New Political Economy, which can broadly be defined as the application of standard tools of economic analysis to political (or more generally non-market) mechanisms for allocating and distributing resources, has grown dramatically in recent years. This literature has taken a major step towards reintegrating political and economic science and ideas developed in the literature (such as Central Bank Independence) have had a significant (albeit, perhaps, premature) impact on recent institutional reforms in many countries. The literature is in many respects refreshing, posing new and important challenges for theorists and applied econometricians. As is clear from the contributions to this volume, despite the major leaps forward in recent years, there remains plenty of scope for further research.The contributions to this volume centre on two main themes: (i) A macro theme, reviewing central bank independence and related issues, from various different perspectives; (ii) A more micro-based theme, looking inter-alia at corruption and social capital. (iii) Theoretical and empirical/econometric aspects of these themes are reviewed.This is the third volume in the series Surveys of Recent Research in Economics.
The series is intended to help busy academics and practitioners keep abreast of important developments that relate to, without necessarily being narrowly focussed on, their own more specific interests. This particular volume should be of interest to academic economists, political scientists (and, indeed, other social scientists), as well as practitioners engaged in policy-making and implementation. The contributions are accessible to advanced undergraduates and provide useful supplementary readings for a wide variety of courses in both Economics and Political Science.
Stuart Sayer is Senior Lecturer and Head of the Economics Department at Edinburgh University.