Public Economics MPP4302


Period 1B
Start Date 30 Sept 2024
End Date 25 Oct 2024
ECTS credits:  4
Instruction language:  English
Coordinator: B Martorano
Teaching methods: Lectures; PBL; Presentations
Assessment methods: Participation; Presentation; Written exam
Keywords: Public Economics; Taxation; Public expenditure; Redistribution; Inequality


Full course description

This course analyses the public sector including the allocation of resources and the redistribution of income. It discusses the role of the public sector, the difference between private and public goods, public choice and externalities. Tax policy is introduced, relying on two broad principles: equity and efficiency. The key public expenditure categories are analysed. Finally, the course looks at the situation of developing countries and the role of public finance in such a context.

Course objectives

The aim of this course is to allow students to understand the role of the government and the way public sector intervention influences individuals and the economy. This is achieved by applying the tools of microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis to government actions, both on the revenue and the expenditure side. After completing this course, students should be able to: 

  • Describe the key concepts in the field of public economics
  • Identify and discuss problems of policy, explain situation of market failure and provide policy responses
  • Analyse the functioning of key tax instruments and expenditure programmes
  • Analyse and explain the impact of government intervention on development and socioeconomic indicators




Recommended reading

Gruber, Jonathan. 2015. Public Finance and Public Policy, 5th edition. Worth. ISBN: 978-1464143335. 

Students may use other editions (3rd or 4th) of the book. We provide the chapter/section titles so students can match them with the book they have. 

Additional recommended readings for each lecture will be reported in the course manual.