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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Economics : Economics

Undergraduate Course: Public Economics (ECNM10004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Economics CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEconomics Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionGordon Hughes is a leading 'practitioner', who runs an economics consultancy and travels the world advising on natural resource, environmental and other issues. As he is in Edinburgh at weekends between travel commitments, the course will be taught mostly on Mondays 9.00am-10.50am or Fridays 4.00pm-6.00pm Class members are notified by email when classes will be held. Note that the possible irregularity of classes places a premium on good time-management skills and flexibility/adaptability, in comparison to more standard weekly classes. This course will provide a systematic overview of the micro-economics of the public sector. It will focus on issues and institutions that are important in the UK but it will adopt a comparative approach in order to highlight similarities and differences with other OECD countries in the ways they address common problems. The first half of the course will cover the theory and practice of tax design, while the second half of the course will examine the role of the public sector as a provider and/or regulator of important services.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Topics in Economic Analysis 1 (ECNM10050)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Pre-requisite: Honours entry.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 Economics courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. This MUST INCLUDE courses in both Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. We will only consider University/College level courses.
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
CentralLectureDavid Hume Tower, Room 4.011-11 16:10 - 18:00
CentralLecture7 Bristo Square, Lecture Theatre 41-11 09:00 - 10:50
First Class Week 18, Monday, 09:00 - 10:50, Zone: Central. 7 Bristo Square, Lecture Theatre 4
Additional information 1 x 2 hour lecture per week, students are notified by email in advance whether to attend the Friday/Monday session each week.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
After successful completion of this course students should have acquired an understanding of the analytical and practical foundations of the economics of taxation, public expenditure and the funding of public services with particular emphasis on policy analysis and the relationship between public and private provision of different classes of goods and services. They should be familiar with the techniques of tax analysis in partial and general equilibrium frameworks, the design and application of alternative tax instruments, the relationship between national and sub-national governments in taxation and public expenditure, issues of moral hazard, insurability and capital markets in the economics of pensions, health and education, and the design of economic policies to address poverty and inequality. In the course assessment, students are required to demonstrate skills in understanding and using standard economic analysis together with the application of analytical concepts to practical economic problems.
Assessment Information
Essay (40%)
2 hour degree examination (60%)

Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Gordon Hughes
Tel: (0131 6)50 8358
Course secretaryMs Eirlys Armstrong
Tel: (0131 6)50 8361
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