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The 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 back in the dark ages. Since then, the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling on 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.
We will use openly available internet resources such as www.opensecrets.org and www.fec.gov and https://ocpf.us/ , etc. Occasional handouts will be distributed in class and/or emailed to class participants.
Visit www.opensecrets.org and read Basics of Campaign Finance before the first class.
William O’Brien holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Northeastern University and is Professor Emeritus 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.
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609