Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session
Recitations: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session
Explores the role of government in the economy, applying tools of basic microeconomics to answer important policy questions such as government response to global warming, school choice by K-12 students, Social Security versus private retirement savings accounts, government versus private health insurance, setting income tax rates for individuals and corporations.
There are three sets of requirements for this course:
The only required reading is my textbook:
There will be a midterm exam worth 25% of the grade, and a final worth 50%. The midterm will be in class, 85 minutes, and closed book/closed notes.
There will be 5 problem sets throughout the semester, each of which will consist of both mathematical exercises and essay questions. This requirement will be worth the remaining 25% of the grade. No late problem sets will be accepted for any reason. Grading will be based on the top 4/5 grades (your lowest homework grade will be dropped).
|LEC #||TOPICS||KEY DATES|
|1||Why study public finance?|
|2||Externalities in theory and practice|
|Public goods in theory and practice|
|3||Basic theory, optimality and pricing||Homework 1 due|
|6||Local public goods and fiscal federalism||Homework 2 due|
|7||Public provision of private goods: education|
|Social insurance and redistribution|
|10||Unemployment insurance, disability insurance and workers' compensation|
|11||Health insurance||Homework 3 due|
|12||Redistribution and welfare policy|
|13||The institutions and theory of taxation|
|Taxation and individual behavior|
|14||Taxation and labor supply||Homework 4 due|
|15||Taxation and savings|
|16||Taxation, risk taking and wealth|
|17||Corporate taxation||Homework 5 due|