Andrea Vindigni (Università degli Studi di Genova)

States and Markets

The main topic is the political economy of state formation in historical and comparative perspective. We will read some classic works by economic historians, sociologists and political scientists and try to relate this work to the modern literature (in economics) on the political economy of state capacity. We will also briefly talk of some theories (old and new) on the origins of federalism, and try to relate this work to the literature on state formation. rules and redistribution.

Introduction to Stochastic Control Theory and Applications

Aims
The course is to provide students with an overview of the main methods and recent developments in the area of stochastic control and their applications to economics.

Contents
Classical approach to stochastic control problem by dynamic programming methods. Viscosity solutions and stochastic control.

Advanced Topics of Political Economy

Economic policy and Politics. Preferences and Institutions. Electoral competition and lobbying. Agency. Redistributive Politics: general (pension, regional transfer and unemployment insurance) and special interest politics (local public goods, lobbying and electoral competition). Political economy of regulation. Electoral Seminar series

The Political Economy of States and Markets

We will read extensively the two books (particularly the first one) and papers reported below.

Books:

- Timothy Besley, Torsten Persson, Pillars of Prosperity, Princeton
- Douglass C. North, Robert Paul Thomas The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History, Cambridge

Articles:

- Modeling Inefficient Institutions, Daron Acemoglu, Published in Advances in Economic Thoery, Proceedings of 2005 World Congress Edited by Richard Blundell, Whitney Newey and Torsten Persson, Cambridge University Press, UK, 2006, pp. 341-380.

Political Economy

The course consists in reading and discussing several important papers about political economy. In particular, the course deals with the following topics:

- Why Do Voters Dismantle Checks and Balances?
- Forbidden Fruits: the Political Economy of Science, Religion and Growth
- Ideology
- Incentives and Prosocial Behavior
- Self-Confidence and Personal Motivation
- De Facto Political Power and Institutional Persistence
- Politics and Economics in Weak and Strong States