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ECON308 Public Economics

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
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The role of government in society is examined using the tools and methods of microeconomics. Topics include welfare economics, public goods, externalities, optimal taxation and voting models.

This paper examines the ways government tax, expenditure, and debt policies affect the economy. It begins with a historical, empirical, and theoretical overview of government expenditure in OECD countries. It then develops microeconomic and macroeconomic tools to explore how government policies affect distribution of resources and the efficiency of the economy. Topics include institutional economics and public choice theory; income redistribution within cohorts and between cohorts; social security and retirement income policies; the distribution and efficiency effects of tax policies; and government finance (debt and asset positions, and the link to monetary policy). A focus of the course is the way that government policy can be used to transfer resources between generations, and how many governments adopt policies that impose large costs on young and future generations.

Paper title Public Economics
Paper code ECON308
Subject Economics
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2021 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $872.70
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,405.05

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Prerequisite
ECON 201 or ECON 271
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science
Contact
economics@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff

Andrew Coleman

Textbooks

Joel Slemrod and John Bakija (2017) Taxing Ourselves, 5th edition. (MIT Press)

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Ethics, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this paper, you should be able to

  • Explain core micro- and macroeconomic principles relevant to understanding the scope and structure of government interventions in a market-oriented economy
  • Use these principles to identify core problems that may benefit from government intervention, and core problems government interventions may need to overcome to solve these problems
  • Use these principles to identify the trade-offs involved with specific public sector interventions in the economy
  • Use these principles, along with appropriate data sources and literature, to formulate positive critiques of popular policy positions

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Timetable

Not offered in 2021

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

The role of government in society is examined using the tools and methods of microeconomics. Topics include welfare economics, public goods, externalities, optimal taxation and voting models.

This paper examines the ways government tax, expenditure, and debt policies affect the economy. You will learn about key policy issues through the language of microeconomic theory, vivid real-world examples and research processes that generate major empirical findings. Topics range from externalities, to public goods, to social insurance programs, to taxation. New topics of public policy debates, such as responses to climate change, drug legalisation and universal basic income will also be discussed in this course.

Paper title Public Economics
Paper code ECON308
Subject Economics
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2022 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Prerequisite
ECON 201 or ECON 271
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science
Contact

daniel.neururer@otago.ac.nz

Teaching staff

Daniel Neururer

Textbooks

Jonathan Gruber (2019). Public Finance Public Policy. New York: Macmillan Learning.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Ethics, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this paper, you should be able to

  • Explain core microeconomic principles and research processes relevant to understanding the scope and structure of government interventions in a market-oriented economy
  • Use these principles and processes to identify core problems that may benefit from government intervention, and core problems government interventions may need to overcome to solve these problems
  • Use these principles and processes to identify the trade-offs involved with specific public sector interventions in the economy
  • Use these principles and processes to formulate positive critiques of popular policy positions

^ Top of page

Timetable

Semester 1

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 9-15, 18-22
Wednesday 16:00-16:50 9-15, 17-22
Friday 13:00-13:50 9-14, 17-22

Tutorial

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Friday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 17-22
A2 Thursday 10:00-10:50 9-15, 17-22