* Will politicians advance the public interest? * How do lobbies affect policy? * How can society best provide collective goods? *
This program teaches students to use economic tools to address these types of social science problems. Public choice theory extends economic analysis beyond the traditional focus on market interactions to examining how and when individual self-interest among politicians, interest groups, voters, etc. can either help or hinder the public interest. Issues examined involve strategic behavior ranging from institutional design, policy evaluation and implementation, to decision-making. The methods used include microeconomics, game theory, experimental economics, spatial econometrics, social choice theory and econometrics. In addition to building quantitative skills, this program incorporates a comparative and multidisciplinary perspective drawn from case studies in North America and Europe.
The program provides students with a solid background in quantitative methods used in political science, economics and other social sciences necessary for understanding key elements of social structures including institutions, policy design and implementation, and the problems related to processes of voting, deliberation and decision making. Coursework will emphasize both practical and theoretical understanding of these issues.
Skills developed in this programme will give the students the abilities to read, evaluate and contribute to the international academic literature.
The programme aims to prepare the students for postgraduate studies, independent research work as well as for professional activity at various tasks in the society, ranging from policy positions to business positions. Potential positions include but are not limited to work as a consultant, researcher, in governmental positions or in NGOs, work in policy analysis and design. The program also provides an essential background in policy and other social science issues for people wishing to work as translators for governmental institutions.
Programme courses combine theory and practice. Teaching methods include case study, field study, seminars and independent work. Teaching staff choose the method most appropriate to the material and their individual styles.
Because we take only 10 students per year, classes are small, creating opportunities for a large amount of interaction between the students and faculty.
The programme has connections to Caltech, New York University, Columbia University, University of Virginia, Rice University, University of Oxford, University of Hamburg and other institutions.
The Master's Degree Programme in Public Choice cooperates with the university's North American Studies programme.