ECON 215B - Political Economy (UCB - Spring 2022)

This is a graduate level course in political economics. It focuses on a broad class of potential interactions between political and economic actors. We do not confine our analysis only to the context of economically developed countries and consolidated democracies, but we also explore more broadly autocratic regimes, failed states, and emerging economies. The emphasis of the course will be on theory-to-data methodologies, which will include both structural form analysis and reduced form. In all circumstances, we corroborate the analytical framework with real-world applications, ranging from the United States’ historical experience to cross-country comparisons, to develop insight in interpreting fundamental politico-economic constraints. The course aims at displaying the broader appeal of Political Economics across other economic disciplines. Speaking to the political economy of Development, topics and cases cover the analysis of economic and political institutions, regime and party organization in autocracies, electoral pathologies, patronage politics and conflict. Speaking to Public Economics more narrowly construed, we also cover political behavior, economic policy making, money in politics, lobbying and special interest activity, regulation and antitrust, activism and media.