Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

ECON308 Public Economics

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 discusses examines the ways government interventions affect the economy. The paper begins with an empirical and theoretical overview of government expenditure programmes in OECD countries. It then develops macroeconomic and microeconomic tools to explores several issues including institutional economics and public choice theory; income redistribution within cohorts and between cohorts; social security and retirment income; tax policies, and government finance (debt and asset positions).


Paper title Public Economics
Paper code ECON308
Subject Economics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2019
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $846.30
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.10

^ Top of page

ECON 201 or ECON 271
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science
Teaching staff

Andrew Coleman 

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:

  • Develop an appreciation of the reasons for a public sector in a market-oriented economy;
  • Apply economic analysis to understand the macro- and microeconomic implications of different public sector interventions in the economy; and
  • Understand specific problems arising in certain areas of public-sector activity.

^ Top of page


Not offered in 2019

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system