GV481      Half Unit
Political Science and Political Economy

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Valentino Larcinese


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Political Science and Political Economy. This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Accounting. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course examines public policy formation, political processes and political institutions. The emphasis is on introducing some key formal models to simplify and analyze broad classes of situations. Students are not only expected to be familiar with these models but also to be able to use them to solve problems of a technical nature. The course will also emphasize rigorous empirical testing of formal models. We will focus on collective action, voting, elections, interest groups, legislative organization, political agency and bureaucracies.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

There will be a reading week in Week 6.

Formative coursework

Three problem sets.

Indicative reading

D. Mueller: Public Choice III; T. Persson and G. Tabellini: Political Economics; T. Besley: Principled Agents?


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 28.1
Merit 33.3
Pass 24
Fail 14.6

Teachers' comment

Note that both student performance and course survey results are an average of three academic years but do not include 2016-17. Prof Valentino Larcinese has been teaching this course only during the last two academic years (2015-16 and 2016-17). Information for the 2016-17 academic year, however, is not reported by the system.

His overall performance during the 2016-17 academic year has been rated by GV481 students at 1.7 (where 1=best, 5=worst). Detailed results are available upon request

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2018/19: 33

Average class size 2018/19: 11

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication