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Course 2022-2023 a.y.

20298 - POLITICAL ECONOMICS - ADVANCED

Department of Economics

Course taught in English



Go to class group/s: 31

GIO (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/01)
Course Director:
MARCO BATTAGLINI

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: MARCO BATTAGLINI


Suggested background knowledge

Students attending this course should be familiar with basic microeconomics concepts, in particular with the notion of Nash Equilibrium and Subgame Perfect Nash Equilibrium, and should know how to solve unconstrained and constrained optimization problems. In particular, they should know how to use and apply the Kuhn-Tucker conditions to compute a constrained optimum.


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

The goal of this course is to discuss current topics in political economics. This means to study the formation of economic policy from a positive, rather than a normative, perspective. Thus, the course will address questions such as: what are the political and institutional determinants of fiscal policy and macroeconomic policy in modern democracies? Why are seemingly inefficient public policies preserved over time, and what can be done to overcome opposition to reform? How do voters form their political beliefs, and how is this reflected in the behavior of politicians? The course will thus train students to understand how policy decisions are made, how they can be improved, and how voters behave at the polls. This will prove helpful in the analysis and forecast of policy decisions, by market analysts or by professionals working in government or international organizations.

CONTENT SUMMARY

The goal of this course is to discuss current topics in political economics. This means to study the formation of economic policy from a positive, rather than a normative, perspective. Thus, the course will address questions such as: what are the political and institutional determinants of fiscal policy and macroeconomic policy in modern democracies? Why are seemingly inefficient public policies preserved over time, and what can be done to overcome opposition to reform? How do voters form their political beliefs, and how is this reflected in the behaviour of politicians? The course will thus train students to understand how policy decisions are made, how they can be improved, and how voters behave at the polls. This will prove helpful in the analysis and forecast of policy decisions, by market analysts or by professionals working in government or international organizations.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand how policy decisions are made and how they can be improved
  • Understand ongoing political and economic changes in advanced democracies and in developing countries
  • Understand the properties of different political institutions and how they influence public policy

 

This will prove helpful in the analysis and forecast of public policies, by market analysts or by professionals working in government or international organizations. It will also enable students to read and understand, and critically evaluate the advanced literature on economic development and public policy.

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Forecast policy decisions in complex political environments.
  • Understand ongoing political and economic changes in advanced democracies and emerging countries.
  • Understand why unsustainable policies remain in place for too long.
  • Understand which specific features of political institutions may lead to more or less provision of public goods, more or less redistribution, more or less political corruption.
  • Understand how organized special interests influence public policies.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Individual assignments
DETAILS

Individual assignments, to be discussed in class (about 4 written assignments).

Students are encouraged to take an active part in class discussion, sharing their insights and bringing their own views.


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Course Grade: 

    Exam and Problem sets (only written exams):  

    -           2 Problem sets: 

    -           Midterm exam on the first half of the course  

    -           Final exam 

    The Problem sets, Midterm and the Final exam will consist of: 

     

    1. analytical problem solving, designed to assess student’s ability to use the analytical tools developed in the course
       
    2. true or false or discussion questions, designed to assess the understanding of the concepts studied in the course, the knowledge of the relevant literature, and the ability to apply these tools to real world situations 

      One extra point will be awarded if the final exam is held by the February 2022 session. 

      The grades received in the problem sets and midterm can only be retained during the current academic year 

     

     

     

    NON ATTENDING STUDENTS 

    They have to be prepared over the entire program and deliver the problem sets by the due date. 


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    A useful reference book is:

    • T. PERSSON, G. TABELLINI, Political Economics, MIT Press, 2000.

    The slides of the course, problem sets and additional readings are uploaded to the Bboard platform of the course.

    Last change 13/06/2022 18:14