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Course 2018-2019 a.y.

30264 - SCIENZA DELLE FINANZE / PUBLIC FINANCE

Department of Social and Political Sciences


For the instruction language of the course see class group/s below

Go to class group/s: 31

BIEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03)
Course Director:
MASSIMO ANELLI

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: MASSIMO ANELLI

Class group/s taught in English

Prerequisites

A good knowledge of basic microeconomic theory (e.g. utility maximization, marginal rate of substitution, elasticity) can help the learning process.


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

The goal of this course is to discuss current topics in Public Finance and to study government intervention in the economy from a normative perspective. The course addresses the fundamental questions of public finance: When should the government intervene in the economy? How might the government intervene? What is the effect of those interventions on economic outcomes? Why do governments choose to intervene in the way that they do? What drives the design of social insurance schemes, of the welfare state, and of the tax system? The course trains students to understand the need for and the limitation of the public sector, as well as how State intervention in the economy can be improved. This proves helpful in the analysis and forecast of policy decisions, by market analysts or by professionals working in government or international organizations.

CONTENT SUMMARY
  1. In the first part of the course, we cover the main motivations for government intervention in the economy. We discuss equity and efficiency rationales, and we analyze the different types of market failures, such as externalities and underprovision of public goods. We then discuss how to measures the benefits and the costs of government interventions (cost-benefit analysis), which is the optimal government level for intervention (fiscal federalism) and why governments intervene in the way they do (political economy). We conclude the first part by analyzing an impure type of public good that is provided by governments of all developed economies: education.
  2. In the second part of the course, we discuss the social insurance framework and focus on the main welfare state programs, such as pensions, healthcare, unemployment benefits and anti-poverty programs.
  3. Finally, we discuss how governments raise the resources needed for intervention, by analyzing taxation issues, such as tax incidence, tax efficiency and distortionary effects of taxation.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Describe the economic rationales of government intervention in market economies.
  • Identify in which instances government intervention is needed to correct market failures.
  • Explain how social insurance programs are designed.
  • Estimate economic costs and benefits of government intervention.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Discuss the role and extent of government intervention in market economies based on normative theory and empirical evidence.
  • Analyze empirical evidence of academic research that evaluates the effects of government intervention.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of public policies.
  • Compare different policy/reform proposals for both public expenditure and taxation.
  • Evaluate why governments intervene in the way they do.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
DETAILS

We solve and discuss numerical exercises and theoretical questions in class through the course. The goal is to put the concepts and theory of public finance "at work".


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    For both attending and not-attending students, written individual exam(s) with a mix of open ended, numerical and "True" or "False" questions.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • J. GRUBER, Public Finance and Public Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, 5th edition.
    • I upload the slides used for lectures on Bboard. Online teaching materials are compulsory for the course.
    Last change 03/06/2018 09:06