Political Economy and Economic Policy

Module Lead: Marta Guerriero

Credits: 10

Introduction and module objectives

In Political Economy we study non-market decision-making, in particular decision-making from an economist's perspective. This module uses the 'rational choice' perspective to understanding the process of economic and political decision-making in a democracy to studying some particular issues in development economics macroeconomics and international economics. Thus, some of the methods of analysis used in the 'rational choice' perspective will be used to study problems of government debt, underdevelopment and some special topics (eg conflict and economic resource allocation, economics of crime).

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate how governments function compared to a theoretical benchmark;
  • Demonstrate an advanced ability to write and solve formal models of political decision-making and apply it to specific policy problems;
  • Appraise and synthesise the relevant literature explaining how theories have been tested and the results obtained;
  • Display an in-depth knowledge of the complexities of public debt.


  • 2,000 word assignment (20%)
  • Two hour written unseen examination (80%)