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Political Economy of Discrimination

Key information

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Module description

Political Economy of Discrimination is a module designed to introduce master students to the key,unsolved societal challenge of discrimination. The module mainly focuses on the economic aspects of discrimination, focusing most notably on the labour market – e.g to examine empirical evidence on earnings and employment outcomes by ethnic group, but introduces the students to other societal aspects of discrimination as well – e.g racial bias in capital sentencing or in healthcare treatments.The main challenge for students is to understand how discrimination can be conceptualized, how it can be measured, what are its causes and which policy tools may successfully address it. While the main focus is placed on discrimination against ethnic minorities, we will look at discrimination by gender as well.

Assessment details

3,000 word essay (100% of overall module mark)

Educational aims & objectives

Discrimination occurs when people with similar characteristics experience different economic outcomes because of their ethnicity, sex, or other characteristics. Discrimination is a phenomenon of extreme importance, both at micro and macro level. Its persistence reflects a management failure – as firms fail to commit to solve it – and at the political economy level – as governments efforts to fight against it are insufficient. The main objective of this module is to provide theoretical foundations and empirical examples of two distinct types of discrimination: gender discrimination and discrimination against ethnic minorities. By the end of the module, students will be able to detect discrimination in diverse settings and figure out solutions to mitigate it.


Learning outcomes

The main objective of this module is to expose students to the broad issue of discrimination, an important issue that liberal societies must face in the near future to achieve Millennium goals. Consistently with the department’s broader mission, the module will encompass studies from different fields in social science.

Define and conceptualize gender and racial discrimination; Understand the most relevant empirical regularities in several contexts; Assess the policy-options that governments may consider to reduce discrimination. 

Teaching pattern

1-hour weekly lecture and 1-hour weekly seminar

Module description disclaimer

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Please note that the module descriptions above are related to the current academic year and are subject to change.