Political Economy Certificate
Political Economy is a cross-disciplinary field for students who wish to further their understandings of social phenomena and individual behavior by combining and comparing the perspectives of its two constituent disciplines.
Politics students who wish to participate in the program must indicate their intention to the Undergraduate Program Administrator. The Political Economy Adviser will supervise the student's course of study while in this program.
The Program is based on three premises:
that rational choice models can be applied to both economic and political phenomena,
that any economy functions within a political framework and therefore the collective decision-making models of political science are useful for economic analysis, and
that public policy issues involve both efficiency and distributive considerations.
Normally economists have concentrated on efficiency and political scientists on distribution, but political economy students will generally consider both.
To participate in this Program, students must complete two Politics courses and ECO 100 and 101, and MAT 103 before the end of their sophomore year. All five of these courses should be taken on a graded basis (e.g., not p/d/f). Students may substitute a higher level math course that subsumes MAT 103 such as MAT 104, MAT 175, or MAT 215. NOTE: Students can apply for these prerequisites to be waived by committing to complete MAT 175, ECO 300/310, and ECO 301/311 before the end of the junior year. This will be considered by the Political Economy Adviser on a case by case basis.
It is important for each student to select a combination of Economics and Politics courses that form a coherent and meaningful program. Before signing up for the first semester of the junior year, the student should work out a tentative course outline for the two years; this outline must be approved and signed by the Political Economy Adviser.
A student in the Political Economy Program is required to complete at least seven upper-level courses in the Politics Department, at least five of which must be numbered 300 and above, and two upper-level courses in the Economics Department plus one course in quantitative methods in either Economics or Politics. These courses will be counted as departmentals. This ten course combination fulfills the requirements both for the Political Economy Program and for the major and is used in calculating department honors.
All students must pass the following courses: (1) either Political Economy (POL 349) or Comparative Political Economy (POL 352); (2) Mathematical Models in the Study of Politics (POL 347); (3) at least one course in quantitative methods: either POL 345 or 346 or ECO 202, 302, or 312; (4) Intermediate Microeconomics (ECO 300 or ECO 310 or WWS 300), and (5) either Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECO 301 or ECO 311), or one of the following courses: WWS 301/ECO 352 (International Trade), WWS 302/ECO 359 (International Development), or WWS 307/ECO 349 (Public Economics). Students must complete intermediate microeconomics and either POL 349 or POL 352 by the end of the junior year.
Cognates in non-economic fields are approved only in addition to the ten courses prescribed above. Students in the Political Economy Program must also fulfill the distribution requirement of the Department, however, the quantitative methods course will satisfy the Politics Department's analytical requirement, while POL 347 can serve as a course in a third field.
While a student in the Program must write a thesis on a topic related to the student's primary field, the thesis must also incorporate significant Political Economy content. On or before the thesis draft deadline, the Political Economy content of the thesis must be certified by the Political Economy Advisor. The student should meet with the Political Economy Advisor well in advance of this deadline to discuss the Political Economy content of the thesis.
Students who successfully complete the Program's requirements will receive a Departmental certificate.
The Political Economy Advisor is Matias Iaryczower, who can answer any questions regarding the Program.