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EC9C2: Topics in Empirical Political Economy

  • Michela Redoano

    Module Leader
  • Helios Herrera

    Module Lecturer
12 CATS - Department of Economics
Autumn Module

Principal Aims

EC9C2-12 Topics in Empirical Political Economy

Principal Learning Outcomes

Have a strategic overview and a detailed understanding of complex issues in advanced empirical political economy

Develop a critical knowledge of recent research in some key areas of empirical political economy

Enable students to autonomously pursue their own research agenda in the forefront of the empirical political economy field.


The core topics in the syllabus will typically include:

Topic 1: Voting Models and Empirical Testing

Background. Median Voter Theorem, Downsian Model, Probabilistic voting models, Citizen Candidate Model. Empirical tests: (i) testing predictions, Downsian Model vs Citizen Candidate Model; (ii) Testing assumptions: rationality, retrospective voting, gender differences in voting.

Topic 2: Political Agency and Electoral Control

Introduction, Benchmark model of political agency, Empirical evidence , Extended model accounting for clientelism and targeted policies , Extended model accounting for voters’ information.

Topic 3: Politics and the Media

Introduction: Information and mass media, Media capture and media bias.Determinants of Media Bias. Empirical evidence of supply-driven bias. Does slanted media affect voting?

Topic 4: Political Persuasion

Propaganda. Fake News and Fact Checking. Political effects of the interenet and social media.

Topic 5: Populism

Introduction. Definitions. Party Classifications. Historical Precedents and Recent Trends. Economic Origins; Short-Term, Medium-Term. Non-Economic Origins. Impact of Populism

Topic 6: Cultural Economics

Overview. Interaction between Culture and Institutions. Effects of Trust and Social Capital on Compliance. Political Economy of Pandemics.

Topic 7: Supply Side Political Economy

Who becomes a politician? Political Selection and Quality of Politicians.


Optional Module
L1PL - Year 2
Pre or Co-requisites
Satisfactory completion of MRes year 1


Assessment Method
Coursework (100%)
Coursework Details
Assessment 1 (50%) , Assessment 2 (50%)
Exam Timing

Reading Lists