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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Economics : Economics

Postgraduate Course: Economics of the Public Sector (ECNM11067)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Economics CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe formulation of sound economic policy invariably involves striking a right balance between equity and efficiency, between social justice and incentives. After reviewing the causes for market failures, we examine the trade-off between equity and efficiency inherent in the problem of income taxation. We then examine the inefficiency of private provision of public goods, followed by the Samuelson conditions for Pareto efficiency. Finally, we study the Tiebout hypothesis and the theory of local public goods. We conclude the lectures by reflecting on the optimum decentralization of public decisions between local government and central government.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This is a closed course, students must e-mail in advance to request permission to join it.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  9
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 18, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Final exam 100%
Feedback Students will be provided with a series of exercises that will enable them to evaluate their progress against the learning outcomes for the course. The teaching team will provide feedback on the questions, including the preferred answers and guidance on expected progress outcomes 2-3 weeks later for self-assessment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 1. The aim of the unit is to understand public policy issues from an economic perspective. Students will have a thorough understanding of issues such as the pursuit of social justice, regulation theory and policy and government expenditure issues. They should consequently be able to critically evaluate current public sector policies undertaken by governments
  2. 2. research and investigative skills such as problem framing and solving and the ability to assemble and evaluate complex evidence and arguments.
  3. 3. communication skills in order to critique, create and communicate understanding and to collaborate with and relate to others.
  4. 4. personal effectiveness through task-management, time-management, teamwork and group interaction, dealing with uncertainty and adapting to new situations, personal and intellectual autonomy through independent learning
Reading List
Atkinson and Stiglitz (2015): Lectures on Public Economics, Princeton University Press.
Mas Colell Whinston and Green (1995): Microeconomic Theory, Oxford University Press.
Ng (1983) Welfare Economics, MacMillan.
Salanie B. (2000): Microeconomics of Market Failures, MIT Press.
Salanie B. (2011): Economics of Taxation, MIT Press.
Salaniť B. (2005) The Economics of Contracts, MIT Press.
Tuomala (1990): Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution, Oxford University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Ramses Abul Naga
Course secretaryMiss Carole-Anne Marshall
Tel: (0131 6)51 1795
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