Topics in Economic History

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Topics in Economic History

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Business Administration, Economics, International Economics, Peace and Conflict Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    - Explain the economic, social and political problems associated with structural change and
    economic growth.
    - Discuss the Spanish case in a comparative context with other countries at similar levels of per capita
    income, or during the interwar period.
    - Develop the student's ability to look for relevant information to support an argument, and to
    present it with clarity, both in class and in a written essay.
    - Write an essay or critical survey on the subject.
    - Learn to analyse economic problems using a multidisciplinary approach.
    - Develop the ability to ask questions related to the subject, and resolve them using economic
    analysis and quantitative methods.
    - An ability to adopt an open attitude to the different problems associated with Spanish economic
    growth and structural change
    - An ability to criticize constructively, as well as to accept criticism.
    - An ability to understand and find solutions to problems in Less Developed Countries today.
    - Awaken the curiosity of students of to complicated problems present in today's world.


    The course examines the economic, social and political problems that arise with structural change and
    economic modernisation. It is divided into three major blocks:
    Introduction. Agriculture, structural change and economic growth
    A. Living Standards, Inequality and Democracy
    1. Poverty and inequality in the Spanish countryside in the 1930s
    2. The nature of the farm
    3. Long run growth and the dynamics of regional agriculture
    4. Democracy, communism, fascism and the European agriculture in the interwar period
    B. The State and rural development
    5. Farmers and the State: problems of collective action
    6. Social capital and the limits to rural cooperation
    7. Economic and political obstacles to technological change
    8. Rural farmer - urban consumer: the political economy of food and regulation
    C. Property rights and the political economy of land reform
    9. How secure were property rights? Land ownership, 1800-1936
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    10. The `southern problem' in an international perspective
    11. When do elites surrender power? Farmers and the creation of political parties
    12. The Spanish land reform of the 1930s
    Conclusion. Was conflict inevitable?


    The course consists of (a) a weekly lecture by the professor, (b) a short summary of a paper prepared by
    the student each week for discussion in class; (c) class presentations by an individual, or group of
    students, on a specific part of the program; (d) and participation by students in the class and debates.
    Students will also be expected to prepare a short individual essay on a relevant topic to the course.
    The 6 ECTS credits correspond approximately to:
    - 2 credits for assistance
    - 1 credit for preparing the weekly summary
    - 2 credits for the preparation and presentation of a paper
    - 1 credit for the participation in class during the course
    The teacher will present the main ideas of each topic in the lecture, both in terms of the underlying
    theoretical problems, as well as the historical background. This information, together with obligatory
    class readings and individual student essays, will provide the material to conduct debates in the class.
    Class presentations by students aim to develop their ability to synthesise complex material and present
    it orally to their fellow students. Their ability to answer questions will also be tested.
    The weekly essays will show that the student has understood the material to be discussed.


    Students will be assessed during the whole course. Marks will be awarded as following:
    - 20% to the weeks essay and participation in class
    - 20% on an individual essay
    - 60% in the final exam. Students will be expected to obtain a minimum grade of 4 to pass the
    The weekly essay will be based on bibliography given in the program at the beginning of the course, and
    should be no longer than 600 words (2 pages A4). These will be handed in at the end of the class when
    they have been discussed.
    The long essay will be based on relevant bibliography for the course, and should be less than 1.000
    % end-of-term-examination: 60
    % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals?): 40


    - Carrión, Pascual. Los latifundios de España, Ariel., 1975
    - Malefakis, Edward. Agrarian reform and the peasant revolution in Spain: origins of the Civil War. , Yale
    University Press, 1970
    - Robledo, Ricardo. Economistas y reformadores españoles: la cuestión agraria (1760-1935). , MAPA., 1993
    - Banerjee, A. V. and E. Duflo The Economic Lives of the Poor, Journal of Economic Perspectives , 2007, 21(1):
    - Scott, James C. Seeing like a State, Yale, New Haven, 1998


    - Allen, Douglas W, and Dean Lueck. The Nature of the Farm. Contracts, Risk, and Organization in Agriculture,
    MIT Press., 2002
    - Bates, Robert H, Toward a Political Economy of Development. A Rational Choice Perspective, California
    University Press., 1988.
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    - Bernal, Antonio Miguel. Economía e historia de los latifundios, Espasa Calpe., 1988
    - Carmona, Juan, and James Simpson. El laberinto de la agricultura española. Instituciones, contractos y
    organización entre 1850 y 1936., Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza., 2003.
    - Cobo Romero, Francisco. De campesinos a electores, Biblioteca Nueva., 2003
    - Díaz del Moral, Juan. Historia de las agitaciones campesinas andaluzas , Alianza, 1973
    - Florencio Puntas, Antonio. Empresariado agrícola y cambio económico, 1880-1936, Diputación Provincial de
    Sevilla., 1994.
    - Hayami, Yujiro, and Vernon Ruttan. Agricultural development: an international perspective, Johns Hopkins
    University Press., 1985. .
    - Rey, Fernando Paisanos en lucha: exclusión política y violencia en la Segunda República española. , Biblioteca
    Nueva., 2008.
    - Sheingate, Adam D. The Rise of the Agricultural Welfare State. Institutions and interest group power in the United States, France, and Japan. , Princeton University Press., 2001.
    - Simpson, James. Spanish agriculture: the long siesta, 1765-1965. , Cambridge University Press., 1995
    - Tilly, Charles. The Politics of Collective Violence, Cambridge University Press., 2003
    - Mintz, Jerome The anarchists of Casas Viejas, University of Chicago, 1982

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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