Not available in 2013/14
Political Economy

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Andrea Prat LRB. R538, Prof Gilat Levy STC. S479 and Prof Ronny Razin STC. S480


This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in Economics, MSc in Economics (2 Year Programme), MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change and MSc in Political Science and Political Economy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students must have completed Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics (EC400).

Students should have completed courses in intermediate level microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.

Course content

An advanced treatment of Political Economy, covering theory, evidence and current issues. The course material will expand the capacity of students to think about policy relevant issues at the intersection between economics and political science. Politics as information aggregation; politics as a principal agent problem. Political Economy and Public Finance. Constitutional rules and policy outcomes; bureaucracy. Political development. Media; lobbying. Campaign finance; political parties. Direct democracy; turnout in elections. Ethnic policies; international conflicts.


18 hours of lectures and 8 hours of seminars in the MT. 18 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

Some work with data sets provided by the instructors. At least one written assignment for handing in.

Indicative reading

Most of the reading is from journal articles; lists will be supplied at the start of each term. Two books supply the basic framework: T Besley, Principled Agents? Selection and Incentives in Politics, Oxford University Press, 2005 and T Persson & G Tabellini, Political Economics: Explaining Political Outcomes, MIT Press, 2000.


Assessment path 1
Exam (50%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (50%) in the ST.

Assessment path 2
Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Students taking MSc Economics or MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics will be required to submit an extended essay at the beginning of the ST; for such students, the written examination and the extended essay will each count for half of the marks.

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information