Tinbergen Institute Economics Lectures 2017

James A. Robinson (Chicago University Harris School of Public Policy)
31 May-2 June, 2017
Tinbergen Institute AmsterdamNetherlands

James A. Robinson (University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy) gave the Tinbergen Institute Economics lectures 2017 on political economy and development.

James Robinson is a University Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. He studied economics at the London School of Economics, the University of Warwick and Yale University. His main research interests are in comparative economic and political development with a focus on the long-run with a particular interest in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He is currently conducting research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and in Colombia.

Topic and course outline

These lectures will survey some of the basic ideas in social science about the state and how the state relates to society. James Robinson will emphasize `two images’ of the state, one dating to Hobbes portrays the state as a key source of the resolution of many social problems that `private orderings’ cannot resolve. The other portrays the state as the source of, not the solution to, social problems. James Robinson will present some models which can help us think about these images and survey the empirical evidence relevant to understanding what causes variation in states’ capacities and behavior and what the consequences of this are for development and other key outcomes.


Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam, Gustav Mahlerplein 117, 1082 MS Amsterdam

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