Department of Political Science

PSC 575 Political Economy I

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Old Political Science Field: Positive Theory

John Duggan
Fall 2014 — MW 10:00-12:00

Course Syllabus

Models-based course covering fundamental topics in theoretical political economy. Voting, electoral competition, special interest politics and political accountability. Highlights include institutional features shaping public policy and institutional design. Collective decisions viewed as outcomes of game played by individual decision-makers. Empirical motivations for and implications of the political economy models will be discussed.

John Duggan
Fall 2013 — MW 10:00-12:00

Course Syllabus

The course covers the primary results in preference aggregation and applies them to models of elections and policy-making. The focus of the course is especially on dynamic models of politics. We begin by studying Arrow's theorem and majority voting, we review the workhorse models of elections in the political economy literature, and we use these models to study taxation and inequality, interest groups and lobbying, etc. In the second part of the course, we extend the analysis to repeated elections and electoral accountability. We cover the literature on political agency with moral hazard and adverse selection. The course will consist of a mix of lectures, discussion, and student presentation of assigned readings.

Fall 2012 — MW 10:00-12:00

The course takes up foundational topics in theoretical political economy. It begins with the analysis of fundamental concepts of preference and choice used throughout the course. The course then covers the main results in social choice theory, where collective decisions are viewed as the product of an abstract process of preference aggregation. Results covered include Arrow's impossibility theorem and Black's median voter theorem. The course then moves to the game-theoretic analysis of elections, voting, and legislative bargaining, with a special focus on connections to social choice theory. Content of the course may vary with the instructor.