Comparative Political Economy

6 credits

Teacher responsible: Prof. Riccardo Puglisi

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the analysis of the effects of political institutions on policies, with a specific focus on economic policies. In the first part of the course, after a brief primer on game theory, the course will present the modeling tools that are useful to describe the decision-making process within democratic and autocratic regimes, with a specific focus on voting and lobbying models.

The second part of the course will discuss the effects of different political and electoral institutions on the size and composition of government taxation and spending. It will involve discussion of results on democratic vs. autocratic regimes, presidential vs. parliamentary democracies, and proportional vs. majoritarian electoral systems.

The third part of the course will look at the effects of a broader set of “institutions”, which includes the extent of property rights protection, the mass media and social capital. The course will be based on a mix of theoretical and empirical tools.

Course Syllabus

N.B. Prospective students can view the full syllabus for this course by signing up to receive the WPIR syllabus package.