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ECON308 Public Economics

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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 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 microeconomic, acroeconomic, and statistical tools to explores several issues including institutional economics and public choice theory; income redistribution within cohorts and between cohorts; social security and retirement income; tax policies, government finance (debt and asset positions); and environmental externalities.

Some of the material will involve the use of basic statistical and econometric techniques that will be taught in class using standard spreadsheet software.

Paper title Public Economics
Paper code ECON308
Subject Economics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $863.25
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,276.80

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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:

  • 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.

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Timetable

Second Semester

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

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41

Tutorial

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 16:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
A2 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-41
A3 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
A4 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 29-34, 36-41

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 Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2021 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

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

^ Top of page

Timetable

Second Semester

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

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41

Tutorial

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 16:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
A2 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-41
A3 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 29-34, 36-41
A4 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41