Political Economics

Course content

The teaching in this course may be changed to be taught either fully or partly online due to COVID-19. For further information, see the course room on Absalon. The time, place and type of assessment used for the exam may also be changed due to COVID-19, and any further information will be announced under the panel “Exam”.

The course provides a broad overview of modern political economics. It deals with the interaction of politics and economics, using formal models to understand the implications for economic policy of various political settings and institutions. The course relates the theoretical predictions to real world examples and systematic empirical findings.


The course covers the following topics:

  • Electoral competition and voter behavior
  • Partisan politics and political agency
  • Redistributive aspects of politics
  • Legislative bargaining
  • Impact of different political institutions on economic policy
  • Sources of differences in political preferences
  • Politics and the media

MSc programme in Economics – elective course


The PhD Programme in Economics at the Department of Economics  - elective course with resarch module. PhD students must contact the study administration and the lecturer in order to write the research assignment.

Learning outcome

After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:



  • Account for the basic and more advanced theoretical models of different aspects of political-economic process as well as methods and results of empirical assessment of these models.
  • Account for the tools of modeling as well as empirical methods and results within the topics listed under the course content above.



  • Apply methods and results from the list of topics above, to analyze variations and extensions of these and closely related topics within political economics.
  • Discuss and assess the underlying assumptions and methods within these topics and their impact on the analytical results.



  • Initiate and participate in discussions about political economics within both a national and international practical and empirical context.
  • Plan and execute independent theoretical and empirical analyses that address issues within the topics listed above, as well as other related topics in political economics.

Students are expected to participate actively during classes.

The course mainly draws on journal articles in economics and political science, but supplemented with the textbook

  • “Political Economics” by Persson and Tabellini, 2002, ISBN no. 9780262661317.


For the econometric methods introduced in the course we will use chapters from the textbook

  • “Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist’s Companion” by Joshua D. Angrist and Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009, ISBN no. 978-0691120355.

The student should have a sound knowledge of basic micro economic concepts such as preferences, utility maximization, and indirect utility functions from the course Microeconomics I and with game theoretical concepts (e.g. Nash equilibrium, subgame perfect equilibrium) from the course Microeconomics II.
The student should also be familiar with econometric techniques (e.g. OLS regression, IV estimation) is also required from the course Econometrics I.
The courses are offered at the Bachelorstudy of Economics, University of Copenhagen.

2 hours lectures 1 to 2 times a week from week 36 to 50 (except week 42).

The overall schema for the Master can be seen at KUnet:
MSc in Economics => "Courses and teaching" => "Planning and overview" => "Your timetable"

Timetable and venue:
To see the time and location of lectures please press the link under "Timetable"/​"Se skema" at the right side of this page. E means Autumn.

You can find the similar information partly in English at
-Select Department: “2200-Økonomisk Institut” (and wait for respond)
-Select Module:: “2200-E20; [Name of course]”
-Select Report Type: “List – Weekdays”
-Select Period: “Efterår/Autumn – Weeks 31-5”
Press: “ View Timetable”

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 3 hours
The exam assignment is given in English and must be answered in English.
Due to the Corona crisis, the Board of Study has decided to change the regular exams and the re-sit exams in the autumn semester to written online take-home exams. Both exams are still individual.

During the exam, it is not allowed to communicate with others about the exam assignment nor the solution at all. It is also prohibited to distribute data regarding the solutions to anyone. If this or alike actions happens, it will be regarded as cheating and plagiarism.

Please
- https:/​/​kunet.ku.dk/​newsroom/​study-messages/​Pages/​Information-about-the-winter-exams-at-the-Department-of-Economics.aspx
- https:/​/​kunet.ku.dk/​newsroom/​study-messages/​Pages/​Information-on-rescheduled-PBV-winter-exams-.aspx
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
for the written exam. The exam may be chosen for external censorship by random check.
Criteria for exam assessment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the course.


To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.


For this course the student must also demonstrate


  • Of the methods and results within the topics covered in the course



  • The ability to apply these methods to analyze variations and extensions of these and closely related topics within political economics
  • The ability to critically discuss assumptions and methods used within these topics



  • The ability to discuss the topics of the course within both a national and international practical and empirical context at the level corresponding to that presented in class.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 161
  • Exam
  • 3
  • English
  • 206