Course ObjectiveAt the end of the course the student is able:
- To understand what institutions are and how institutions impact the
behaviour of economic actors.
- To understand the institutional aspects of microeconomics in general,
i.e. how effective institutions can stimulate the functioning of markets
and decrease market failures such as market power, imperfect
information, externalities and public goods.
- To situate the New Institutional School within the broader context of
the history of economic thought.
- To think conceptually, in terms of theory, analyzing questions from
different perspectives and identifying links between seemingly different
Course ContentAll economic activity takes place within a framework of institutions
that constrain individual behavior and thereby affect resource
allocation, income distribution and economic growth. This course
introduces recent approaches in the field of ‘New Institutional
Economics’. The course consists out of three parts. We begin with
studying methods and fundamental concepts (what are institutions,
property rights, transaction costs, agency costs, information costs,
power, etc.). Next, we analyze the development of the institutional
environment, or ‘rules of the game’, that guide individual behavior.
These are both formal, explicit rules (like constitutions, laws and
property rights) and informal, implicit rules (like social conventions
and norms). We conclude the course by studying specific institutional
arrangements with applications to individuals, markets, firms and the
State (e.g., marriage, money, trust, speculation and herd behavior,
morality and corruption).
Teaching MethodsLectures + Tutorials
Method of Assessment- Exam (50%)
- Paper (50%)
- Seminar assignments (pass/fail)
LiteratureA selection of chapters from Samuel Bowles (2006) Microeconomics:
Behavior, Institutions and
Evolution and a reader containing a selection of seminal papers.
Target AudienceSecond year PPE students
Additional InformationPlease note that participation in the seminars is mandatory.
Custom Course RegistrationThere is a slightly different enrollment procedure for this module. The standard procedure of the Faculty of Humanities has students sign up for (i) the module, (ii) the form of tuition (lecture and/or preferred seminar group), and (iii) the exam. However, for this module the instructor will assign the students to the seminar groups. Therefore, students should sign up for (i) the module, (ii) lecture and (iii) the exam, but not for the seminar groups.
Recommended background knowledgeMandatory courses PPE specialization Track 3: Economics
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Humanities|
|Course Coordinator||dr. R.I. Luttens|
|Examiner||dr. R.I. Luttens|
dr. R.I. Luttens
You need to register for this course yourself
Last-minute registration is available for this course.
|Teaching Methods||Lecture, Seminar*|
*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.
This course is also available as: