Political Economy

The major in Political Economy exposes students to the rich intersection between economics and politics. Students study the social, political and economic factors that affect, and are affected by, systems of production, exchange, and distribution, as well as the mix of values reflected in them.

At the heart of the major is the methodological and substantive overlap between economics and political science. Methodologically, political economy emphasizes rigorous and frequently quantitative methods, including formal modeling, econometrics and comparative case study methods. Substantively, political economy analyzes how international and domestic political factors interact with macro and micro economic factors to determine outcomes in a wide variety of areas including globalization, international trade and finance, regulation, development, taxes, institutional design, the environment, and income distribution. The scope of inquiry ranges from developed countries, to developing economies, to nations making transitions to market oriented systems.

The strength of the major is its ability to use insights to analyze important issues that do not divide neatly along the classic disciplinary lines of economics and political science. The intellectual enterprise typically goes beyond the constituent disciplines by combining traditional economic concerns about efficiency with traditional political concerns regarding distributional issues and legitimacy in market and nonmarket environments.

Integrated Writing Requirement

Effective expression of ideas through written work is essential requirement of the major. Political economists develop models and statistical tools to facilitate analysis. The PECO major requires that students build, solve, test, and present economic models. To do this well requires that students achieve transparency and clarity of ideas in their written work.

To help students achieve this goal the political economy program requires a written thesis from ALL PECO majors (not just those in the honors program). The thesis requirement is integrated into the capstone course, PECO 401, which serves to guide students through the arduous process of creating and communicating (in written form) original research.  The thesis must be completed in the senior year.

In addition to the capstone course, most of the 400 level elective courses in PECO require at least one short paper.  These courses are designed to instruct students on how to develop arguments, explain theories, or present evidence.

The major in Political Economy requires seven foundation courses, two core Political Economy courses and two electives.

Foundation Courses

Three of the following four government courses:
  • International Relations (GOVT-060)
  • U.S. Political Systems (GOVT-020)
  • Elements of Political Theory (GOVT-080)
  • Comparative Political Systems (GOVT-040)

Microeconomic Theory (ECON-101)

Either Macroeconomic Theory (ECON-102) or International Finance (ECON-244)

Economic Statistics (ECON-121)

Econometrics (ECON-122)

Core Political Economy Courses
  • Analytical Tools for Political Economy (PECO-201) The prerequisites for this class are Microeconomic Theory (ECON-101) and one of foundation government courses. Note: ECON-101 has Microeconomic Principles (ECON-001) and Elementary Calculus (MATH-035) as prerequisites.
  • Capstone in Political Economy (PECO-401)
Electives (2) for Political Economy

Any two of the following classes:

  • ECON-233 0r 433  Public Finance
  • ECON-243    International Trade
  • ECON-391    The Japanese Economy
  • ECON-412    Econ Iss in Soc Sec Reform
  • ECON-423    Topics in Applied Econometrics
  • ECON-429    Topics in Competition and Regulation
  • ECON-433    Public Sector Economics
  • ECON-459    Applied Game Theory
  • ECON-461    Industrial Organization
  • ECON-475    Environmental Economics
  • ECON-483    Development Economics
  • ECON-484    Political Economy of Trade Policy
  • ECON-486    Topics in Political Economy
  • ECON-491    Development Impact Evaluation
  • GOVT-261 or 288    International Political Economy
  • GOVT-262 or 298    International Organization
  • GOVT-224 or 354    Environmental Politics
  • GOVT-370    Poverty and Inequity: Millennium Challenges and the World Bank
  • GOVT-407    Russia and China in Global Economy
  • GOVT-445    Finance and Political Power
  • GOVT-452    Crime, Corruption and Democracy
  • GOVT-499    Politics/Markets/Cultures
  • INAF-307    Pol Econ of Euro Integration
  • INAF-353    Contemporary Issues in International Development
  • INAF-383    Micro Foundation/Growth+Devmt
  • INAF-448    Poverty/Inequity: Devl Chlngs
  • INAF-485    Dvmt Challenges of the BRICs
  • INAF-499    Assessing US-Japan Econ Rel
  • INAF-503    WTO Dispute Settlement
  • INAF-508    Business, Government and the Global Economy
  • INAF-523    Globalization: Challenges for Developed Countries
  • IPEC-310    Political Economy: Survey of Issues
  • IPEC-322    Economic Reforms and Corruption
  • IPEC-324    Political Economy of Growth, Redistribution, and Poverty
  • IPEC-332    Political Economy of Institutions and Development
  • IPEC-334    Law/Econ/Intrnl Policy

Notes: Not all electives are offered each academic year. Some elective courses have substantial prerequisites. Check departmental websites.

It is not possible for students pursue a double major in Political Economy and either Economics or Government. This is because College regulations prohibit students from taking more than fourteen courses in any one discipline and prohibit students from using any individual course to satisfy the requirements for two majors.

Study Abroad

One or both electives in support of the Political Economy major can be taken abroad with prior approval by the department. To obtain approval please submit a syllabus for the course for which you wish to receive credit to either Profs. Roger Lagunoff in the Economics Department or Nita Rudra in the Department of Government.

Departmental Honors

In order to graduate with honors in Political Economy, a student must:

  • Earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.33 and a grade point average of 3.67 in the major by the date of graduation.
  • Write an honors-quality thesis in the Capstone Course PECO-401. The paper must receive a grade of A from the professor(s) teaching PECO-401 and must also be approved as of “honors quality” by a designated committee.

(For course listings for Political Economy see http://courses.georgetown.edu)