Political Economy

The details
Colchester Campus
Autumn & Spring
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 04 October 2018
Friday 28 June 2019
17 September 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC LL14 Economics and Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC LL2F Economics and Politics,
BSC LL3F Economics and Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC LL4F Economics and Politics (Including Placement Year)

Module description

This module requires knowledge of essay writing in political science. It also requires knowledge of applied statistics (especially regression analysis), algebra, analytic geometry, and differential calculus, all at GCSE level.

This module is about modern political economy, meaning analytical approaches to study how economic and political incentives interact to create constraints and opportunities that shape larger political and economic behaviour and outcomes. The module introduces students to the use of rigorous logic and evidence in order to understand classical political economy issues as well as to address contemporary policy issues in both domestic and international dimensions.

Module aims

To introduce the students to key issues and research examples within political economy.

Module learning outcomes

1. Know and discuss key issues in political economy.
2. Understand and solve formal political economy models.
3. Understand quantitative empirical evidence from research in political economy.
4. Analyze and discuss policy issues using methods and approaches from political economy.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Two hour weekly seminar.


  • Shepsle, Kenneth A; Bonchek, Mark S. (c1997) Analyzing politics: rationality, behavior, and institutions, New York: Norton.
  • Milner & Mukherjee 2009, https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.polisci.12.110507.114722
  • Bermeo, Sarah Blodgett. (2016) 'Aid Is Not Oil: Donor Utility, Heterogeneous Aid, and the Aid-Democratization Relationship', in International Organization. vol. 70 (1) , pp.1-32
  • Mankiw et al. 1992, http://content.ebscohost.com/ContentServer.asp?EbscoContent=dGJyMMvl7ESeqLU4yOvqOLCmsEiep7BSrq%2B4TK%2BWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGvtkmyqLdNuePfgeyx9Yvf5ucA&T=P&P=AN&S=R&D=bsu&K=9301312015
  • Mark Andreas Kayser. (2005) 'Who Surfs, Who Manipulates? The Determinants of Opportunistic Election Timing and Electorally Motivated Economic Intervention', in The American Political Science Review. vol. 99 (1) , pp.17-27
  • Wright, Joseph. (2008) 'Do Authoritarian Institutions Constrain? How Legislatures Affect Economic Growth and Investment', in American Journal of Political Science. vol. 52 (2) , pp.322-343
  • Olson, Mancur. (1993-09) 'Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development', in American Political Science Review. vol. 87 (3) , pp.567-576
  • J. S. Ahlquist. (2007) 'Book Review: Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. A. (2006). Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press', in Comparative Political Studies. vol. 40 (8) , pp.1026-1029
  • Wellhausen, Rachel L. (2015-03) 'Investor–State Disputes', in Journal of Conflict Resolution. vol. 59 (2) , pp.239-261
  • Eric C. Chang; Mark Andreas Kayser; Ronald Rogowski. (2008) 'Electoral Systems and Real Prices: Panel Evidence for the OECD Countries, 1970 2000', in British Journal of Political Science. vol. 38 (4) , pp.739-751
  • Downs, Anthony. (c1957) 'The Statics and Dynamics of Party Ideologies', in An economic theory of democracy, New York: Harper., pp.114-141
  • Allan H. Meltzer; Scott F. Richard. (1981) 'A Rational Theory of the Size of Government', in Journal of Political Economy. vol. 89 (5) , pp.914-927
  • Dreher, A.; Sturm, J.-E.; Vreeland, J. R. (2015-02-01) 'Politics and IMF Conditionality', in Journal of Conflict Resolution. vol. 59 (1) , pp.120-148
  • Boix, Carles; Stokes, Susan C. (2003) 'Endogenous Democratization', in World Politics. vol. 55 (4) , pp.517-549
  • Quan Li. (2009) 'Democracy, Autocracy, and Expropriation of Foreign Direct Investment', in Comparative Political Studies. vol. 42 (8) , pp.1098-1127
