POL S 270 A: Introduction to Political Economy

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWThF 9:40am - 11:50am
CHL 105

Syllabus Description:

How do we understand the intersection between politics and economics? What can we learn about politics if we approach it from an economic perspective? And what can we learn about economics if we approach it from a political perspective? After taking this course, students will be able to apply rational choice economic principles to the study of politics and public policy. We will discuss the role of preferences, incentives, and institutions in shaping political behaviors such as voting, protesting, and campaigning for public office. We will apply concepts from microeconomics, game theory, and behavioral economics to real world political situations, including current events. In addition, we will address how political choices about rules to regulate the economy affect societal outcomes. For example, how do rules about insurance affect public health? How do trade policies affect inequality? Grades will be based on in-class discussions of readings, short homework assignments, a midterm, and a final exam.

Students will leave the class prepared to take upper level courses in political economy.

Find the full syllabus here: summer_2018_Pols_270_syllabus.pdf


Required books (reserve copy will be available at Odegaard Library):

The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates. (2011) Peter T. Leeson. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691150093

Trade-offs: An Introduction to Economic Reasoning and Social Issues. [Second edition] (2013) Harold Winter. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226924496

Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States.(1970) Albert O. Hirschman. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674276604

Catalog Description: 
Political economy as a tool for understanding and evaluating the political world. Combines theory, methods, and insights derived from economics and political science and applies them to a range of substantive issues.
Department Requirements: 
International Relations Field
American Politics Field
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:10pm