The aim of this course is introducing students to the analysis of the relationships between political processes and institutions and economic performance. As in any standard course of public choice, political institutions and processes will be analyzed using the rational choice paradigm, standard in economics but not in traditional political science, to characterize the behavior of political agents. This enables to identify the typical decisions that will be taken in alternative institutional settings, and their consequences in terms of economic outcomes. The emphasis is on comparative institutional settings, with preference given to European and international analyses. The course will cover topics such as voting systems, economic effects of parliamentary vs. presidential governments, the role of the judiciary, the economic consequences of the legal systems, bureaucratic behavior, fiscal decentralization, competition among local governments, the politics of public debt, politics and economic growth, political business cycles, non democratic governments, international organizations, the media and politics.
teacher profile | teaching materials


Models of political competition (median voter, probabilistic model and citizen candidate)
Rent seeking/Logic of collective action
Political legislation cycles
Separation of powers and political accountability
The judiciary
Electoral rules
Political competition

Core Documentation

Dennis Mueller (2003) Public Choice III, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Reference Bibliography

1) Persson , T. and Tabellini, G. (2001) Political economics Cambridge, MIT Press 
 2) Besley, T. (2006). Principled Agents? Lectures on the Political Economy of Good Government, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
 3) Persson , T. and Tabellini, G. (2003) Economic effects of constitutions, Cambridge, 
MIT Press. 

Type of delivery of the course


Type of evaluation

Oral exam. Possible written tests during the course