January 2022

Public Choice

Listed in: Economics, as ECON-220


Christopher G. Kingston (Section 01J)


The state plays a large role in the economy, employing a substantial fraction of the labor force, producing and consuming a wide variety of goods and services, building infrastructure, taxing economic activity, enforcing contracts, redistributing wealth, regulating industries, and so on. Therefore, the allocation of society’s resources - the subject matter of economics - depends crucially on how political decisions are made. This course is an introduction to rational-choice and game-theoretic analysis of collective decision-making in the public sphere: voting systems and democratic governance; legislative bargaining and policymaking; the role of interest groups and collective action; corruption, rent seeking and government failure; constitutional change; and the economic analysis of law.

January-term courses will be offered remotely.

Requisite: ECON 111 or equivalent. Limited to 30 students. January term. Professor Kingston.

If Overenrolled: Preference will be given to those students who have previously taken the fewest economics courses.


Online Only


2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, January 2021, January 2022, Spring 2022