Development Strategies, Humboldt 2023
- 1 General Information
- 2 Expectations
- 3 The Readings
- 4 Workflow and Tools
1 General Information
The focus of the course is close reading and re-analysis of recent research in the political economy of development, broadly construed. The focus is on well identified research whether based on experimental or observational data. It is intended for students who already have strong analytic skills.
Topics include economic growth, democratization, social cohesion, political accountability, violence and welfare.
- 19.05.2023, 9 - 11
- 16.06.2023, 9 - 3
- 30.06.2023, 9 - 3
- 07.07.2023, 9 - 3
- 14.07.2023, 9 - 3
Typical structure will be:
- 09:00 - 10:10: reading 1
- 10:15 - 11:25: reading 2
- 11:30 - 12:10: reading 3
- 12:10 - 13:20: break
- 13:20 - 14:30: reading 4
- 14:30 - 15:00: general discussion
All classes will be in person at the Institutsgebäude - K12B Universitätsstraße 3b
The reading loads are not especially heavy; typically 4 readings per session. You should read these carefully whether or not you are on the “rep” team for the reading. There is no point coming to the class unprepared. My thoughts on reading and discussanting. See also chapter in declare design book
Data should be available for all readings. For each reading a rep team will be assigned who is responsible for replicate results and submitting the results to robustness checks.
See this replication repo for some code fragments to get you started. See here for compiled page
A “rep” team (of up to six students) will be assigned a formal role and prepare oral and written commentary for the reading. You should expect to be on one rep team each session.
Key elements of this are:
Be sure you have the data, papers, and all you need at least a week in advance
Make sure you can make sense of the data and run a basic replication.
When you have a feel of things jot down a brief “pre-replication plan”. What do you plan to look at? What do you expect to find? Post it to Moodle before engaging in reanalysis (honor code)
Then there are two ways to expand the analysis;
- One is to check for robustness. How much do things depend on the particular models or measurements?
- The second is to go more deeply into the logic of the explanation. This might sometimes require assembling more data, constructing new tests and so on.
Generate a presentation that
- presents the paper in general
- goes through the results and replication and
- goes through robustness and extensions
- does all this in quorto or rmarkdown so that content and code in a single file (great reference: https://quarto.org/docs/presentations/revealjs/)
(ideally) contribute your replication to a class package (I will share notes on how to do this)
I urge you also to try to use
DeclareDesignto formally characterize the research design in abstract terms and assess its properties
- Note that while we focus a lot on statistical replication and re-analysis there are many sides to a paper. Your presentation should in no way shy from discussing more fundamental conceptual or interpretational issues as appropriate.
You will be expected to write up a short research design (10 pages) containing (i) a theoretical argument or motivation, (ii) a proposed empirical test of that argument (iii) a formal design object and (iv) a discussion of policy prescriptions that might result from the argument.
3 The Readings
The readings use a wide range of strategies including experimental strategies and a range of observational strategies including IV and RDD.
4 Workflow and Tools
The main tools that we will employ are:
- R - for conducting statistical analysis
- rmarkdown (or quorto)- for authoring replications and outputs
- We will try to share files via Moodle: https://moodle.hu-berlin.de/course/view.php?id=120999
Data by journal
- Note that Aiddata have assembled many replication datasets here: https://www.aiddata.org/replication-datasets
- Democracy data: https://xmarquez.github.io/democracyData/
- Development indicators: https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/WDI/WDI.pdf
Other readings on long list
Democracy Does Cause Growth Daron Acemoglu, Suresh Naidu, Pascual Restrepo and James A. Robinson Journal of Political Economy, February 2019, 127(1), 47-100. | Data
Moscona, Jacob, Nathan Nunn, and James A. Robinson. Segmentary Lineage Organization and Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa” Econometrica 88.5 (2020): 1999-2036. Data
Donald Grasse, 2023, “State Terror and Long-Run Development: The Persistence of the Khmer Rouge Data
Desha Girod and Jennifer Tobin Take the Money and Run: The Determinants of Compliance with Aid Agreements IO Data