• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject International and Developmental Economics
  • Areas of interest Economics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Ligang Song
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2022
    See Future Offerings

This course is available for in-person and remote (online) learning.

The key concerns of this course are to understand how institutions evolve in response to changes in incentives, strategies and choices made by individuals, firms and states and how institutions affect economic performance over time. The course examines the interrelationship between incentive and institutions and the role of institutions in societal progress more broadly by:

1. Introducing the essential theories of and methodologies applied in institutional economics.

2. Providing historical and empirical evidence in applications of institutional economics.

3. Exploring how individuals, firms and the states respond to changes in institutions.

4. Analysing the role of institutions in economic performance and transition.

The course will apply case study methods that rely on institutional theories, contextual knowledge of the situation and history, and context-specific modelling.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the key theories in institutional economics and their applications.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the analytical approaches used to study issues relating to incentives and institutions.
  3. Apply theoretical and empirical techniques to analyse institutional changes and their impacts.
  4. Communicate public policy issues with respect to nurturing good institutions.
  5. Be able to carry out research on a topic explaining cross-country differences in economic growth performance due to institutional constraints.

Other Information

A list of essay topics will be provided at the beginning of the semester. Students are welcome to choose their own topic in consultation with the course convener.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Essay outline (up to 1,000 wds) (10) [LO 5]
  2. Research essay (3,000 wds) (50) [LO 5]
  3. Final exam (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The standard workload for a 6 unit course is 130 hours including class time and independent study.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

The primary textbook for this course is:

North, Douglass, C., 1990, Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Preliminary Reading

The course material will also draw on the following books supplemented by journal articles and book chapters on relevant issues:

  • North, Douglass C., 2005, Understanding the Process of Economic Change, Princeton University Press
  • Greif, Avner, 2006, Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge
  • Menard, Claude (ed.), 2000, Institutions, Contracts and Organizations, Edward Elgar: Cheltenham
  • Eggertsson, Trainn, 1990, Economic Behaviour and Institutions, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
  • Kasper, Wolfgang and Manfred E. Streit, 1998, Institutional Economics: Social Order and Public Policy, Edward Elgar: Cheltenham.

Readings will be available on the Wattle course site.

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of advanced undergraduate-level microeconomics and econometrics is required and assumed.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
2022 $4440 Standard Rate
2022 $3510 Grandfathered Rate*

*continuing students in nominated programs only. See fee website

International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $5700
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
4188 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 In Person View
4189 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 Online View

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