The Economics and Political Science Departments jointly offer a Ph.D. concentration in Political Economics and Public Choice under the joint umbrella of the UCI Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences and the Center for the Study of Democracy available to students in either discipline.
The set of faculty who supervise this concentration include two members of the National Academy of Science, a past President of the Public Choice Society and past Chairs of the Economics Department at UCI. Three Department faculty, Bernard Grofman, Marek Kaminski, and Carole Uhlaner, are very active scholars in the fields of political economy and public choice and do work in the area of games and decisions. The faculty involved in the study of political economy and public choice represent a variety of perspectives, but they share a commitment to empirically grounded analysis and theory building, and to the view that theirs is an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of political science and economics, which draws on quantitative and mathematical tools to model the functioning of political institutions and processes. They are joined by six economists including Linda Cohen, Amihai Glazer, Michelle Garfinkel, Michael McBride, Stergios Skaperdas, and Donald Saari and one philosopher, Brian Skyrms.
Faculty and student interests range from applied areas of political decision-making such as voter and party choice, collective action, electoral systems and constitutional design to more purely theoretical and mathematical topics in social choice and social welfare theory and the theory of public goods. Students normally choose to specialize in either more empirical or more formal areas of research. In addition to the faculty directly involved in the concentration, the School of Social Sciences has a number of other faculty in political science, economics, or sociology with strongly related interests, e.g., in topics such as trade, urban economics, social movements and collective action, social networks, and economic sociology with whom students in the concentration may also work.