Year of entry: 2022
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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 plays in helping to form and evaluate public policy. We will discuss the role of the government in the economy, current policy issues, and the role that economics plays 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 us to better understand the inherent trade-offs that are involved in taking decisions over taxation, spending, and regulation. Emphasis will be placed on developing student’s analytical skills and the ability to apply economic tools to critically evaluate policy options.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Principles of Microeconomic Theory 1: Consumers, Welfare, Production and Costs||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. 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 questions including:
What is the size and scope of government in economic activity? What are the rationales for government intervention in the economy?
Who is in poverty in the UK? How do we measure poverty? What policies does the government use to try to reduce poverty?
How unequal are the economic resources in the economy distributed? What role does the government play in redistributing resources between individuals at any point in time, and over an individual's lifetime?
When do markets fail to provide the optimal outcome and how does the government try to correct these market failures?
What are some of the current challenges facing governments and how do they try to address them?
How can we tell when a policy is effective and when it is a waste of resources?
Teaching and learning methods
Synchronous activities (such as Lectures, Review and Q&A sessions, and tutorials), and guided self-study
- Analytical skills
- Oral communication
- Problem solving
- Written communication
10% Online Quizzes
30% Mid-Term Test
60% Final Exam
Students will receive feedback in tutorials and on assessed work.
Gruber, Jonathan, Public Finance and Public Policy plus various readings to be made available via Blackboard
|Rachel Griffith||Unit coordinator|
For every 10 course unit credits we expect students to work for around 100 hours. This time generally includes any contact times (online or face to face, recorded and live), but also independent study, work for coursework, and group work. This amount is only a guidance and individual study time will vary