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Course 2003-2004 a.y.


Department of Economics

Go to class group/s: 31

Classes: 31

Introduction to the course:

The first part of the course will esamine the functioning of markets and institutions in developing countries. The methodological approach will be to focus on the role of information, incentives, and limits to contracting, and to see how developing economies cope with this type of market imperfections. The organization of the informal sector in emerging economies will be studied in depth, covering such topics as: contractual forms in agriculture; microfinance and group lending; risk sharing and informal insurance; social capital; firms in developing countries (with particular emphasis on ethnic and informal networks). 
The second part of the course will deal with the lessons from the transition of a market economy of formerly planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe.  A priori expectations as to the scope and timing of transition will be compared with evidence.  Particular emphasis will be devoted to characterising the speed of structural change and the role played by social security systems.  The final section will deal with institutional changes keeping an eye on pressures arising in the context of the EU Enlargement.

Course Content :
  1. Introduction: Institutions and markets in developing countries 
  2. Land markets         
  3. Credit markets
  4. Risk sharing and insurance      
  5. Social capital
  6. Firms and networks 
  7. Understanding Transition  
  8. The Optimal Speed of Transition 
  9. Transition, Institutional Transformation and Governance 

  • D. RAY, Development Economics, Princeton Univ. Press, 1998
  • G. ROLAND, Transition and Economics, MIT Press, 2000
  • T. BOERI, Structural Change, Welfare Systems and Labour Reallocation, Oxford Univ. Press, 2000

Additional readings and material on several topics will be available at the beginning  of the course.
For further and continuously updated information consult the IEP web site or contact SID - Servizio Informazione Didattica - Via Gobbi, 5 - 3rd floor.


Written examination.
Students have two options. They may take the exam in two written parts: a mid-term exam and a final exam. Alternatively they may take a general exam covering the entire course material.