PSC 589 Social Choice, Bargaining and Elections
Political Science Field: Positive Theory
Typically offered every year
Fall 2015 — T 15:25-18:05
The course covers the primary results in the literature on preference aggregation and applies them to models of elections and policy-making. The focus of the course is especially on dynamic models of politics, with an emphasis on structural similarities between models of bargaining and elections. We begin by studying Arrow's theorem and majority voting, and we review the workhorse models of agenda setting and static elections in the political economy literature, including the setter model of Romer and Rosenthal and the Downsian and probabilistic models of elections. The analysis moves to the study of the Baron-Ferejohn model of bargaining and dynamic models of elections, including the two-period model of political agency with adverse selection and moral hazard. We end by considering the fully dynamic bargaining model, in which the status quo evolves endogenously over time, and the infinite-horizon political agency model. The course will consist of a mix of lectures, discussion, and student presentation of assigned readings.
Fall 2014 — MW 10:00-12:00
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.