BSc International Business, Finance and Economics with Industrial/Professional Experience / Course details
Year of entry: 2020
Course unit details:
Economics for Public Policy
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||School of Social Sciences|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the role that economics has and can play in helping to form and evaluate public policy. We will discuss policy issues of both current and historical relevance, with a focus on the role of economics in helping to provide evidence to inform policymakers and the public about the merits and likely impacts of different policy choices. We will highlight the way that economics can help to elucidate the inherent trade-offs that are involved in taking decisions over taxation, spending, and regulation. Emphasis will be placed on developing students analytical skills and the ability to apply economic tools to critically evaluate policy options.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Microeconomic Analysis 1||ECON10171||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
|Macroeconomic Analysis 1||ECON10181||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
(ECON10171 or ECON10221 or ECON10331) and (ECON10181 or ECON10241 or ECON10252)
The aims of the course are to:
1. Explore the rationale for public policy interventions in the economy.
2. Provide an overview of a wide range of areas of applied microeconomics used in public policy, including relevant historical and international experience.
3. Discuss the role of economics in the political process.
4. Provide an introduction to the evaluation of economic policies.
At the end of this unit, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the criteria for successful microeconomic public policy interventions.
- Show understanding of the reasons for the variation in policy interventions over time and in different contexts.
- Be able to evaluate critically policy proposals, including demonstrating an awareness of sources of empirical evidence.
- Be able to express clear arguments about policy questions.
- We consider the economics of what is the scope of public policies and the welfare economics of government intervention.
- We discuss government’s role in production and regulation as approaches to achieving public policy aims in markets that are not perfectly competitive. We link the theory and history of the shifting boundary of state and private production.
- Poverty and inequality - one of the most obvious ways the state affects individuals’ economic well-being is by providing an economic safety net in the shape of the welfare state. We look at the government’s role in redistributing income both between individuals and over an individuals life time.
- We discuss policies that aim to correct classic market failures such as externalities.
- We consider the economics of several current challenges facing governments, such as an ageing population, rising obesity and other topical policy issues.
- We discuss how we can evaluate the effectiveness of policy.
- Government failure - public policies aim to correct market failures; we consider the question of the boundary between market and state when there might also be government failure.
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures - will provide basic material including use of PowerPoint presentations (although note taking will be necessary). All of the lecture presentations and additional material will be posted on the course website.
Workshops - will ask students to discuss lectures and other course material based on pre assigned reading.
- Analytical skills
- Oral communication
- Problem solving
- Written communication
20% Essay (policy brief of 1500 words)
Students will receive feedback in tutorials on short written assignments and on presentations made in tutorials.
Gruber, Jonathan, Public Finance and Public Policy
• plus various readings to be made available via Blackboard
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||3|
|Independent study hours|
|Rachel Griffith||Unit coordinator|