Political Economy - EC583

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5)


EC304 Principles of Economics, EC305/EC306 Mathematics for Economics, EC309 Statistics for Economics are pre-requisite modules





The module will introduce students to the topic of political economy using microeconomic analytical tools. In particular, the module will provide students with an overview of microeconomic theories and empirical methods that have been used to bring new insights to issues related to political economy. The module will also explore how these issues relate to themes in development, public and environmental economics. The following topics will be covered in the module.

1. Electoral rules, voting and their economic implications:

2. Political Reforms and their Economic Impacts:

3. Institutions and Development:

4. Ethnic and Civil Conflict:

5. Climate Agreements:


Contact hours

20 Lectures
9 Seminars

Method of assessment

10% In Course Test
10% Essay (1500 words)
80% Examination

Preliminary reading

• Persson, T. and T. Guido (2002), 'Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy,' MIT Press
• Acemoglu, D. and J. Robinson (2011), 'Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty,' Crown Publishing.
• Robinson, J. (1998), "Theories of Bad Policy," Policy Reform 1, 1--46.
• Blattman, C. and E. Miguel (2010), 'Civil War', Journal of Economic Literature, 48(1): 3-57.
• Sokoloff, K. and S. Engerman (2000), ‘History Lessons: Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World,’ Journal of Economic Perspectives 14, 217--232.
• Esteban, J. and R. Debraj (2016), ‘Conflict and Development’, October 2016, forthcoming, Annual Reviews of Economics.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

• Understand how a variety of microeconomic concepts, such as strategic decision-making, and collective action, have been used to investigate political economy issues
• Understand how household surveys, natural experiments and various methods of programme evaluation can be used to test economic theories and guide economic policies
• Solve simple microeconomic models that can explain phenomena related to political economy and economic development
• Analyse microeconomic data using simple statistical methods
• Review the efficacy of policies related to electoral reforms in the context of theory and evidence

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