Elections and the Economy

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Fall 2016
Credits per quarter

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Are you interested in the future of our economy?  Do you want to find out how public policy relates to economics? This November, voters will be called upon to make choices about future leadership and public policy at all levels of government. Topics that have been raised and will continue to be discussed through the elections - and that may guide the policies of successful candidates - include wages and incomes, inequality, budget and trade deficits, financial sector oversight, among others. All these topics are fundamentally related to the economy, particularly to macroeconomics, and yet the analysis of candidates' economic positions receives less public attention than it merits.

This program will equip students to better understand and assess candidates’ economic positions. Looking closely at national and state campaigns and their aftermath, students will analyze the positions of candidates from the perspective of economics and develop the tools to carefully examine candidates’ positions. We will also gain an historical perspective by devoting attention to several candidates and their positions on the economy from the 19th and 20th centuries. Students will learn the methods and the data that support this kind of work. 

Students will demonstrate their learning in a number of ways, including mock video campaign ads that capture candidates’ perspectives on the economy and papers analyzing candidates’ economic positions taken from the content of their websites or campaign presentations. Following the election, we will explore the results to determine the impact of the economic issues on the outcome. Students will prepare a research paper on this subject focusing on a demographic group – state, gender, ethnicity, urban/rural – to determine what economic factors, if any, may have influenced their voting patterns.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in: macroeconomics, campaigns and elections, policy analysis,  politics, public policy analysis, applied economics, and law.

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia

Advertised schedule:

First class meeting: Tuesday, September 27 at 9am (Sem II C2109)

2016-06-01New fall opportunity added.