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This course will look at how money interacts with politics and policy analyzed from an economic perspective. Public Choice is a well-researched area of the intersection between economics and politics and the subject of the course leader’s PhD dissertation written a while ago. Since then, Citizens United has changed the political landscape, and campaign tactics have changed with the rise of social media. Substantially more resources have become available online, but transparency has often declined. Each week, we will look at a different aspect of money and politics ranging from campaign finance law, to the effect of political action committee campaign contributions on legislative votes, to the efficacy of campaign spending in electoral success, to dark money. GROUP LEADER: William O’Brien holds a Ph.D in Economics from Northeastern University and is Professor of Economics at Worcester State University. His research interests range from public choice to the effect of taxes on economic behavior to the determinants of MCAS scores to globalization.
REQUIRED BOOK: We will use openly available internet resources such as www.opensecrets.org and www.fec.gov
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609