• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject International and Developmental Economics
  • Areas of interest Finance, Economic Policy, Applied Economics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person

This course is available for on-campus & remote (online) learning. All students participate in interactive, real-time classes.

This course explores the economic analysis of incentives generated by tax systems and income transfer programs. The emphasis is understanding how, and the extent to which, individuals and firms react to those policies – the central question addressed in the growing field of empirical public finance. The course will cover tax incidence, efficiency and optimal taxation, income taxation and labour supply, taxes on consumption, taxes on savings, taxes on investment, and corporate taxation. Particular attention will be paid to the application of quasi-experimental methods to public finance, with students exposed to a variety of estimation techniques. By reading articles that apply quasi-experiments for each topic, students are expected to develop a practical understanding of issues involved in taking econometric models to the real world. Examples will be drawn from taxes and income transfer programs implemented in Australia and internationally.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand key features of tax and transfer transfer policies and the motivation for their design.
  2. Analyse the incentives generated by government policies and their behavioural implications.
  3. Formulate quasi-experimental analyses of tax and transfer policies.
  4. Understand and assess estimation results on tax and transfer policies reported in journal articles.
  5. Critically evaluate quasi-experimental studies on tax and transfer policies.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Group assignment (15) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  2. Mid-term exam (1.5 hours) (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Final exam (2 hours) (60) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The standard workload for a 6 unit course is 130 hours including in class time and independent study.

Inherent Requirements


Prescribed Texts

A textbook is not required but two are recommended:

Gruber, J. (2019): Public Finance and Public Policy, Worth Publishers, 6th Edition.

Wooldridge, J. M. (2019): Introductory Econometrics — A Modern Approach, 7th Edition.

Assumed Knowledge

It is assumed that students have already taken a graduate-level course in introductory econometrics or equivalent.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
2024 $4680 Standard Rate
2024 $3720 Grandfathered Rate*

*continuing students in nominated programs only. See fee website

International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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