20608 - WELFARE AND PUBLIC ECONOMICS
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 24
Class-group lessons delivered on campus
The course starts from the principles of welfare analysis, and apply them to study how government should intervene in the economy to improve social welfare. Government intervention in the economy is studied using key formal models and empirical analysis. The course then analyzes how public policies may improve social welfare in a changing world. We answer the following questions: What is the role of government intervention in the economy under the pressures of the ageing of population, the slow-down of economic growth, the increase of poverty and inequality? We also analyze policies related to the role of women in the economy and society. The course trains students to understand the need for and the limitation of a public sector, as well as how the state intervention in the economy can be improved. Students also learn and apply welfare analysis to public policies. They also learn how public policies in different countries are different, and they are stimulated in thinking about why they differ in the ways they do.
This course provides a general introduction to the theory and practice of welfare and public economics. The course combines theoretical models with empirical evidence. The instructor will
present the main questions addressed and selected tools used in public economics. These tools are
then applied to the spheres of public revenues (taxation) and public expenditure. The areas of study are the following
1. Welfare Economics
2. Pension and Social Security
3. Implementing Public Policy Reforms
4. Public Policy Reforms in the Real World
5. Gender equality and public policy
- Understand Tools of Welfare Analysis.
- Describe Policy Challenges in Tax Design and Tax Reforms.
- Explore Policy Challenges in Public Expenditures Programs.
- Understand the role of pensions and pension reforms.
- Explore government Intervention in Specific Contexts: gender policy.
- Apply Tools of Welfare Analysis.
- Evaluate and discuss Policy Challenges in Tax Design and Tax Reforms.
- Evaluate and discuss Policy Challenges in Public Expenditures Programs.
- Elaborate and assess the role of pensions and pension reforms.
- Evaluate and discuss government Intervention in Specific Contexts: gender policy.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
- Group assignments
Guest lectures: lectures given by international experts in the areas of public finance.
Group works: Students will be divided into groups. Each group is required to prepare a “policy brief” for presentation (30 minutes with slides) and discussion (15 minutes) in class. Topics of the policy brief are discussed in advance with the groups. Students are guided in their work by the professor and the teaching assistant.
Written exam (100%). The exam consists of two parts, which can be done separetely (first and second partial) or together. The final grade is the average of the two parts. The final grade should be sufficient, even though one of the two parts is not.
Each part consists in several questions for a total amount of 40 minutes. Questions are a mix of multiple choice and open questions. Multiple choice questions have the goal of assessing the general knowledge on all topics of the course with a clear understanding on what is the role of government in the economic process. Open questions have the goal of verifying the logical skills developed by the students and the competence of writing in a focused and organized manner what is the role of public sector in specific areas of interventions.
The expected results to be assessed are the following: describing, identifying, analyzing and evaluating the main goals and ways of action of government in the economy in the context of European public policies and specific measures.
Slides and material on black board
Papers with a link specified on blackboard