2020-21 Pomona College Catalog 
    
    Jun 19, 2021  
2020-21 Pomona College Catalog
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ECON134 PO - Economic Analysis of Politics

When Offered: Last offered fall 2019.
Instructor(s): M. Dold
Credit: 1

How can politics solve collective action problems? Why do some policies fail? The economic analysis of politics, also known as public choice or political economy, presents a coherent analytical framework to tackle these puzzling questions. It starts with the observation that individual motivation in politics is not fundamentally different from the motivation of market participants. Therefore, economists can apply their analytical tools to analyze the behavior of political actors. With the rise of behavioral economics, economists have started to apply models of bounded rationality to the study of political processes. This course will cover the standard rational choice approach and end with a discussion of current research topics in behavioral political economy. The course comprises four parts: (I) normative foundations (ethical theories, collective goals, Pareto concepts); (II) social dilemmas (externalities, coordination failure, commitment problem); (III) possibilities and constraints of public policy (strategic adjustment, dynamic inconsistency, special interests); (IV) current issues in behavioral political economy (populism, the role of the media, irrational voting). The course will not discuss politics institution by institution. Instead, the objective of this course is to develop some habits of mind that enable the students see the world of politics through the analytical lens of economics. Prerequisites: ECON 051 PO   or ECON 052 PO .
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 2



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