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Course 2018-2019 a.y.

20610 - DECISIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS

PPA
Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 24

PPA (6 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SPS/04)
Course Director:
MASSIMO MORELLI

Classes: 24 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 24: MASSIMO MORELLI


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

The mission of this course is to provide the master students with adequate logical skills to understand collective decisions and organizations’ decisions at all political levels. Electoral competition, committee decision making, legislative bargaining, government coalition formation processes, are all examples of important political decision making processes that require game theory in order to be comprehended and analyzed.

CONTENT SUMMARY

The course covers the following topics:

  • Social choice theory (aggregation of individual preferences for collective decisions and related impossibility theorems).
  • Aggregation of preferences through institutions described as rules of the game.
  • Game theory basic tools and notions.
  • Game theory applications in electoral competition, voting, legislative bargaining, public good provisions of voluntary nature, negotiations, government coalition formation processes, repeated interaction and stability.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand  the conditions under which individual preferences can be aggregated to create social preferences and/or collective decisions;
  • Analyze non-cooperative interaction between politicians in various contexts;
  • Analyze the formation of collective decisions by majority rule or other criteria;
  • Evaluate pros and cons of different electoral systems;
  • Understand the causes of instability of government coalitions; understand the difficulty in obtaining efficient public good provision; internal conflicts of interests within organizations and between organizations;
  • Understand the role of repeated interactions or stable environments.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Anticipate the consequences of changes in voters’ preferences on party platforms in different institutional systems;
  • Evaluate the stability of a party system and entry costs or incentives for new parties in different electoral systems;
  • Evaluate the prospects for increased or decreased corruption and changes in distribution as a consequence of certain reforms in how decision making is conducted in political institutions;
  • Analyze logically the strategic problem for politicians involved in negotiations.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Individual assignments
DETAILS

Given that the course aims to make the students able to analyze the decision-making processes formally and rigorously, I assign problem sets every two weeks, to be handed in three days after assignment, and such problem sets will be evaluated as part of the final grade. Moreover the TA provides some in-class solutions to prototype problems.


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x  
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •   x  
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    20% of the grade is problem sets, the rest is midterm (40%) and a final exam (40%). Attendance is highly recommended.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • M.J. OSBORNE, An Introduction to Game Theory, Oxford University Press, 2009.
    Last change 10/07/2018 12:47