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*This is an in-person only event which will be held at Bush House SE2.12. Please obtain your complimentary ticket here

About the workshop:

For the first time in human history, societies began to experience sustained long term economic growth and development as well as sustained democratic political development. While there is wide recognition of the co-development of “democracy and capitalism,” and there are many attempts to explain co-development, few actually connect political and economic development to a common root cause. The key institutional changes that occurred in the mid-19th century can best be understood in terms of a theory of society, based on rules and organizations. A few societies moved towards “impersonal rules” – rules that treat everyone the same. This both transformed their economies by raising both the productivity and heterogeneity of their organizations, and induced changes in their political systems that led to more durable, long-lived political parties and stable competitive elections. The ideas are illustrated with the development, or failure to develop, stable democracies in the early 20th century.


Bush House South East Wing, Room 2.12, King’s College London

About the Speaker:

Professor Wallis received his PhD in economics from the University of Washington in 1981. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University Chicago, he came to the University of Maryland Department of Economics in 1983. He has been a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1989.

Professor Wallis is an economic historian who specializes in the public finance of American governments, constitutional development, and more generally on the institutional development of governments and economies.