Philosophy, Politics and Economics
313 Cohen Hall
249 South 36th Street
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Fall Term

 

PPE-47* Public Choice Theory. This course provides an analytical introduction to economic models of political processes. To that end, each class will review some theoretical frameworks from the political economy literature, including the foundations of rational choice theory, approaches to the aggregation of preferences, strategic behavior, voting methods, accounts of cooperation, collective action, public goods, and institutions. The last part of each class will then critically apply theoretical knowledge to relevant contemporary policy issues, including the current debates on governmental decision-making processes in the US and the EU, lobbying in democracies, international security, etc. Note: part of the program contains a theoretical (mathematical) component.

 

 

 

 

Spring Term

 

PPE-47*  Network Analysis. This course addresses elements of network science as relevant for analyzing the connectedness of economic or, more generally, social phenomena. Building on ideas from computer science, sociology and microeconomics, the course will examine the properties of networked structures and the behavior of agents within those networks. The models presented will aim to illuminate the relationship between one’s behavior and one’s social ties, thereby explaining phenomena such as the spread of ideas, social norms, market practices, and financial crises. Note: the course heavily relies on (introductory) material drawn from mathematical disciplines, such as graph theory, game theory, and microeconomics.

 

 

PPE-402 Research in PPE. This course will expose students to current research in behavioral game theory and philosophy of science. As part of the course, students will write a research proposal on a topic of their choice. The proposal should summarize the current state of knowledge on the topic, identify an open question, and suggest a relevant mode of inquiry, with an emphasis on mathematical modeling.