Program in Political Economy (PPE) Requirements lipsky
The Department of Economics offers a Program in Political Economy (PPE) that is open to Economics concentrators. There is strong interaction between the fields of economics and politics, both in content and in methods. Political forces shape markets and other economic institutions. These forces attempt to modify the distribution of income, and both introduce distortions in markets and correct for market failures. On the other hand, economic motivations permeate the political environment. Furthermore, both fields model the motivations of individual actors and use statistical methods. The Program in Political Economy is for students who are interested in studying issues at the intersection of these two fields.
Admission to the program takes place in the beginning of the fall semester of the junior year. A student who participates in this program is an Economics concentrator and is subject to all the requirements of the Economics department. The PPE functions like a certificate in that its requirements are additions to those already required of all Economics concentrators. Upon graduation, given successful completion of all requirements, the student receives a Certificate in Political Economy from the Department of Economics. Participation in the program does not appear on the student’s university transcript.
To enter the program, the student should satisfy the prerequisites for concentration in both the Politics and the Economics departments. This means that the students entering the program must have completed ECO 100 and 101, MAT 175, ECO 202 (statistics), and two Politics courses (at any level) on a graded basis.
Politics Course Requirements
In addition to the two Politics prerequisites, a student in the PPE must complete three Politics departmentals, i.e. Politics courses in the 300-level or higher, on a graded basis. One of these, upon approval of the Political Economy Advisor, can be a politics-related course from a department other than Politics or Economics.
Because of these additional requirements, a PPE student may want to count one or two of the Politics departmentals as Economics cognates. Approval of cognates is subject to the same rules as for other Economics concentrators. Economics cognates are approved by Prof. Smita Brunnermeier and under no circumstances is approval given retroactively. You can view the cognate approval form here. POL 347, 349, 352, and 385 are automatically approved as Economics cognates and do not need a separate application/approval. Infrequently, and only with advance approval, an Economics course can be counted toward the Politics course requirement of the PPE; contact the Political Economy Advisor, Prof. Thomas Fujiwara for more information.
A PPE student has the same junior and senior independent work requirements as other economics concentrators, with one exception. Political Economy concentrators are required to write a junior paper with sufficient political economy content, as judged by the advisor. Students are also encouraged but are not required, to write a senior thesis that is related to political economy.
Politics courses are not included in the student’s departmental average (unless a course has been approved as an Economics cognate).
The application form asks you to list your prerequisites, write a brief statement of intent, and specify a four-semester course plan. The purpose of the statement of intent is for you to think about why you are interested in the program and to consider a topic for your junior independent work. The purpose of the course plan is for you to formulate a cohesive set of courses and a timely plan for completing them. The course plan should specify what economics and politics departmentals you will take and when. It is not necessary to inform the PPE advisor if you subsuquently deviate from the plan.
For more information, contact the Political Economy Advisor, Professor Thomas Fujiwara.