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This subject provides an overview of the field of political economics. Political economics extends the scope of standard economic analysis by assuming that individuals follow their own agenda and maximize their own utility not only in the economic, but also in the political sphere. The following broad areas will be covered: Determinants of institutional quality and its effects on economic performance; models of political competition and (re-)elections; various (so-called) political and institutional failures, including corruption and rent seeking, and delays in welfare-increasing reforms.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
- Reflect on determinants and effects of institutional quality;
- Explain different models of political competition;
- Understand when re-elections can discipline an incumbent government and when they can lead to inefficient policies;
- Apply models of political competition to understand observed policies;
- Discuss the main causes and effects of corruption;
- Apply lobbying and rent seeking models to understand observed policies;
- Understand why welfare-increasing reforms are often delayed; and
- Critically evaluate real-world policies from a political economics perspective.
- High level of development: written communication; problem solving; interpretation and analysis; critical thinking ; receptiveness to alternative ideas.
- Moderate level of development: oral communication; statistical reasoning; synthesis of data and other information; evaluation of data and other information; use of computer software; accessing data and other information from a range of sources.
- Some level of development: collaborative learning; team work.
Last updated: 18 December 2020