Political Economy - ECON5830

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Anirban Mitra checkmark-circle


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

Total contact hours: 29 hours
Private study hours: 121
Total study hours: 150


This module is optional for all Single and Joint Honours programmes in Economics.
This module is not available to students across other degree programmes in the University.

Method of assessment

Essay, (1500 Words) (20%)
Examination, 2 hours (80%)

**Please note that the exam in May/June 2023 will be Online (24 hour window)**

Reassessment Instrument: 100% exam

Indicative 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.

A range of (non-technical) articles drawn from the leading economic journals such as the Journal of Economic Perspectives and the Handbook of Economic Growth will also be utilised.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1. Understand how a variety of microeconomic concepts, such as strategic decision-making, and collective action, have been used to investigate political economy issues

8.2. Understand how household surveys, natural experiments and various methods of programme evaluation can be used to test economic theories and guide economic policies

8.3. Solve simple microeconomic models that can explain phenomena related to political economy and economic development

8.4. Analyse microeconomic data using simple statistical methods

8.5. Review the efficacy of policies related to electoral reforms in the context of theory and evidence


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.