20298 - POLITICAL ECONOMICS - ADVANCED
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
Class-group lessons delivered on campus
Students attending this course should be familiar with basic microeconomics concepts, in particular with the notion of Nash Equilibrium and Subgame Perfect Nash Equilibrium, and should know how to solve unconstrained and constrained optimization problems. Moreover, students should be familiar with basic econometric techniques (e.g. OLS and IV regressions).
The goal of this course is to discuss current topics in political economics. This means to study the formation of economic policy and the historical evolution of political and economic institutions from a positive, rather than a normative, perspective. Thus, the course addresses questions such as: what are the political and institutional determinants of fiscal policy and macroeconomic policy in modern democracies? Which features of political institutions are more likely to foster economic development? Why are seemingly inefficient public policies preserved over time, and what can be done to overcome opposition to reform? What institutional and cultural features explain why some societies develop and succeed while others fail?
- Electoral competition and redistribution in advanced democracies - Political corruption.
- Bargaining in legislatures.
- Comparative politics and fiscal policy.
- Democracy and economic development.
- State capacity: how it historically evolves and why.
- Culture and institutions in economic development from a contemporaneous and historical perspective.
- Understand how policy decisions are made in representative democracies.
- Understand deep and historical determinants of economic and political development.
- Read and understand the advanced literature on economic development and public policy.
- Forecast policy decisions in complex political environments.
- Understand ongoing political and economic changes in advanced democracies and emerging countries.
- Understand why unsustainable policies remain in place for too long.
- Understand which specific features of political institutions may lead to more or less provision of public goods, more or less redistribution, more or less political corruption.
- Understand how organized special interests influence public policies.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
- Individual assignments
The learning experience of this course includes, in addition to face-to-face lectures, the solution in class of Problem Sets assigned to students throughout the course. Those exercises allow students to apply the analytical tools illustrated during the course. Students are encouraged to bring their own views and to share their insights.
With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, the students’ assessment is based on two main components:
- Problem sets (2 points out of 30).
- Written exam (28 points out of 30).
The written exam consists of exercises and open questions aimed to assess students’ ability to apply the analytical tools illustrated during the course. The exam could also consist of short statements to discuss. Those statements are aimed to assess students’ ability to articulate economic reasoning. Students can take a partial written exam and complete the written exam at the end of the course. In this case the weight is split equally between the partial and the final exam. Alternatively, students can only take a final written exam.
The main course material, for both attending and non-attending students, is:
- T. PERSSON, G. TABELLINI, Political Economics, MIT Press, 2000.
The slides of the course, problem sets and additional readings are uploaded to the Bboard platform of the course.