Universität Wien FIND

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes to courses and exams may be necessary at short notice (e.g. cancellation of on-site teaching and conversion to online exams). Register for courses/exams via u:space, find out about the current status on u:find and on the moodle learning platform. NOTE: Courses where at least one unit is on-site are currently marked "on-site" in u:find.

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040297 KU Political Economy (MA) (2020W)

Track in Policy Evaluation

8.00 ECTS (4.00 SWS), SPL 4 - Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 30 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

As long as the conditions and class size allow it, the course will take place in physical presence only. If physical presence is not feasible, the class will take place in a "hybrid" form (combining online and physical presence of smaller groups).

Thursday 01.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 06.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 08.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 13.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 15.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 20.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 22.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 27.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 29.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 03.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 05.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 10.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 19.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 24.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 26.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 01.12. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 03.12. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 10.12. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 15.12. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 12.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 14.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 19.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 21.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 26.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 28.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Why do people vote? When can representatives exploit their power? Can elections discipline politicians? How can the media influence the political process? In this course we will try to answer such questions both theoretically and empirically.
We start by introducing the workhorse models that will help students conceptualize the political process. We will build on that to analyze citizens’ participation and voting decisions, the incentives and constraints of policymakers, and how conflicts over policy are resolved.
The empirical part of the course will focus on the rise of parties that escape the traditional, bipolar Social-Democrat/Christian-Democrat divide that has dominated European political throughout the second half of the 20th century, and polarization of US politics. The focus will be on the impact campaign strategies, the media, rising trade integration, and immigration on electoral outcomes.

Assessment and permitted materials

The evaluation of the course will be based on:
- 1 problem set counting for 20% of the grade;
- 4 paper summaries counting for 40% of the grade (10% each);
- 1 presentation counting for 40% of the grade.
Participation is not mandatory but is strongly recommended. There is no make-up exam.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Although the course is self-contained and concepts and methods are developed gradually, students should have a good background in microeconomics, empirical methods, and game theory.

Examination topics

Theoretical: Electoral Competition, Lobbying, Political Agency, Partisan Politicians
Empirical: Persuasion and mobilization, Media and fake news, Globalization, Immigration

Reading list

The presentation material is downloadable from the website of the course.
Throughout the theory course, we will follow:
- Persson, Torsten, and Guido Enrico Tabellini. Political economics: explaining economic policy (MIT press, 2002);
- Morton, Rebecca B. Analyzing elections (WW Norton, 2006);
- Anderson, Simon P., Joel Waldfogel, and David Stromberg. Handbook of Media Economics (Elsevier, 2015).
The reading list for the empirical part of the course is available on the Moodle page of the course.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 02.06.2021 14:07