POLS 296-- Political Economy of Industrial
[evaluation] [books] [outline/readings] [group assignment 1]
NOTE: Lecture notes for weeks after the first exam are now posted on-line. See the relevant topics below. They will be updated following the sessions in which they are delivered.
MW 10-11:15, or by appointment
This course is a survey of some of the major ideas and themes at the boundary
of economics and political science. Applications are primarily to Western
countries (incl. Japan, Australia and New Zealand). The first part of the class
covers some the great (political) economists: a varied assortment of many
"dead white males," beginning with Adam Smith. We then look at some of
the major issues in modern public policy with important economic implications:
government fiscal and monetary policy, social welfare policy and
education/training policy. Finally, we look at a couple important contemporary
questions: endogenous growth theory and economic globalization. The course is
thus theoretical in the fist half and at the end, with the more
"practical" applications sandwiched in the middle. The lectures,
readings and assignments do try to relate the more theoretical portions to the
Though not a formal prerequisite, this course includes material that assumes that you have had a course on Quantitative Analysis in this (e.g., POLS 291) or some other (e.g., ECON 212) social science department .
All students are expected to have and check email regularly, as some announcements and group work will likely be done through that medium.
1. Preparation/Participation in class: 10%
All students are expected to come to class having done the reading or assignments for that week. Student participation is important in a seminar like this one. I will call on people at random in class.
2. Short written exercises: 20%
There will be "several" (read: the number is not set) short (4-5 page) problem solving assignments that you will do in small groups. Details will be explained, but most group work should occur outside of class. In addition to a collective grade on these assignments for each group, group members will evaluate each others individual contributions. Expectations for the quality of these papers (use of citations, writing style, etc) are no different than the final paper; the papers are just shorter.
3. Final Paper: 25%
A research/thesis paper of 10-15 double-spaced pages on a topic of your choice relevant to the class. You may rewrite the paper as often as you wish, but no papers (first version or rewrites) will be accepted after May 7, 2001.
Topic due by March 26 (should be cleared by me prior)
Thesis due by April 9
Draft due by April 23
Last date for turning in final paper: May 7, 2001
4. Midterm: 20%
5. Final Exam 25%
Details about the format of the exams will be provided as exam dates approach.
A note about deadlines: Deadlines for all written assignments are 5 pm of the due date. Late assignments lose 10 points for each day late.
Books starred (*) are NOT yet available in the Coop. They will come in, but you might want them before they do. You might try the book search at www.bigwords.com to find best prices and shipping arrangements to get them yourself. Barnes and Noble appears to have good prices and offers free shippping on total text orders over $75
Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophers. NewYork: Simon and Schuster,1998
* Caporaso and Levine, Theories of Political Economy, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992 ($15-$35!);
Adolino and Blake, Comparing Public Policies, Washington: CQ Press, 2001 ($30-35);
* (not required) Heilbroner, Teachings from the Worldly Philosophy ($14.95)
The following are not currently in the Coop, but will be before needed. You
are also free to order them on your own.:
Ball and Bethel, Straight Talk about Social Security. 20th Century Foundation ($10);
Reynaud, Social Dialogue and Pension Reform ($10);
(not required) Aaron and Shoven, Should the United States Privatize Social Security? MIT press, 1999 ($26)
II. Classics of political economy
Classical Political Economy (150)
Intro 1/29 CL ch 1,
H ch 1 and 2
Smith, Malthus and Ricardo 1/31 CL ch2, H ch. 3,4
Heilbroner, Teachings from the Worldly Philospophers 53-126
Socialism: Utopian and Marxist (100)
H, ch. 5, 6; CL, ch. 3 (also on reserve)
Neo-classical Economics (old and new) (100)
H, ch. 7, CL, ch. 4
Bowles and Gintis, "The Revenge of Homo Economicus: Contested Exchange and the Revival of Political Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 7(1) 1993, 83-102 (read the two short commentaries following the article from 103-114) (Get at JSTOR)
Heilbroner, Teachings, ch. 5
Depression Economists: Keynes and Schumpeter (100)
H, ch. 9, 10 CL, ch. 6
III. Comparative Political Economy of Government Policy
Theories, Contexts, and Approaches (150)
AB, Introduction and ch 1-4 (skim ch. 1 and 2)
CL, Ch, 7-8
Fiscal and Tax Policy
AB, ch. 6-7.
Week 8 No Class Spring Break
Monetary Policy and Central Banking [lecture
US Federal Reserve System,
(and see) "The Fed: Our Central Bank"
European Central Bank (under "About ECB")
AB, Ch, 10
Lynch, "Payoffs to Alternative Training Strategies at Work" [on reserve]
Social Welfare Policy I (75)
AB, ch. 8, 9
Social and Welfare Policy II: Social Security Reform (100) and Second Group
Ball and Bethel, Straight talk about Social Security (all)
The Impact of Globalization: Convergence or Divergence?
Krugman, excerpts from Pop Internationalism
Dani Rodrik, "The Debate over Globalization: How to Move Forward by Looking Backward";
__________"Why do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?" Journal of Political Economy 1998. [I will provide instructions on how to get the paper.]
Last class 5/7 What have we learned?
Papers are due at last class meeting