EC3022 Public economics

Public Economics is concerned with the economics of public policy. It employs the tools of economic analysis to develop a framework for the study of government decision making.

The specific aims are to:
• provide an introduction to the activities of government and the motivation behind economic intervention
• show how the tools of microeconomics can be applied to policy analysis
• provide a conceptual framework for assessing the success of economic policy
• conduct an evaluation of policy proposals

By the end of this subject guide and the relevant reading, you should be able to:
• describe the major items of government revenue and expenditure
• compare explanations for government intervention
• demonstrate why competition is efficient
• explain the sources of market failure and potential policy responses
• discuss the design of the tax structure using the concepts of efficiency and equity
• describe how the level of government expenditures is determined
• demonstrate how interaction between jurisdictions affects the choice of policy
• employ economic analysis to evaluate policy proposals.


Jean Hindriks and Gareth D. Myles, Intermediate Public Economics, MIT Press, 2004