Skip to main contentCambridge University Reporter

No 6424

Thursday 5 May 2016

Vol cxlvi No 29

pp. 498–511

Regulations for examinations

Economics Tripos

(Statutes and Ordinances, p. 295)

With effect from 1 October 2016

The General Board, on the recommendation of the Faculty Board for the Faculty of Economics, has approved an amendment to the regulations so as to introduce a new paper in Part IIa entitled ‘History and philosophy of economics’ and a new paper in Part IIb entitled ‘Political economics’, and to amend the names of four existing papers to reflect their content more accurately.

Part I

By amending the title of Paper 4 to ‘Political and social aspects of economics’.

Part IIa

By adding Paper 8 entitled ‘History and philosophy of economics’.

Part IIb

By amending the title of Paper 1 to ‘Microeconomic principles and problems’.

By amending the title of Paper 2 to ‘Macroeconomic principles and problems’.

By amending the title of Paper 6 to ‘Banking and finance’.

By rescinding the suspended Paper 5 ‘Mathematical economics’ and replacing it with a paper entitled ‘Political economics’.


By adding the following in Part I:

Paper 4. Political and social aspects of economics

This paper considers the influence of political and social factors on economic affairs. It examines how economics and politics are ineluctably intertwined at a theoretical level; of how a full understanding of economics is only possible with an understanding of politics. The role of political and social institutions and their interrelationship with economics is considered. The paper reviews the history of economic and social policy-making in the post-war period in Britain. It examines a variety of influences on policy: the political ideologies that inform the conduct of policy; the domestic and international institutions that provide the context within which policy is formed; the nature of power in government; and the broader social and economic processes that shape the environment in which economic policy is conducted. The paper also examines the relationship between politics and economics in the processes of integration in the European Union.

By adding the following in Part IIa:

Paper 8. History and philosophy of economics

The paper is intended to help the students fully appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of the economic theories contained in other courses in the Tripos. It aims to do so by teaching them: (i) the major theoretical innovations and debates that have marked the evolution of economics (history of economics); and (ii) the key issues involved in the assessment of different methods of economic investigation (philosophy of economics).

By adding the following in Part IIb:

Paper 5. Political economics

Economic policy varies enormously across time and space. The question that political economics aims at answering is why. It starts from the premise that public policy decisions are shaped by interactions between politicians, voters, and bureaucrats operating within particular institutional structures and under particular economic constraints. The paper engages with political decision-making in democracies (through voting, bargaining, and lobbying); with how democratic and other important institutions emerge; and with how conflict in some contexts replaces orderly political exchange. The paper discusses these themes using simple rational choice models combined with systematic empirical evidence from econometric investigations, field experiments, and case studies from economic and political history.

Paper 6. Banking and finance

The paper provides an introduction to banking, financial asset valuation, and its application to corporate decision-making. We will cover current research on the evolving nature of financial intermediation, and issues in the design of financial regulation.