Economics serving society

INEQUALITY AND INSTITUTIONS - Economic, social, and political frictions

June 19 to June 23, 2023

PNG - 285.7 kb

Institutions and social frictions (associated with inequalities, political conflicts, corruption, and cultural polarization) have emerged as central themes in development economics. This course takes stock of existing research and moves on to draw the outline of the current research frontier. How do institutions shape the development process? How do understudied informal institutions, such as identities and customs, interact with formal institutions? How do we interpret recent trends in inequality within low- and middle-income countries?

The program approaches these questions by drawing on formal theory and rigorous empirical research in two core modules: “Inequality and development” and “Models of Cultural Dynamics and Social Identity”. In addition, two shorter modules develop empirical applications of the core course themes. These modules cover the role of civil conflict, corruption, and media in economic development. The objective of the program is to equip you with the background and tools you need as a researcher to contribute to this dynamic field.


Offering new perspectives on how social and political frictions interact with institutions and economic inequality.


This course is aimed at graduates in economics with strong empirical and theoretical skills.

Main concepts/theories/software… learned during the program:

Inequality, institutions, culture, corruption, historical legacies, and violent conflict.

Skills acquired thanks to the program:

This course gets you up to speed with the existing academic literature. It presents leading theories, different research methods, and takes stock of the empirical evidence on inequality and institutional development. On that basis, it identifies the research frontier on this topic.

How will MA and PhD students benefit from this program:

The programme will help you to improve your research skills by introducing key concepts and critically introducing you to recent research. It will help you identify research questions and methodologies.

How will professionals benefit from this program:

The programme allows you to gain a broader perspective on inequality based on recent academic work. But, it also expands your analytical skills by engaging critically with research questions and methodologies.

Two modes of participation are offered for the 2023 Edition:

  • In person, taking into account the highest sanitary measures to protect the participants and professors. On site, our parisian campus offers teaching and logistics space: classrooms, teaching theater, garden, coffee and lunch breaks facilities...
  • Online, proposing interactive lectures in real time and, beyond, online office hours with professors to facilitate interactions. PSE offers technologies and process that will ensure high quality communication for online participants, both with professors and with other participants.
  • For all the participants, full sets of lecture notes and presentations will be made available, as well as the recordings of the courses.
  • This program is equivalent to 3 ECTS credits, which PSE validates.

Contents – Inequality and Institutions: