DPI-401: Institutions and Development

Semester: Not Offered

Credit: 1.0

Faculty: Ryan Sheely


Day Time Location
First Day
Meet Day


Provides an overview of what is known (and not yet known) about the effect of institutions on economic development, drawing on theoretical and empirical insights from a variety of disciplines. Considers a wide range of development outcomes, but focuses particular attention to the provision of basic public goods such as sanitation, law and order, and the maintenance of natural resources. Covers the variety of legal, administrative, legislative, and judicial institutions associated with governance by modern nation-states, non-state alternatives (such as localized systems of community governance), and international economic and political organizations. Students will learn about the range of existing variation in institutional design and performance and analyze the empirical evidence about the effects of each on both short-term and downstream development outcomes. Policy solutions to institutional problems to be examined include directly fixing failed institutions and designing policy interventions around existing institutional constraints. Empirical evidence and case study materials will be drawn primarily from research in the contemporary developing world, but historical examples from the United States, Europe, and the pre-colonial and colonial periods of the developing world will also be utilized.

Open to non MPA/ID students by permission of the instructor only, but not offered in 2013-14.