Reading Group Empirical Political Economics

Bocconi University, 2013 - 2014

The aim of the reading group (RG) is to explore some specific topics in empirical economics, with a particular references to recent contributions in the fields of political economics and development economics. The recent "credibility revolution" in empirical economics and the associated quest for the identification of causal effects (see Angrist and Pischke, 2010) has favored a shift from cross‐country to within‐country studies also in political economics and development economics. As a result, the gain in internal validity has come at the price of reducing external validity. The RG will review some of the main contributions and discuss the following questions. How consistent between each other are the findings accruing from different institutional environments and (often local) identification strategies? What insights from the theoretical literature have been unveiled so far? How credible are the identifying assumptions used by different approaches?