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PPE Core Courses

ECON 401: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

Enforced Prerequisites: One term of calculus (MATH 115, 116, 121, 156, 176, 185, 186, 215, 285, 295, or 296), grade of C or better

Advisory (Suggested) Prerequisites: Econ 101 and 102

This course deals with the theoretical analysis of consumers, firms, markets, and price determination. The analysis is rigorous, using the tools of algebra, geometry, and elementary calculus in constructing models. The course discusses markets with perfect competition, without externalities, and without information frictions, and we will discuss markets that fall short of those ideal conditions. The course will also cover classical demand theory, firm and market supply, market equilibrium, and game theory. ECON 401 is a prerequisite for many other courses offered in Economics. Concentrators in economics are encouraged to complete this course early in their concentration program. 

PPE 300: Introduction to Political Economy

Enforced Prerequisites: none; open to non-PPE majors

Advisory (Suggested) Prerequisites: Two introductory courses chosen from at least two of the following disciplines: Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics

This is the gateway course for students interested in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major, as well as any other students interested in exploring issues of political economy. Political economy is the integrated study of the relationships of government, political processes, property, production, markets, trade, and distribution from the standpoint of assessing these arrangements with respect to the interests and progress of humanity. It explores the relations between individual action and collective outcomes as they shape and are shaped by environmental conditions, institutions, social norms, ideologies, and strategic and communicative interaction, paying special attention to the consequences of these relations for politics, law and economic policies, aggregate economic outcomes, and justice and human welfare. Political economists often use formal tools such as game theory and rational choice theory, and analytic frameworks, such as prisoner’s dilemmas and principal-agent problems, to analyze these relations. This course will introduce students to these tools and frameworks, exploring their powers and limitations.

PPE 400: Seminar in Political Economy

Enforced Prerequisites: PPE 300 with at least a C-

Advisory (Suggested) Prerequisites: Completion of distribution requirements for PPE concentration

This is the capstone seminar for non-Honors senior students in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major. A particular issue or theme in political economy will be selected for intensive, investigation from multiple perspectives:  normative, empirical, formal, and interpretive. Discussion will stress integration of these perspectives and how each affects the questions, conceptual frameworks, and methodological choices of the others. Students will undertake short writing exercises and oral presentations, and write a substantial research paper.