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Economics of Policy Issues

Module Code: EC306B

Module Title: Economics of Policy Issues

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas Term
  • Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and 4 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Professor Michael King

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify and analyse the key issues involved in welfare economics
  • Discuss the basic economic and broad philosophical principles underlying these issues
  • Appraise the various arguments/theories relating to these issues
  • Formulate a balanced, critical judgment on the status of each of these debates.

Module Learning Aims

Michaelmas Term:

Module 1 will analyse the relationship between institutions and policy outcomes. Early lectures will focus on the challenges inherent in the pursuit of social justice and will analyse entitlements such as health care and old age pensions. Discussion of voting behaviour and the impact of forms of government and electoral rules on redistribution will be followed by an examination of issues related to optimal taxation.

Module Content

Michaelmas Term:

  • The market, responsibilities and limitations of government and social justice. A first account.
  • Social justice and insurance. Moral Hazard and social justice without government.
  • Voting rules and political competition. The impact of voting on income redistribution.
  • The attributes and consequences of entitlements. Old age and health care entitlements.
  • The choice of taxation. Optimal taxation and alternative tax bases.

Recommended Reading List

The core book is Arye L. Hillman, Public Finance and Public Policy: Responsibilities and Limitations of Government (2nd Edition) Cambridge University Press 2009 and it is advised that you order this now through any bookshop.

Assessment Details

Each half of the module accounts for 50 per cent of the marks for the course. Marks for the course will be allocated as follows;
Michaelmas Term: 20 per cent for test in Week 8, MT, 10 per cent group presentation, 20 per cent for essay due beginning HT and 50 per cent for take home test.

Module Website