Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE)

PPE 1001 Introduction to PPE: Ethics and Economics of Wealth Creation

This interdisciplinary course provides an overview of how markets work, and under what conditions they create wealth and prosperity. We will also consider when markets fail to create wealth or function well. Along the way, we will think about the role of political institutions in structuring market exchange and allocating resources. (For Penn PPE majors, this class will satisfy the philosophy foundation, or a thematic concentration class for Choice and Behavior or Distributive Justice).

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

PPE 2355 Introduction to Political Psychology

This course will explore psychological approaches to understanding political beliefs, attitudes, and actions at the levels of both individual citizens and national leaders. It will also explore the possibility that psychological science itself is not immune to the political debates swirling around it. Specific topics will include: the workings of belief systems (and their power to shape what we "see"), cognitive biases (and their power to cause miscalculations), sacred values and their role in stabilizing belief systems and social interaction, personality and ideology (the linkages between the personal and the political), and clashing conceptions of morality and distributive and corrective justice (striking variations among people in what they consider to be fair). We shall also explore some topics that have sparked controversy in the psychological research literature and that tend to polarize opinion along political lines, including work on intelligence and unconscious bias.

Fall or Spring

Also Offered As: PSYC 2355

Prerequisite: PSYC 0001 OR COGS 1001

1 Course Unit

PPE 3001 Strategic Reasoning

This course is about strategically interdependent decisions. In such situations, the outcome of your actions depends also on the actions of others. When making your choice, you have to think what the others will choose, who in turn are thinking what you will be choosing, and so on. Game Theory offers several concepts and insights for understanding such situations, and for making better strategic choices. This course will introduce and develop some basic ideas from game theory, using illustrations, applications, and cases drawn from business, economics, politics, sports, and even fiction and movies. Some interactive games will be played in class. There will be little formal theory, and the only pre-requisites are some high-school algebra and having taken Econ 1. However, general numeracy (facility interpreting and doing numerical graphs, tables, and arithmetic calculations) is very important. This course will also be accepted by the Economics department as an Econ course, to be counted toward the minor in Economics (or as an Econ elective).

Fall

Also Offered As: ECON 0120

1 Course Unit

PPE 3002 Public Policy Process

This course introduces students to the theories and practice of the policy-making process. There are four primary learning objectives. First, understanding how the structure of political institutions matter for the policies that they produce. Second, recognizing the constraints that policy makers face when making decisions on behalf of the public. Third, identifying the strategies that can be used to overcome these constraints. Fourth, knowing the toolbox that is available to participants in the policy-making process to help get their preferred strategies implemented. While our focus will primarily be on American political institutions, many of the ideas and topics discussed in the class apply broadly to other democratic systems of government.

Spring

Also Offered As: PSCI 1200

1 Course Unit

PPE 3003 Behavioral Economics and Psychology

Our understanding of markets, governments, and societies rests on our understanding of choice behavior, and the psychological forces that govern it. This course will introduce you to the study of choice, and will examine in detail what we know about how people make choices, and how we can influence these choices. It will utilize insights from psychology and economics, and will apply these insights to domains including risky decision making, intertemporal decision making, and social decision making.

Fall

Also Offered As: PSYC 2750

1 Course Unit

PPE 3999 Independent Study

Student arranges with a faculty member to pursue a research project on a suitable topic. For more information about research and setting up independent studies, visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/independent-studies

Fall or Spring

1 Course Unit

PPE 4000 Research in Philosophy, Politics & Economics

Led by fellows in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics program, this course teaches students how to conduct research in PPE with an emphasis on creating a well-formed research question, determining what kinds of data or scholarly research bears on that question, and how to carry out an interdisciplinary, research-driven project on that question.

Fall or Spring

1 Course Unit

PPE 4001 Experiments in Behavioral Ethics

In reality, our understanding of different mechanisms and (economic) relationships is hampered by the lack of data. More often than not, either the observation itself is difficult or the data is not reliable. Over the last decades, economic experiments have become a vital part of the scientific discourse, facilitating our understanding of the world we live in (much like in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or the like). Economic experiments allow exploring economic behavior under controlled conditions by generating observations under different experimental designs and controlled conditions. Pioneering this field of research, Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith were awarded the Nobel memorial prize in recognition of their work on behavioral and experimental economics. In this course, we provide you with the methodology of how to develop a research idea and a proper experimental design that allows to explore this idea. Essentially, you will learn how to think about ideas, generate predictions, and how to use economic experiments to test them.