  • Myerson, Roger B. (2008) 'The Autocrat's Credibility Problem and Foundations of the Constitutional State', in The American Political Science Review. vol. 102 (1) , pp.125-139
  • Smith, Alastair. (2005) 'Why International Organizations Will Continue to Fail Their Development Goals', in Perspectives on Politics. vol. 3 (3) , pp.565-567
  • Andersen, Jørgen J.; Ross, Michael L. (2014-06) 'The Big Oil Change', in Comparative Political Studies. vol. 47 (7) , pp.993-1021
  • Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce; Smith, Alastair. (2009) 'A Political Economy of Aid', in International Organization. vol. 63 (2) , pp.309-340
  • Nordhaus, William D. (1975-04) 'The Political Business Cycle', in The Review of Economic Studies. vol. 42 (2) , pp.169-
  • Alejandro Quiroz Flores. (2016) Ministerial survival during political and cabinet change: foreign affairs, diplomacy and war, New York, NY: Routledge. vol. Routledge research on social and political elites
  • Timothy Besley. (2007) 'The New Political Economy', in The Economic Journal. vol. 117 (524) , pp.F570-F587
  • Michael L. Ross. (no date) 'Does Oil Hinder Democracy', in World Politics.
  • Treisman, Daniel. (2007-06) 'What Have We Learned About the Causes of Corruption from Ten Years of Cross-National Empirical Research?', in Annual Review of Political Science. vol. 10 (1) , pp.211-244
  • Michael T. Dorsch; Paul Maarek. (2019) 'Democratization and the Conditional Dynamics of Income Distribution', in American Political Science Review. vol. 113 (2) , pp.385-404
  • (2005) The global economy: contemporary debates, New York: Pearson Longman.
  • (no date) Protection for sale.
  • Bruce Bueno de Mesquita; Alastair Smith. (2011) The dictator's handbook: why bad behavior is almost always good politics, New York: PublicAffairs.
  • Shleifer, Andrei; Vishny, Robert W. (1993) 'Corruption', in The Quarterly Journal of Economics. vol. 108 (3) , pp.599-617
  • Dewan, Torun; Shepsle, Kenneth A. (2011-06-15) 'Political Economy Models of Elections', in Annual Review of Political Science. vol. 14 (1) , pp.311-330
  • (no date) The Logic of Political Survival.
  • (no date) What have learned about the ressource curse.
  • Shi, Min; Svensson, Jakob. (2006-9) 'Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?', in Journal of Public Economics. vol. 90 (8-9) , pp.1367-1389
  • Miller, Gary J. (2005) 'The Political Evolution Principal-Agent Models', in Annual Review of Political Science. vol. 8 (1) , pp.203-225
  • Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce; Smith, Alastair. (2007) 'Foreign Aid and Policy Concessions', in The Journal of Conflict Resolution. vol. 51 (2) , pp.251-284
  • Haber, Stephen; Menaldo, Victor. (2011) 'Do Natural Resources Fuel Authoritarianism? A Reappraisal of the Resource Curse', in The American Political Science Review. vol. 105 (1) , pp.1-26
  • McGillivray, Fiona. (c2004) Privileging industry: the comparative politics of trade and industrial policy, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Michael L. Ross. (2008) 'Oil, Islam, and Women', in American Political Science Review. vol. 102 (1) , pp.107-123
  • Olken, Benjamin A. (2007) 'Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia', in Journal of Political Economy: The University of Chicago Press. vol. 115 (2) , pp.200-249
  • Timothy Besley; Jose G. Montalvo; Marta Reynal-Querol. (2011) 'Do educated leaders matter?', in The Economic Journal. vol. 121 (554) , pp.F205-F227
  • Leslie Johns; Rachel L. Wellhausen. (2016) 'Under One Roof: Supply Chains and the Protection of Foreign Investment', in American Political Science Review. vol. 110 (1) , pp.31-51
  • Aidt, Toke S.; Veiga, Francisco José; Veiga, Linda Gonçalves. (2011) 'Election results and opportunistic policies: A new test of the rational political business cycle model', in Public Choice. vol. 148 (1) , pp.21-44
  • Rajan, Raghuram G. (2008) 'The Future of the IMF and the World Bank', in The American Economic Review. vol. 98 (2) , pp.110-115
  • Brandice Canes-Wrone; Jee-Kwang Park. (2012) 'Electoral Business Cycles in OECD Countries', in The American Political Science Review. vol. 106 (1) , pp.103-122
  • Samuel Berlinski; Torun Dewan; Keith Dowding. (2010) 'The impact of individual and collective performance on ministerial tenure', in Journal of Politics. vol. 72 (2) , pp.559-571
  • James Raymond Vreeland. (2007) The International Monetary Fund: politics of conditional lending, London: Routledge. vol. Routledge global institutions
  • B. B. de Mesquita; A. Smith. (2008) 'Political Survival and Endogenous Institutional Change', in Comparative Political Studies. vol. 42 (2) , pp.167-197
  • T. S. Aidt; Jayasri Dutta; Elena Loukoianova. (2006) 'Democracy comes to Europe: Franchise extension and fiscal outcomes 1830-1938', in European Economic Review. vol. 50 (2) , pp.249-283
  • Torben Iversen; David Soskice. (2006) 'Electoral Institutions and the Politics of Coalitions: Why Some Democracies Redistribute More than Others', in The American Political Science Review. vol. 100 (2) , pp.165-181
  • Timothy Besley; Anne Case. (1995) 'Does Electoral Accountability Affect Economic Policy Choices? Evidence from Gubernatorial Term Limits', in Quarterly Journal of Economics. vol. 110 (3) , pp.769-798
  • Lasse Aaskoven; David Dreyer Lassen. (2017) 'Political Budget Cycles', in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics: Oxford University Press.
  • Ronald Rogowski; Mark Andreas Kayser. (2002) 'Majoritarian Electoral Systems and Consumer Power: Price-Level Evidence from the OECD Countries', in American Journal of Political Science. vol. 46 (3) , pp.526-539
  • (no date) Workers of the World, unite.
  • Trump, Condorcet and Borda, https://pdf.sciencedirectassets.com/271678/1-s2.0-S0176268018X00056/1-s2.0-S0176268017300782/main.pdf?X-Amz-Security-Token=IQoJb3JpZ2luX2VjECAaCXVzLWVhc3QtMSJIMEYCIQCS68Wju7k4WZHlA3ZSU6m9IoaoBQlyiJpDtDsE9mEIKAIhAOjh3r6A%2F2vwSedcnEDPK6lQhkgJ0ddUFE1b1u%2BNj08IKr0DCNn%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FwEQAxoMMDU5MDAzNTQ2ODY1IgzffoklY%2BPCqdlIVSEqkQMz1oVzw79urvhadwBFFbnbAsz4X%2BbLpAJWqHp7wjjZXRF9AmdQTYcK%2BV6yVpcAA7qR%2BXPRGPTargV1TPmPGXVA0nqrUZfXqjJ2Y1TKYRm0b32jrDROsYnOjryT5xeKXwfarLliUexqNRLdz%2Bw8OxGqru8iL8TSfbQb6n2Svxn5yaBcWTmkeEfOC%2F%2BubPydLXWRV6bTuW8cEd43rCgRmIAbS6ifeiqNWX2gLDzbhhAooReopZN%2BBepk5jWQ%2BKwmZILoPmb22Zzn4EoH7UU7WIEb9HOja5Pk1WpwNfB%2F1GPgF0Vcc8zhh%2F9GLuN7gjL14fXDozkmBSTqHbwQ2faFv1vmkXfHdodcPciEH%2BjsGAl%2BbM8wjOY0UB1knEyB7P7RKNm1gpxO2XjddwGktjOTbY1XEwnD%2FPDQfjr7wc6Bo0x7MJTvHwtAUD7EuZ4jqiDHl6DaM0qdniiQEgfZzl8QjFpf%2FH4tmZc%2FhgluU1O5%2BLtT8pZXZTBu91xnRXkUqsqYezeNbX193tHLBkJ5qsF%2B00wFXTDu6Pv4BTrqAY%2BK4qRIfGwrb4C6uBynAm2XC873UqlDW8CkTY1WdgNNNLz03kuNO8A7DdEepT3mxY%2BwtiIzwTcwCZaUf8XlaO8VnDikihXbyuOSS5Z5dJdcZPj%2Bk7eueQa1M5Ds%2BLSTJmSJNoTe7kHJqVe1BVH3LuLVCEA6nmZuLplh6PYajmVINIoKXqNsitLEJJr2UumXsMncg8RDYPTPagDhW5IIJO7xckfrpcG6sIBauOAh4E9hwpfyF2O%2FSyEtfFh3o8U2V%2FvvkS2CXXMGHGF4eOp43b%2BHV3EooRHD8SnSArzpE%2BAq4KyDrw%2BZuogDkw%3D%3D&X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Date=20200727T162212Z&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Expires=300&X-Amz-Credential=ASIAQ3PHCVTYYLYC536T%2F20200727%2Fus-east-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Signature=5d4c0ad9ae8b40a201745818f66bf43daea3b4d0449bb72f0eb0c94ae06dcce2&hash=0960518ab0da60c0585669ee6756a406cd8941f70dc5f4dcee67e988577c5cfd&host=68042c943591013ac2b2430a89b270f6af2c76d8dfd086a07176afe7c76c2c61&pii=S0176268017300782&tid=spdf-64e23cbf-a80d-4afb-bdbd-a1bef95e3564&sid=fc0c57c924ee214c6f2a5ad0fadefac1a4e7gxrqb&type=client
  • Nathan Jensen; Jong Hee Park. (2008) 'Where's the Beef? The Political Economy of U.S. Agriculture Policy', in The Political Economist. vol. 10 (2) , pp.1-8
  • Milner & Kubota 2005, https://0-www-cambridge-org.serlib0.essex.ac.uk/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S002081830505006X
  • (no date) The Perils of Unearned Foreign Income.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Assignment 1  13/12/2021  50% 
Coursework   Assignment 2  28/03/2022  50% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Marina Cino Pagliarello
Module Supervisor: Dr Marina Cino Pagliarello Module Administrator: Edmund Walker, govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Mohammed Rodwan Abouharb
University College London
Available via Moodle
Of 40 hours, 40 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

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