Course 2010-2011 a.y.



Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03) - M (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03) - IM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03) - MM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03) - AFC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03) - CLAPI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03) - CLEFIN-FINANCE (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03) - CLELI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03) - ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03) - DES-ESS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03) - EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/03)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

The aim of the course is to lay the groundwork for an understanding of Public Economics at a master level.

The course is composed by three main parts.

  • The first part analyses the government expenditure with a special focus on social security and education. The approach is mainly theoretical and builds on recent literature in Public Economics and Macroeconomics.
  • The second part of the course examines public policies in an open economy, with a view on multiple jurisdictions and migration decisions issues: we discuss how national policies can be sustained in the presence of international labour and capital movements.
  • The last part covers issues related to gender gaps in participation and wages: causes and policies aimed at reducing them.

Course Content Summary

The Welfare State: An Introduction.
  • Social Security.
    • Pension systems, savings and the accumulation of physical capital.
    • Pensions and the labour supply.
    • Pensions and demographics.
    • Pension design and reform.
    • Pensions and risk-sharing.
  • Education.
    • Private versus public provision. 
    • Financing of schools.
    • The redistributive effects of education and education financing.
  • Public Policy in Open Economy.
    • Fiscal competition.
    • Migration and migration policies.
  • Gender.
    • Gaps in wages and participation.
    • Public Policies to reduce gender gaps.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Written exam. For students who regularly attend the class, a presentation based on topics agreed upon during the course can complement part of the written exam.


Reference texts are:

  • HINDRICKS, MYLES, 2005, Intermediate Public Economics, MIT Press.
  • MYLES, Public Economics, CUP, 1998.
  • J. GRUBER, Public Finance and Public Policy, Worth Publishers, 2005.
  • AEURBACH, FELDSTEIN (eds.) Handbook of Public Economics, vol.2 and 4, North-Holland.
  • N. BARR, The Welfare State as Piggy Bank, Part III, OUP, 2001.

Most of the course are based on articles from scientific journals and working papers. A complete and up-to-date list with an indication of the compulsory readings will be provided at the beginning of the course by each instructor.

Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 23/06/2010 11:17