ECON4640 – Political Economics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Political economics studies situations that arise when there is interaction between politics and economics.

We can then no longer only study the impact of different policies on the economy, as in conventional economic approaches, but also have to consider how different economic conditions shape policies.

The course introduces you to the most common ways to model politics formally and the application of these to the study of real world problems. The course also covers empirical testing of these models.

Learning outcome

You should know

  • common ways of modeling politics formally, such as the median voter model, probabilistic voting, citizen candidate models, and models of lobbying and campaign contributions.
  • How these models are applied in order to the study of real world problems, such as political determination of the size of the welfare state, how to control and discipline politicians, and intergenerational problems
  • how to study these models empirically

You should be able to

  • use fundamental modeling tools in political economics such as median voter theory, probabilistic voting, citizen candidate models and models of lobbying and campaign contributions and how to use these tools to analyze applied situations.
  • discuss the empirical validity of the key outcomes of the theory

You should

  • be able to read and understand project reports and journal articles that make use of the concepts and methods that are introduced in the course
  • be able to make use of the course content in your own academic work, for example in analyses that are part of the master’s thesis


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Apply for guest student status if you are admitted to another Master's programme, or have completed a master in Economics at UiO or another Norwegian University.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

  • Bachelor's degree in Economics, or equivalent.

Recommended previous knowledge

  • A background in econometrics equivalent to Error: java.lang.NullPointerException / ECON4150 – Introductory Econometrics is recommended, but the two courses could be taken during the same semester.
  • We will make use of some techniques beyond this course (e.g. regression discontinuity designs), but an introduction will be given in the course.

Overlapping courses

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Lectures and seminars.


A 3-hour written school exam.

Previous exams

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.



The deadline to request an explanation is one week after the grade is published. For oral and practical examinations, the deadline is immediately after you have received your grade.

The explanation should normally be given within two weeks after you have asked for it. The examiner decides whether the explanation is to be given in writing or verbally.

Ask for explanation of your grade in this course.

Ask for explanation of your grade for postponed exam in this course.

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2018


Autumn 2018

Teaching language