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PPE Core Courses

ECON 401: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

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

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. 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

Prerequisites: none; open to non-PPE majors

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

Prerequisites: PPE 300 with at least a C-

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.

PPE 401: PPE Undergraduate Honors Seminar & PPE 402: Senior Honors Thesis

Students formulate a question, undertake a literature review, develop the prospectus, and write a core draft chapter of an honors thesis during this course taken during the Fall Term of their Senior year, with the final thesis submitted in April.