Political Economics

Course content

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:

  • The course is an elective course with research module. In order to register for the research module and to be able to write the research assignment, the PhD students must contact the study administration AND the lecturer.
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", Bachelor of Economics, Copenhagen University or similar courses.

The student should also be familiar with econometric techniques (e.g. OLS regression, IV estimation) from a similar course as "Econometrics I", Bachelor 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-E22; [Name of course]”
-Select Report Type: “List – Weekdays”
-Select Period: “Efterår/Autumn”
Press: “ View Timetable”

Please be aware:
- The schedule of the lectures can change without the participants´ acceptance. If this happens, you can see the new schedule in your personal timetable at KUnet, in the app myUCPH and through the links in the right side of this course description and the link above.
- It is the students´s own responsibility continuously throughout the study to stay informed about their study, their teaching, their schedule, their exams etc. through the curriculum of the study programme, the study pages at KUnet, student messages, the course description, the Digital Exam portal, Absalon, the personal schema at KUnet and myUCPH app etc.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
On-site written exam, 3 hours under invigilation
Type of assessment details
ITX-exam in the exam venues of the university.
The exam assignment is in English and must be answered in English.
Exam registration requirements

There are no requirements during the course that the student has to fulfill to be able to sit the exam.


No aids allowed at the written ITX-exams.


Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
at the written exams. The written ITX-exam may be chosen for external assessment by random sample.
An oral re-examination may be with external assessment.
Exam period


Exam information:

Examination Dates can be found here

The exact time and place will be available in Digital Exam from the middle of the semester. 

More information about examination, rules, aids etc. at Master (UK) and Master (DK).


20 min. oral reexam without preparation time. 

External assessment. 

Reexam info:

Exact day, time and place is available in Digital Exam in February. 

More info: Master (UK) and Master (DK).

Criteria for exam assessment

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


In order to obtain the top grade "12", 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.


In order to obtain the passing grade “02”, the student must in a satisfactory way be able to demonstrate a minimal acceptable level 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


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester

- Go to 'Signup' for information about registration and enrollment.

Information about admission and tuition fee:  Master and Exchange Programme, credit students and guest students (Open University)

and venue:
- For teaching: Go to 'Remarks'.
- For exam and re-sits: Go to 'Exam'..
Department of Economics, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Nikolaj Arpe Harmon   (14-716c6e726f646d316b64757072714368667271316e7831676e)

See 'Course Coordinators'

Please read "Remarks" regarding the schedule of the teaching.

Saved on the 08-05-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students