31512 - Political Economy In Macroeconomics

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Giorgio Bellettini

  • Credits 6

  • SSD SECS-P/01

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Economics (cod. 8408)


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the class student has knowledge on using the concepts and tools of the new political economy to analyze current topics in this field. The focus is on the formation of macroeconomic policies from a positive point of view. Student is able to analyze issues such as: - the interaction between politics and economics in shaping macroeconomic policies in modern democracies; - the role of political institutions in the process of economic growth and development; - the effects of elections and changes of policymakers on macroeconomic policy.

Course contents

  • Introduction to political economy
  • Collective choices, decision-making mechanisms, and electoral competition
  • General transfers: income redistribution and intergenerational transfers
  • Special interest politics and the role of lobbies
  • Dynamic voting. Inequality, political equilibrium and economic growth
  • Readings/Bibliography

    T. Persson and G. Tabellini, (2000), Political economics: explaining economic policy, MIT Press.
    A. Drazen (2000), Political economy in macroeconomics, Princeton University Press.
    T. Besley (2006), Principled Agents?, Oxford University Press.

    Further readings (namely recent papers) will be suggested in class.

    Teaching methods

    Class lectures.  Although not compulsory, class attendance is highly recommended to deal with the course's requirements.

    Assessment methods

    Assessment will be based on two elements: answers to problem sets, and a paper presentation. The first element aims at assessing the students' ability to apply theory and methods to solve analytical excercises. The second element allows to evaluate students' ability to understand and critically analyze the most recent contributions in the literature.

    Grades will be scaled as follows:

    <18 fail
    18-23 pass
    24-27 good
    28-30 very good
    30 e lode excellent

    Students can reject a passing grade only once. To this end, he/she must email a request to the instructor, who will acknowledge receipt of the message.

    A strong background in microeconomics and macroeconomics is required to successfully attend the course. A good knowledge of econometrics techniques will be useful for most presentations.

    Teaching tools

    Teaching material will be downloadable from the Moodle platform, at iol.unibo.it

    Office hours

    See the website of Giorgio Bellettini