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Economics of Policy Issues

Module Code: EC306C

Module Title: Economics of Policy Issues

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Hilary Term
  • Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and 4 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Andrea Guariso

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Understand the consequences of various forms of voting systems
  • Articulate the dynamics of social welfare economics within the modern economy
  • Discuss the attributes of various forms of welfare entitlements
  • Understand the concept of optimal taxation for labour and capital taxes

Module Learning Aims

Hilary Term:

Module 2 will examine the broad philosophical and legal basis of a market economy, paying particular attention to the issues of property rights and the rule of law. The issue then of collective benefits arising from public goods will be explored in some detail, with the information problem associated with optimal provision of such goods the focal point. This will be followed by a detailed discussion of externalities and the issue of paternalism and the prohibition of markets.  The module concludes with a discussion of public funding and  a more philosophical discussion on the overall need for government in society.

Module Content

Hilary Term:

  • The growth of government and competing views on the need for government.
  • Property rights and the rule of law. Principles. Life under maximal government.
  • Public goods. Types of public goods. Prisoners' Dilemma. Information problems. Cost-benefit analysis. Financing.
  • Externalities, private and public solutions.
  • Prohibition of markets: paternalism and hyperbolic discounting.

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

70% final (summer) exam and 30% midterm exam (week 8).

Module Website