Economics, Politics and the Media
In this course, we analyze the inter-play between economics and politics, and how media can shape it.
In the first part of the course, we learn the basic models of electoral choice, and answer questions like:
- How do voters make their political choices?
- Why do citizens turn out to vote?
- How do the parties determine their political platforms?
- How do different electoral systems shape the party landscape?
- Which policies are implemented by the political parties?
- How can political institutions (direct democracy, federalism) help to align parties' behavior to voter preferences?
In the second part of the course, we learn how the media can affect voter preferences and shape policy outcomes. We study papers related to actual politics of today, or topics of general interest. Some examples of paper topics are: which was the impact of fake news for the victory of Trump? Can newspaper content affect our political preferences, and how? How did the introduction of Berlusconi’s private TV network affect political information and voting for populistic parties? The discussion and presentation of research papers by groups of students will help us understanding political opinion formation through media content and its effects on public policies.
The goal of this course is to to give an introduction into political economy.
Learning methods are lectures provided by the professor, combined with group-work by students.
The final grade consists of a final exam, which counts 80%, and a student presentation (done in groups), which counts 20%.