• Offered by Research School of Economics
  • ANU College ANU College of Business and Economics
  • Course subject Economics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr William Coleman
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

Currently, in most of the economics that is taught, government decisions are not adequately explained, but are treated as exogenous, or (sometimes), assumed to be determined by considerations of ‘optimality’. The course seeks to develop an understanding of how governments actually use their ‘policy space’ in economic matters, and how they actually respond to expansions (or contractions) in that space.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of the requirements for this course, students will be able to:

• Appreciate the concept of endogenous economic policy decisions

• Absorb scholarly papers that make use of the fundamentals of the models of ‘political economy’

• Produce simple political economy models

• Discern the political economy angle of concrete policy problems

Other Information

 See the course outline on the College courses page. Outlines are uploaded as they become available. 

Indicative Assessment

Mid Term Tests: 15%

Written Assignment: 15%

Graduate Seminar: 10%

Examination: 60%

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Students taking this course are expected to commit at least 12 hours a week comprised of:

• 2 hours of lectures and,

• 1 hour of tutorial, and

• 1 hours of graduate seminar,,


• 7 hours of private study.

This course requires attendance at lecture, tutorials and the seminar.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed, or concurrent enrolment in ECON2101 or ECON2111 or ECON7073.

Prescribed Texts

Texts and Other Reading

Prescribed Texts

There is currently no suitable text.

Recommended Reading

Brennan, Geoffrey and James M Buchanan 1980 The Power to Tax, chs 2,3 and 4,  CUP

Brennan G, and Lomasky L 1987, ‘The Impartial Spectator Goes to Washington: towards a Smithian Theory of Electoral Behaviour’ Economics and Philosophy 189-211

Buchanan, J,M. 1975 ‘Constitutional Contract’, in The Limits of Liberty, University of Chicago

Hamlin, A.P. ‘The Political Economy of Constitutional Federalism’, Public Choice, 46(2) 187-195

Niskanen, William A.  1994, Bureaucracy and public economics, Aldershot : Elgar

Olson, Mancur 2000, Power and Prosperity : outgrowing communist and capitalist dictatorships New York : Basic Books

Peltzman, S. 1974 ‘Towards a More General Theory of Regulation’, Journal of Law and Economics, 335-58

Tollison R.D. 1989, ‘Chicago Political Economy’ Public Choice 63, 293-297

Tullock G ‘Efficient Rent Seeking’ in Towards a Theory of the Rent Seeking Society, eds JM Buchanan, RD Tolison and G Tullock


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3852
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $5130
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4791 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions