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Course 2019-2020 a.y.

30344 - PUBLIC ECONOMICS

BIG
Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 23

BIG (8 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/03)
Course Director:
HECTOR SOLAZ SANTOS

Classes: 23 (II sem.)
Instructors:
Class 23: HECTOR SOLAZ SANTOS


Suggested background knowledge

To feel comfortable in this course, you should be familiar with basic micro and macro economics.


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

Public Economics focuses on the role of the government in the economy and analyzes the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the reasons for government intervention in the economy, analyzing the benefits of possible government policies, and the response of economic agents to the government's actions. The course covers a range of topics that are at the centre of the economic and political debate in virtually all contemporary democratic countries, including tax policy and inequality, social insurance programs, public goods, environmental protection, and the interaction between different levels of government. In this course, you will learn how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to answer these questions: When should the government intervene in the economy? How might the government intervene? And, what are the effects of those interventions on economic outcomes?

CONTENT SUMMARY

Government actions affect almost everything that we do in our daily lives, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. From a Public Economics perspective we will cover topics such as:

 

- Government expenditure, deficit and debt.

- Public Goods.

- Externalities.

- Social and Health Insurance.

- Unemployment Insurance, Workers Compensation and Disability Insurance.

- Taxation and Progressivity.

- Optimal Taxation.

- Labour Income Taxes and Transfers.

- Consumption Taxation.

- Inequality and Redistribution.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Define the characteristics of Government intervention in the economy, including its evolution in history.
  • Understand the objectives and core concepts of government interventions in markets.
  • Know how to apply insights from economic theory, lab and field experiments and empirical studies to design policies.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand and critically assess the key elements of the debate over the role of Government intervention in the economy.
  • Compare different approaches to public intervention, on the side of both expenditure and revenues collection.
  • Conduct basic analysis to evaluate public policies.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
DETAILS

To be defined.


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • Students are assessed based on two partial written exams. No minimum grade is required in the first partial exam in order to gain access to the second. The overall grade is a simple average of the grades of two partial exams.
    • Alternatively, students can choose to take a one-shot written examination covering the entire programme at the end of the course.
    • Questions are based both on specific exercises and on the general theory. They test the knowledge of the students on the different topics covered throughout the course. Questions also test students’ ability to apply the acquired knowledge to the public debate on the role and the implications of the different approaches to Government intervention.

    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • Textbook: Jonathan Gruber, Public Finance and Public Policy, 5th edition, Macmillan, 2016
    • Slides and additional material will be uploaded on the Bboard. On-line teaching materials are compulsory.
    Last change 11/07/2019 09:22