring their own (critical) views.


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    In order to evaluate the acquisition of the aforementioned learning outcomes, the assessment of attending students is based on two main components:

    1. Written exam, consisting on a mix of open questions and multiple-choice questions. This accounts for a maximum of 28 points.
      • Open questions are aimed to assess students’ ability to describe and establish connections among the different hypotheses on the role of geography, institutions, and culture for economic development; to evaluate the role of religion for economic progress; to describe how local culture and institutions can impact the flow of ideas and innovations; and to discuss the interaction between patents, scientific production, and economic progress.
      • Multiple choice questions are designed to test students’ knowledge of the topics covered during the course.
      • Students can take two partial written exams. The first one (mid-term exam) focuses on the material covered in the first part of the course. The second one (end-of-term exam) focuses on the material covered in the second part of the course. The weight is: 50% for the mid-term exam and 50% for the end-of-term exam. Alternatively, students can take one final written exam (which accounts for 100% of the points).
    2. An in-class group presentation. The presentation accounts for a maximum of 4 points. At the beginning of the course, the instructor forms small groups of students and assign to each group a research paper at the frontier of the field. This assignment tests the ability of students to summarize the research questions and results presented in scientific articles, to enhance their critical thinking, and to engage them in the most recent debate on the role of institutions and cultural norms. The aim of this assignment is also to improve students’ communication and presentation skills.
    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The assessment method for non-attending students is based on a final written exam. As for the case of attending students, the written exam is based on a mix of open questions and multiple-choice questions. It covers all topics analyzed during the course and it accounts for a maximum of 31 points.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Teaching materials will be announced before the start of the course and indicated or uploaded to the Blackboard platform.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Teaching materials will be announced before the start of the course and indicated or uploaded to the Blackboard platform.

    Last change 09/12/2020 14:25