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EC9C7: Topics in Political Economy Theory

  • Francesco Squintani

    Module Leader
  • Peter Hammond

    Module Lecturer
12 CATS - Department of Economics
Autumn Module

Principal Aims

The module aims to develop the skills and knowledge of political economic theory necessary for a career as an academic economist and in all areas where advanced research skills in political economic theory are required. Specifically, it aims to teach the students to understand, appreciate, and ultimately contribute to, frontier research. It is intended to be comparable to modules taught in the best research universities in the USA and elsewhere in Europe.

Principal Learning Outcomes

Have a good overview and a thorough understanding of political economic theory. Develop a critical knowledge of recent research in some key areas of political economic theory. Enable students to pursue their own research agenda in the field.


The core topics in the syllabus will typically include:

Normative decision theory, and consequentialism in decision trees; Social choice theory with (and without) interpersonal comparisons; First-best Pareto efficiency with public goods and externalities; Lindahl–Pigou pricing; Fundamental and aggregate non-convexities; Potential Pareto improvements and the gains from trade, migration, and liberalizing reforms; Incentive constraints in continuum economies, and second-best theory; Welfare measurement; Cost benefit analysis, and analysis of economic policy reform.


Optional Module
L1PJ - Year 2
Pre or Co-requisites
Satisfactory completion of MRes year 1


Assessment Method
Coursework (100%)
Coursework Details
Assessment 1 (67%) + Assessment 2 (33%)
Exam Timing

Reading Lists