Princeton Program in Political Economy

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Research Program in Political Economy

Brief Description of the Program

The allocations of markets and other economic institutions are subject to the political environment in which these institutions operate. Students interested in understanding the effects and the design of economic policies should have an appreciation of the political context in which these policies are set. At the same time, students interested in political outcomes and institutions must consider the economic forces that interact with the political realm. Work in political economy aims to develop theoretical and empirical understanding of the connections between economics and politics. Methodologically, recent research in both economics and political science has drawn on a common set of tools. Both disciplines have emphasized the strategic interaction of agents in political and market environments,. Both have relied on the paradigm of the optimizing agent, with game theory and equilibrium analysis providing a common theoretical framework. Empirical work in both disciplines relies on similar statistical and econometric methods.

The Princeton Program in Political Economy is designed for students who seek to engage in scholarship at the intersection of the two disciplines. It enables students in the Department of Economics or the Department of Politics to supplement their disciplinary training with relevant study in the other department and to engage in specialized work in political economy. The Program also provides for interaction among students and faculty members of these academic units and facilitates research on topics in political economy. The Program is administered by a Program Committee drawn from faculty in the participating academic units.

Closely affiliated with the Doctoral Program is the Research Program in Political Economy (RPPE). RPPE sponsors research workshops and colloquia, conferences, short-term visits to Princeton by scholars who work in political economy, and grants to students to aid their research in political economy.