PHDBA279A 2009

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Political Institutions, Business and Public Policy

PHDBA 279A - Political Institutions, Business and Public Policy is a class offered to doctoral students at UC Berkeley, and is a field requirement for PhDs in BPP at the Haas School of Business. This page details the course as it was taught by Ernesto Dal Bo and Rui de Figueiredo in the Fall of 2009. The course outline provides the official requirements. The evaluation of the course is based on two problem sets and one course paper. Note that due to re-scheduling requirements the classes are not listed in order.

1st Half

The first half was taught by Ernesto Dal Bo (email and website).

Problem Set

Problem Set 1:

Paper List

The paper list by class number is as follows (Zip of part 1 papers):

1.) Spatial voting and legislative institutions (Lecture 1 Class Slides)

  • Shepsle, K. (1979), Institutional Arrangements and Equilibrium in Multidimensional Voting Models, American Journal of Political Science 23, 27-59. pdf
  • Shepsle, K. and B. Weingast (1981), "Structure Induced Equilibrium and Legislative Choice, Public Choice", 37, 503-19. pdf
  • Romer, T. and H. Rosenthal (1978), "Political Resource Allocation, Controlled Agendas and the Status Quo, Public Choice", 33, 27-43. pdf
  • McKelvey, R. (1976), Intransitivities in Multidimensional Voting Models and Some Implications for Agenda Control, Journal of Economic Theory 12, 472?482. pdf

2.) Voting institutions, commitment vs flexibility, and gridlock (Lecture 2 Class Slides)

  • Messner, M. and M. Polborn (2004), Voting on Majority Rules, Review of Economic Studies 71(1), 115-132. pdf
  • Knight, B. (2000), Supermajority Voting Requirements for Tax Increases: Evidence from the States, Journal of Public Economics 76(1). pdf. Presentation in 2011 version of class: pdf.
  • Dal Bó, E. (2006), Committees With Supermajority Voting Yield Commitment With Flexibility, Journal of Public Economics 90(4). pdf

3.) Externalities in voting games (Lecture 4 Class Slides)

  • Krasa, S. And M. Polborn (2009) Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?, Games and Economic Behavior 66 (1), 275-291 pdf
  • Borgers, T. (2004), Costly voting. American Economic Review 94(1), 57?66. pdf
  • Dal Bó, E. (2007), Bribing Voters, American Journal of Political Science, 51(4). pdf

4.) The efficiency of democracy (Lecture 6 Class Slides)

  • Tullock, G. (1967), The Welfare Costs of Monopolies, Tariffs, and Theft, Western Economic Journal 5, 224-32. pdf
  • Becker, G. (1983), A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence, Quarterly Journal of Economics 98(3), 371-400. pdf
  • Wittman, D. (1989), Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results, Journal of Political Economy 97(6), 1395-424. pdf
  • Coate, S. and S. Morris (1995), On the Form of Transfers to Special Interests, Journal of Political Economy 103(6), 1210-35. pdf

5.) Competition and influence (Lecture 7 Class Slides)

  • Grossman, G. and E. Helpman (1994), Protection for Sale, American Economic Review 84, 833-50. pdf
  • Dixit, A., G. Grossman and E. Helpman (1997), Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making, Journal of Political Economy 105, 752-69. pdf
  • Bernheim, D. and M. Whinston (1986), Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence, Quarterly Journal of Economics 101(1), 1-32. pdf

6.) Corruption deterrence (Lecture 8 Class Slides)

  • Becker, G. and G. Stigler (1974), Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and the Compensation of Enforcers, Journal of Legal Studies 3, 1-19. pdf
  • Cadot, O. (1987), Corruption as a Gamble, Journal of Public Economics 33(2), 223-44. pdf

7.) The electoral control of politicians (Lecture 9 Class Slides)

  • Barro, R. (1973), The Control of Politicians: An Economic Model, Public Choice 14 (September), 19-42. pdf
  • Ferejohn, J. (1986), Incumbent Performance and Electoral Control, Public Choice 50(1-3), 5-25. pdf

2nd Half

The second half is taught by Rui de Figueiredo (email and website).

Problem Set

Problem Set 2:

Paper List

The paper list by class number is as follows (Zip of part 2 papers):

8.) Models of Legislative Policymaking

9.) Models of Legislative Policymaking (Continued)

10.) Models of Legislative Policymaking (Continued)

  • Krishna, V. and J. Morgan (2001), Asymmetric Information and Legislative Rules: Some Amendments, ,American Political Science Review 95, 435-452 pdf
  • Battaglini, M. (2002), Multiple Referrals and Multidimensional Cheap Talk, Econometrica 70, 1379-1401. pdf

11.) Applications to Non-Market Strategy

12.) Applications to Non-Market Strategy (Continued)

13.) Whistleblowing and Delay

14.) Economic Policymaking

15,16.) Political Competition and Conflict in Weakly Institutionalized Environments

  • Alesina, A. and D. Rodrik (1994), Distributive Politics and Economic Growth, Quarterly Journal of Economics 109, 465-490. pdf
  • Powell, R. (1996), Bargaining in the Shadow of Power, Games and Economic Behavior 15, 255-289.pdf
  • de Figueiredo, R. J. P., Jr. and B. Weingast (2005), Self-Enforcing Federalism, Journal of Law, Economics and Organization 21, 103-135. pdf
  • de Figueiredo, R. J. P., Jr. (2002), Electoral Competition, Political Uncertainty, and Policy Insulation, American Political Science Review 96, 321-333. pdf
  • Powell, R. (2004), The Inefficient Use of Power: Costly Conflict with Complete Information, American Political Science Review 98, 231-241. pdf

See also: BPP Political Science