1 Course Unit

PPE 4500 PPE Capstone: Philosophy

A PPE Capstone seminar offered by faculty in Philosophy. As a PPE Capstone, this is an integrative senior seminar (open to others by departmental permission). For a detailed course description visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/advanced-interdisciplinary-courses

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

PPE 4600 PPE Capstone: Political Science

A PPE capstone offered by faculty in Political Science. As a PPE Capstone, this is an integrative senior seminar (open to others by departmental permission). For a detailed course description visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/advanced-interdisciplinary-courses

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

PPE 4601 PPE Capstone: Social Policy

Social policy is the study of human wellbeing and is concerned with the effects in areas of health care, criminal justice, inequality, and education, among others. As a PPE Capstone, this is an integrative senior seminar (open to others by departmental permission). For a detailed course description visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/advanced-interdisciplinary-courses

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

PPE 4700 PPE Capstone: Economics

A PPE Capstone seminar offered by faculty in Economics. As a PPE Capstone, this is an integrative senior seminar (open to others by departmental permission). For a detailed course description visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/advanced-interdisciplinary-courses

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

PPE 4701 PPE Capstone: Political Economy

Political Economy studies the relationships between individuals and society and between markets and the state. As a PPE Capstone, this is an integrative senior seminar (open to others by departmental permission). For a detailed course description visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/advanced-interdisciplinary-courses

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

PPE 4780 Inequality: An interdisciplinary perspective

In this advanced undergraduate seminar we will study the economic, political, and psychological consequences of inequality. In particular, one of the main aims of the course will be to understand the mechanisms through which people demand more or less redistribution. In doing so we will pay close attention to distinguish between actual inequality and people's perceptions of it. Using both classic and recent scholarly literature from these three fields, we will analyze what shapes perceptions of inequality and how these, in turn, shape policy preferences.

Spring

1 Course Unit

PPE 4800 PPE Capstone: Psychology

A PPE Capstone offered by faculty in Psychology. As a PPE Capstone, this is an integrative senior seminar (open to others by departmental permission). For a detailed course description visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/advanced-interdisciplinary-courses

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

PPE 4801 PPE Capstone: Judgment and Decision Making

The interdisciplinary study of individual's and groups' judgments and decisions,including normative, descriptive, and prescriptive theories. As a PPE Capstone, this is an integrative senior seminar (open to others by departmental permission). For a detailed course description visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/advanced-interdisciplinary-courses

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

PPE 4802 PPE Capstone: Obedience

Though almost half a century old, Milgram’s 1961-1962 studies of “destructive obedience” continue to puzzle, fascinate, and alarm. The main reason for their continued grip on the field’s attention (other than the boldness of the idea and elegance of execution) may be simply that they leave us with a portrait of human character that is radically different from the one that we personally wish to endorse or that the wider culture teaches us to accept. In this seminar, we will take an in-depth look at these famous studies (along with the more recent replications) and explore their various psychological, political and philosophical ramifications.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: PSYC 4780

1 Course Unit

PPE 4901 PPE Capstone: Modeling

Modeling provides a way to identify and analyze the salient features of complex problems or dynamic social situations. Using models can further provide a way to see what strategies may be rational over time. As a PPE Capstone, this is an integrative senior seminar (open to others by departmental permission). For a detailed course description visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/advanced-interdisciplinary-courses

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

PPE 4902 PPE Capstone: Networks

Network Theory studies graphs as a representation of the structure of relationships between social entities. It can be used to examine how the behavior of individuals in a socio-economic system affects - and is affected by - the structure of connections of the system. As a PPE Capstone, this is an integrative senior seminar (open to others by departmental permission). For a detailed course description visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/advanced-interdisciplinary-courses

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

PPE 4998 Directed Honors Research

Student arranges with a Penn faculty member to do research and write a thesis on a suitable topic. For more information on honors visit: https://ppe.sas.upenn.edu/study/curriculum/honors-theses

Fall or Spring

1 Course Unit

PPE 4999 Advanced Research

This course may be taken by a PPE student for advanced research. Enrollment by permit only.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit