Info Sheet BA Seminar Pachel

European Political Economy

As part of this course and with respect to their bachelor’s thesis, participants are required to conduct research in the fields of economics, economic theory and history, and political economy. This aims at promoting a deeper understanding of microeconomic and macroeconomic topics that are currently discussed in the academic and public sphere. Upon attending the course, the students have previously completed courses in economics and political economy, thereby having gained a broad overview of the different fields within economics as well as the respective range of topics, the scope of work, the relevant methods, as well as major research approaches and predominant economic theories. This understanding of different basic concepts will be extended in the seminar, with a focus on the ability to form statements on a scientific basis as well as the applicability of the different theoretical approaches in a scientific paper.


Scope of Topics

Micro and Macro Economics: Further analysis of contents covered in the basic economics course, case studies, applicability of specific concepts and models, analysis of economic policy, supply and demand, division of labor, scarcity and choice, utility, the theory of budgeting (consumer preferences, budget constraint, consumer surplus, labor supply by households, etc.), theory of the firm (technology, production theory and cost theory, etc.), characteristics of markets (perfect competition, monopolies, monopolistic competition, oligopolies, the role of strategy, labor market and unemployment, state functions, income distribution, equality and inequality, welfare indicators, economic growth and wealth, distribution of income and wealth, empirical data on national income and expenditure, GDP, inflation, monetary and fiscal policy, goods markets, financial markets, neo-Keynesian models and Phillips curve, economic cycles and crises, principal-agent theory, market and government failure

Political Economy and Economic History: Slavery and feudalism, traditional society and economy, scholasticism, mercantilism, paternalism, classical liberalism, Utilitarianism, social Darwinism, industrial revolution, political economy, Marxism, Neoclassical economics, Keynesian Economics, Neoliberalism, corporate capitalism, growth and depression, definitions and emergence of capitalism, economic development, sexism and racism, power structures, dependency theory, environmental economics, feminist economics, gender and diversity in economic theory and practice, economic crises, globalization and global capitalism, multinational institutions and corporations, intellectual property rights, free-trade agreements and negotiations, new institutional economics


Required Literature

  • Sherman, Hunt; Nesiba, O’Hara, Wiens-Tuers (2008). Economics: An Introduction to Traditional and Progressive Views. 7th Edition, M.E. Sharpe

Chapters: 12 – Neoclassical Economics / 15 – Keynesian Economics and the Great Depression / 17 – Robinson Crusoe / 26 – Scarcity and Choice / 27 – Simple Analytics of Supply and Demand / 28 – Consumption Theory: Demand / 29 – Production Theory: Supply / 30 – Costs of Production / 31 – Work and Wages /32 – Prices and Profits in Perfect Competition / 33 – Monopoly Power, Prices, and Profits / 34 – Monopolisitic Competition and Oligopoly / 35 – Market Failures / 37 – National Income Accounting / 38 – Money and Profit / 39 – Neoclassical View of Aggregate Supply and Demand / 40 – Keynesian View of Aggregate Supply and Demand / 42 – Consumer Spending and Labor Income / 43 – Investment Spending and Profit / 44 – The Multiplier / 47 – Fiscal Policy / 48 – Government Spending and Taxes

  • Krugman, P.; Wells, R. (2015). Economics. Fourth edition, Worth Publ., New York

Chapters: 01 – First Principles / 02 – Economic Models: Trade-offs and Trade / 03 – Supply and Demand / 04 – Consumer and Producer Surplus / 05 – Price Controls and Quotas / 06 – Elasticity / 07 – Taxes / 08 – International Trade / 09 – Making Decisions /  10 – The Rational Consumer / 11 – Behind the Supply Curve: Inputs and Costs / 12 – Perfect Competition and the Supply Curve / 13 – Monopoly / 14 – Oligopoly / 15 – Monopolistic Competition and Product Differentiation / 16 – Externalities / 17 – Public Goods and Common Resources / 18 – The Economics of the Welfare State / 19 – Factor Markets and the Distribution of Income/ 20 – Uncertainty, Risk and Private Information / 21 – Macroeconomics: The Big Picture /22 – Tracking the Macroeconomy / 23 – Unemployment and Inflation / 26 – Income and Expenditure / 27 – Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply / 28 – Fiscal Policy / 30 – Monetary Policy / 31 – Inflation, Disinflation and Deflation


Recommended Literature

Bryman, Alan (2007). The Research Question in Social Research: What is its Role? In: International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Year 10, Journal 1, p. 5-20

Piketty, Thomas (2014). Capital in the Twenty-First Century. 1st edition, The Belknap Press

Sedlacek, Tomas (2011). Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street. Oxford University Press

Shields, Stuart; Bruff, Ian; Macartney, Huw (2011). Critical International Political Economy. Dialogue, Debate and Dissensus. 1st edition, Palgrave Macmillan


Recommended reading on research design

Gerring, John (1999): „What Makes a Concept Good? A Critical Framework for Understanding Concept Formation in the Social Science“. In: Polity, Jg. 31, H.3, p.357-393

Evera, Stephen van (1997): „Hypotheses, Laws, and Theories: A User´s Guide”. In: ibid.: Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science. Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press, p.1-30

Bryman, Alan (2007): „The Research Question in Social Research: What is its Role?“ In: International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Jg. 10, H. 1, p.5-20

King, Gary/ Keohane, Robert O./ Verba, Sidney (1994): „Major Components of Research Design“. In: ibid.: „Designing Social Inquiry – Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research“. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p.12-28