Political Economy

The Political Economy (POE) programme caters to an increasing demand for political economy research in economics and political science. The Western world is facing radical political transformations on both sides of the Atlantic and a public backlash against globalization, immigration, and inequality, which have ignited extreme policy positions in the US and Europe.

These issues come on top of the perennial political problems often associated with political economy research, such as how different political incentives affect economic outcomes, the link between political failures and market failures, the problems of representation, or the role of economics in the onset of conflicts. All together these topics call for more discussion in the scientific community on the interaction between economic policy and political outcomes.

The POE programme responds to the need for this type of research in the context of Europe, with the aim to foster a lively intellectual debate on these issues, spread research findings to a broader audience, and offer policymakers valuable recommendations for the design of novel and ambitious policies.

The POE programme is a natural home for many Political Economy researchers that have traditionally not found an ideal home in programmes within CEPR or elsewhere. POE will bring together researchers interested in studying the co-dependence of the political and economic spheres; the study of how political frictions constrain and shape economic policies and how political institutions are designed and affect both political and economic outcomes, these may include the study of voting systems/behaviour and institutions, lobbying and corruption, media and cultural economics, protests and conflicts.

POE will also act as an umbrella organization for the many Political Economy events, such as conferences, webinars and summer schools, that are independently organized regularly by many European institutions but would greatly benefit from a more unified coordination. Moreover, POE has its own CEPR Discussion Papers (DP) Series.

POE also works closely and coordinates several activities with the Research Policy Networks (RPNs) on “Populism” and on “Preventing Conflict: Policies for Peace” which, while independent from POE, intellectually focuses on very related questions.

POE wants to foster a closer dialogue with the CEPR Public Economics (PE) programme. While Political Economy focuses on the political feasibility of policies by looking at which policies are more likely to enjoy political support or succeed in an electoral contest, Public Economics looks more at determining which policies are optimal but is less concerned about their political feasibility. Recent events have raised awareness for the need for more integration between these two approaches as political resistance to the adoption of potentially beneficial policies has become ever more salient.

•  CEPR Political Economy Webinar: This series – jointly organized by POE and the two RPNs – is now in its third season with top speakers in the field, an email list of more than a 1,000 members and participation in the hundreds in each session.
•  Conferences: POE’s Annual Symposium will place in 2022 on a date to be announced.
•  The programme has been generating other content such as the VoxEU populism debate and several more projects that are in the running, such as a planned eBook linked to the Preventing Conflict: Policies for Peace RPN's research. The Preventing Conflict RPN has organized virtual and non-virtual conferences and has several events in the pipeline.
•  POE co-organizes and sponsors several events within Europe: Recent examples, among many others, include the CEPR Conference Series on the Political Economy of Finance, February 2021; London Political Finance (POLFIN) Workshop, March 2021; the Political Economy of Conflict and Redistribution (PECR) Summer School in Berlin, August 2021; and Warwick-Princeton-Utah Political Economy Conference in EIEF Rome, March 2022.
•  POE CEPR Discussion Papers: The series is now active, please submit your working papers.

Political Economy is led by Programme Director Helios Herrera (University of Warwick). Its steering committee includes Dominic Rohner (HEC Lausanne), Stephane Wolton (London School of Economics) and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (Paris School of Economics).

More information on the Political Economy Programme:
•  Researchers
•  Discussion Papers
•  Research Projects (to be advised)