La science économique au service de la société

DEVELOPMENT : Inequality, social interactions and institutional dynamics

June 20 to June 24, 2022

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Two modes of participation are offered for the 2022 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.

Please note that reimbursment is guaranteed in full for sanitary reasons related to COVID-19.

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 ?

Our 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.


This program gets you up to speed with the existing academic literature and current debates. 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 and delineates policy challenges.

« I had the opportunity to refresh my knowledge and understandings of many topics in the development field, which was helpful in my job as advisor for policy makers in Ecuador. » Edison, 2018


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

How will professionals benefit from the programme

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

How will students benefit from the programme

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

Table of Contents - Development