Checking date: 08/09/2020

Course: 2020/2021

Historical Analysis of Economic Change
Study: Master in Social Sciences (325)

Coordinating teacher: DOMENECH FELIU, JORDI

Department assigned to the subject: Department of Social Sciences

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Core Competencies Possess and understand knowledge that provides a basis or opportunity to be original in the development and/or application of ideas, often in a research context. Students know how to apply their acquired knowledge and problem-solving skills in new or unfamiliar settings within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study. Students are able to integrate knowledge and face the complexity of making judgments based on incomplete or limited information that includes reflections on the social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgments. Students know how to communicate their conclusions and the knowledge and the reasons behind them to both specialised and non-specialised audiences in a clear and unambiguous way. Students possess the learning skills that will enable them to continue studying in a way that will be largely self-directed or autonomous. General Competencies Understand the main analytical tools from economic history. Evaluate and compare the different contributions to important debates in economic history from an analytical, methodological and empirical point of view. To evaluate the internal logic of a scientific publication, examining the consistency between theory, analytical strategy, indicators, results and conclusions. Understand and know how to synthesize the main theories into one or more contemporary debates in the social sciences. Specific Competences To apply models from Economic Science or other Social Sciences to the understanding of the processes of historical change and long-term development. To determine the impact of institutions and legal systems on economic activity and development. Learning outcomes 1. Advanced knowledge of research methods in economic history and of the most important debates in the discipline. 2. Ability to use economic analysis both with regard to the decision-making of individual agents, as well as the adjustment of prices and balance of markets and the effect of decisions of consumption, production, investment in the aggregate of the economy. 3. Advanced understanding and use of the fundamental tools used in economic history to study the evolution of economies and living standards in the long term. 4. Ability to apply partial or general equilibrium models to historical problems and debates. In particular to have the ability to evaluate counterfactual exercises using partial or general equilibrium models, as well as to evaluate the effects of aggregate shocks on the evolution of the economy. 5. Ability to understand the formation, functioning and integration of markets, as well as their imperfections (asymmetric information, externalities, uncertainty) based on an advanced knowledge of their historical evolution.
Description of contents: programme
This subject will present the major debates and main methodological and theoretical problems of economic history. The course will deal with the main debates of economic history such as: 1) The quantification of living standards, productivity and growth in the long term. 2) The role of markets in growth prior to the Industrial Revolution 3) The causes of industrialization in the 19th century 4) The impact of industrialization, technological change and globalization on living standards and inequality since 1800 5) The causes of economic backwardness and convergence of economies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries The course presents the main methodological problems of economic history related to the application of analytical tools from economic and other social sciences for the study of historical societies and processes of historical change, as well as the challenges posed by the application of quantitative and qualitative techniques in economic history, focusing on the identification and interpretation of historical sources and their analysis.
Learning activities and methodology
Training Activities Theoretical class Practical classes Tutorials Individual student work Teaching Methodologies Presentations in the professor's lecture room with computer and audiovisual support, in which the main concepts of the subject are developed and a bibliography is provided to complement the students' learning. Critical reading of texts recommended by the subject professor: Press articles, reports, manuals and/or academic articles, either for later discussion in class, or to expand and consolidate knowledge of the subject. Resolution of practical cases, problems, etc. raised by the professor, either individually or in a group. Presentation and discussion in class, under the moderation of the professor, of topics related to the content of the subject, as well as practical case studies. Developing pieces of work and reports, individually or in group.
Assessment System
Basic Bibliography
  • Allen, R.C.. Global economic history: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press. 2011
  • Cameron, R., L. Neal. A concise economic history of the world: from Paleolithic times to the present.. Oxford University Press. 2002
  • Kenwood, AG., Lougheed, A.L.. The growth of the international economy, 1820-2000. Pshychology Press. 1999
  • Milanovic, Branko. The Have and the Have-Nots. A Brief Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality. Harvard/ Belknapp . 2011
  • Persson, K. G., Sharp, P.. An economic history of Europe. Cambridge University Press. 2015
  • Piketty, T.. Capital in the 21st Century. Harvard University Press. 2014
Additional Bibliography
  • Allen, RC. The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective. Cambridge University Press. 2009
  • Clark, G.. Farewell to Alms: a brief economic history of the World. Princeton University Press. 2008
  • Lee, J., Wang, F.. One quarter of humanity: Malthus mythology and Chinese realities, 1700-2000. Harvard. 2001
  • O'Rourke, K., J. Williamson. Globalization and History. MIT Press. 2001
  • Pomeranz, K.. The Great Divergence. Princeton University Press. 2000

The course syllabus and the academic weekly planning may change due academic events or other reasons.