- Code ECON8034
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Research School of Economics
- ANU College ANU College of Business and Economics
- Course subject Economics
- Areas of interest Economics
- Academic career PGRD
- AsPr Maria Racionero Llorente
- Mode of delivery In Person
First Semester 2020
See Future Offerings
This course uses the basic tools of microeconomics to analyse the role of government and the rationale for and design of taxation and expenditure policy. The topics to be covered include a review of basic microeconomics, welfare economics, cost-benefit analysis, public goods, externalities, public choice, public expenditure programs (including education, health, pensions and welfare payments), and taxation (including efficiency and equity issues, tax incidence, Australian tax policy, and fiscal federalism).
By the end of the course students should have an appreciation of the principal forms of market failure that provide a justification for government intervention, be familiar with the main policy instruments used to mitigate market failures and the principles that guide their optimal use, but also understand the limitations of government intervention - for instance, understand how the presence of information problems both explains the forms that policy intervention take and imposes limits on what can be achieved by it.
The course also covers topics on public choice and provides an alternative, more critical, view of government. The public choice perspective places more emphasis on modelling the political process and argues that this, like the market mechanism, has readily identifiable sources of failure.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Identify and explain the principal forms of market failure that provide a justification for government intervention;
- Describe the main policy instruments used to mitigate market failures and explain the principles that guide their optimal use;
- Explain the limitations of government intervention - for instance, illustrate how the presence of information problems both explains the forms that policy intervention take and imposes limits on what can be achieved by it.
- Identify the trade-offs captured by public economics models; including the assumptions, relevance, and limitations of those models
- Analyse policy problems and assess arguments appearing in the policy debate.
- Distinguish the normative and the positive approaches to public economics and, in particular, identify and explain public choice models of government
- Take-home assignments, a mid-semester examination and an end-of-semester examination. Details to be determined at the commencement of the course. (null) [LO null]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Workload10 hrs (including 4 average contact hours in teaching weeks)
Requisite and Incompatibility
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- 6 units
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.