Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

pp 1-8

Date: Latest Version

Political Economy

  • Karsten MauseAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science (IfPol), University of Münster Email author 


The term “political economy” (PE) is mainly used in two related contexts. First, it is used to denote a multidisciplinary research field in which political scientists, economists, legal scholars, and other social scientists investigate the relationship between the political sphere (most notably “the state”) and the economic system of different societies on Earth at different points in time. Second, social scientists, journalists, and other observers sometimes use the term PE to refer to the observable interaction of politics and business in real-world societies. Focusing on the first context, this entry gives an overview of the research field of political economy (PE) and discusses its relationship to law and economics as a research program.

Positive Political Economy: Analyzing What Is

Within the toolkit of PE, there are basically two different approaches which are currently used to analyze the relationship between politics and the economy: positive PE (explained in this secti ...

This is an excerpt from the content