Programmes

The Political Economy of Public Policy

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Government
  • Application code SS-EC260
  • Starting 2020
  • Short course: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

UPDATE: Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic we will no longer be offering this course in summer 2020. Please check our latest news on this situation here.

This course enhances a student’s understanding of the characteristics, determinants and consequences of public-policy making in liberal democracies. 

It provides theoretical foundations from both economics and political science, whilst developing an expansive knowledge of theoretical and applied areas of political economy.

Does democracy promote economic growth and welfare? What determines the size and evolution of the welfare state? Is regulation done in the interest of consumers? Is there a feasible third way between markets and governments in the delivering of public services? To answer these and many related questions it is necessary to understand the complex relationships between politics and economics.

Governments and political processes define the boundaries of economic relationships and the rules of market interactions. Moreover, governments themselves allocate resources and these allocations reflect complex political bargaining. Understanding the interaction between politics and economics can help us to gain insight into the key questions of public policy making.


Session: Two
Dates: 13 July – 31 July 2020
Lecturers: Professor Torun Dewan and Professor Valentino Larcinese


 

Programme details

Key facts

Level: 200 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: One piece of written work and one written examination

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)


*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment

Prerequisites

Introductory microeconomics, basic knowledge of calculus and statistics.

Programme structure

  • Introduction to political economy. Rationality and methodological individualism. Preference aggregation and manipulation
  • Public goods and the collective action problem
  • Elections and public policy. Majority rule
  • The political economy of inequality and redistribution. Welfare spending and the size of the public sector
  • The political economy of mass media
  • Electoral rules and policy outcomes
  • Political agency (1): The economic theory of electoral accountability. Institutions and political accountability
  • Organisation of legislatures and legislative procedures
  • Interest groups
  • Political leadership
  • The origins and effects of political institutions
  • Information, mass media and public policy
  • Political agency (2)

Course outcomes

This course enhances a student’s understanding of the characteristics, determinants and consequences of public-policy making in liberal democracies.

It provides theoretical foundations from both economics and political science, whilst developing an expansive knowledge of theoretical and applied areas of political economy. 

Teaching

LSE’s Department of Government is home to some of the most internationally respected experts in politics and government, producing influential research that has a global impact on policy. The Department has always been able to take advantage of its prominent position within the London School of Economics and Political Science, the largest and most important European institution specialising solely in the social sciences. The Department has a strongly cosmopolitan character and alumni can be found in the world's leading political science departments, as well as in journalism, commerce, central and local government, and non-governmental organisations globally.

The 2014 Research Assessment Exercise ranked the LSE Government and International Relations Departments' joint submission first in the UK for the percentage of its research graded world leading or internationally excellent (88%). LSE also came top in the Politics and International Studies REF panel in terms of the most research publications graded “world leading” (4*); the absolute number of top-rated research outputs. LSE’s Department of Government ranked 5th in the world in the 2018 QS World University ranking for Politics and International Studies.

On this three-week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s government faculty.

Reading materials

K. Shepsle, Analyzing Politics, London: W.W. Norton (2010) 

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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How to Apply

Related Programmes

Economics of European Integration

Code(s) SS-EC235

Public Policy Analysis

Code(s) SS-IR214

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