MBA Students Assist Faculty in the Development of New International Political Economy Course (2014-15)

Over the last couple of years, the CGM has supported Christian Dippel, assistant professor of economics, who teaches the Global Macroeconomics course to MBA and FEMBA students, to hire UCLA Anderson MBA students to assist with the development of course materials for a new MBA course on the political economy of business. Because many of UCLA Anderson’s graduates work at startups or start their own business after graduation, this course focuses on the intersection of business and politics from the perspective of a small enterprise, i.e. one that does not employ its own lobbying firm on K-street, but that may well be in competition with some that do.

With the initial assistance of Tucker Herbert (’14) and the current support of Elizabeth Pratt (MBA/MPP ’16), pictured right, the full structure of the 10-week course is now complete. The course will be divided into three key sections and will look at the players in the regulatory environment, how firms influence government and regulation, and provide a review of the industry conditions that determine what the final outcome looks like. This last section will draw on the theory of regulation and the theory on lobbying to show what conditions determine who wants what in an industry. Students will work with data on industry structures, campaign contributions, lobbying and legislative behavior to understand what the “frictions of influence” are in their industry, how their incentives will vary depending on whether they are at a small or a large firm, and how this should shape managerial decisions on how to exert influence on governance.

Working with MBA students not only aided Dippel greatly in the development of new course material, it also contributed to the intellectual exchange between the MBA student body and faculty research. The CGM is providing additional support to continue to build content for the topics that have been settled on, including preparing short cases that can be used for case teaching and building data-driven assignments with the aim of providing MBA students a quantitative handle on the topics covered. The intent is for the course to be finalized and ready to launch in 2017-18.