Course 2017-2018 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) - 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) - GIO (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 the master level. The course focuses on the analysis of the impact of government intervention on market economies. It develops along the following main topics:

  • Interaction between public policy and the acquisition and development of human capital
  • Inequality and redistribution.
  • Behavioural responses to taxation: labour supply and evasion.
  • Gender gaps in the labour market and in politics and policies that attempt to overcome them.
  • Public policy in open economy, with a focus on international labour mobility.
  • Social security and health systems: how sociodemographic changes influence their design, reform and impact.
The course strikes a balance between the development of theoretical and empirical methods. It provides students with the ability to address policy relevant questions. Namely, students are given the tools to identify the institutional details that characterize a given policy; to frame a policy question in theoretical terms; to find the appropriate data to perform empirical analysis on the impact of a given policy.

Course Content Summary

  • The Welfare state: an introduction.
  • Education.
    • Education financing and macroeconomic outcomes.
    • Public/private schooling and students’ outcomes.
    • The technology of skill formation.
    • The role of early environments and child care policy.
  • Inequality and redistribution.
  • The impact of taxation: labour supply and tax evasion.
  • Gender gaps.
    • Policies to address the gender gap in the labour market and in politics.
  • Public policies in open economy.
    • Redistribution and factor mobility.
    • The fiscal effect of immigration.
    • The assimilation of immigrants.
    • Social networks and welfare participation.
    • Migration policies and illegal migration.
  • Socio-demographic changes and the design, reform and impact of welfare state programs.
    • Pension system, savings and the labour supply.
    • The design and reform of pension systems.
    • Socio-economic determinants of health.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

For attending students

  • Written exam and group presentation based on topics agreed upon during the course.
  • There is the possibility to sit a partial exam.

For non attending students

  • Written exam.


  • Most of the course is based on articles from scientific journals and working papers. The compulsory readings are provided at the beginning of the course.
  • A set of slides and lecture notes will be available on Blackboard before classes.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 18/05/2017 16:19