3 August 2012
The Political Economy of Institutions
This course analyzes the paths through which preferences of individuals and groups are transformed into policies in democracies. We begin with a brisk review of theoretical approaches to questions of voting, majority rule, delegation and agency, cooperation, public goods, and the commons. We then analyze some of the key institutions through which preferences are aggregated in modern democracies: electoral systems, parties, parliaments, presidents, and federalism. We then examine the ways in which these institutions can shape incentives and ultimately outcomes. We focus on two broad classes of outcomes. First, why do some democracies redistribute more than others? Second, what accounts for cross-country and time-series variation in the nature of fiscal policy? We will pay special attention to the current crisis in the European Monetary Union.
We will consider a range of arguments asserting a causal role for institutions in shaping outcomes, but also carefully consider the possibility that institutions themselves are endogenous. We will give equal attention to theory and empirical analysis.
Professor Jonathan A. Rodden
PhD students, postgraduate students
To provide PhD research training at the highest level.
NOK 3200: The tuition fee cover parts of the reading material, lunch every course day, as well as some social arrangements.