• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject International and Developmental Economics
  • Areas of interest Economics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Ligang Song
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

This course is available for on-campus & remote (online) learning. All students participate in interactive, real-time classes.

The key concerns of this course are to understand how institutions evolve in response to changes in incentives and how institutions affect economic performance over time. The course introduces the essential theories of institutional economics and the key methods applied in the field, explores historical and empirical evidence in institutional economics, explores how individuals, firms, and states respond to changes in institutions, and analyses the role of institutions in influencing 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. Conduct research on a topic explaining cross-country differences in economic growth performance due to institutional differences.

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. Written assignment (maximum 1,000 words) (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Research essay (maximum 3,000 words) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  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


Prescribed Texts

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:

  • 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.

A full list of readings will be available on the Wattle course site.

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of microeconomics and econometrics is 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
2024 $4680 Standard Rate
2024 $3720 Grandfathered Rate*

*continuing students in nominated programs only. See fee website

International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
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
3943 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View
3944 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 Online View

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