Ricardo Hausmann Photo

Ricardo Hausmann

Rafik Hariri Professor of the Practice of International Political Economy


This capstone course explores a wide array of theoretical and analytical tools to help policy makers diagnose, prioritize and address development challenges at a national or sub-national level. This course is divided into four stages. The first stage explores reasons for differences in productivity across countries. We introduce a particular theory about technology, economic complexity, and its diffusion. The second stage evaluates structural factors that influence growth; including labor market structure, human capital, public goods, access to finance and trade. Students learn how to test for binding constraints using the growth diagnostic framework on a real case through the course. The third stage discusses how growth diagnostics and complexity relate to issues such as inequality, institutions, identity, remoteness, and climate change. Subnational diagnostics and city-level dynamics are introduced. The fourth stage integrates macroeconomics into the puzzle. Finally, we evaluate syndromes that may explain sets of constraints faced by countries, and how to address them through policy interventions. Political economy and institutional design considerations are explored.

DEV-309 was initially designed for second year MPA/ID students, as it builds on previous core courses. However, non-MPA/ID students with equivalent training/background in econometrics and macroeconomics are welcomed to apply. Applicants must contact both teaching fellows.