This course analyses the major debates in development economics from a long-term perspective. Economists and economic historians are increasingly aware that the process of economic growth is complex and often characterized by path dependency. There is also increasing attention for variation in institutional settings and their consequences, like differences in economic behaviour and economic outcomes. This course reflects these developments by focusing on economic evolution in the long run and on variations between societies. Questions central to the course are: ‘can we determine historical roots of why some countries are rich and others poor, and if so, how do we approach this?’; ‘what is the role of the different factors of production in long run economic development?’; ‘what role do critical historical junctures play in long run development?’, and why is income so much more unequally divided in some countries than in others?’. During the course, students will learn about the different methods used in modern research through an in depth study of the literature and hands on econometric exercises. Explorative methodologies versus hypothesis testing are discussed. Exercises are performed with the help of econometric software whereby students are trained in the use of statistical tools but also in understanding and interpreting quantitative results in an historical context.