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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2021/2022

Public Economics

Type: Elective course (Economics)
Area of studies: Economics
When: 4 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of all HSE University campuses
Instructors: Natalya Rakuta
Language: English
ECTS credits: 5
Contact hours: 60

Course Syllabus


This course provides a basis for the economic analysis of public policy issues. It focuses on the role of the public sector in the modern economy, its functions, management techniques, the sources of government expenditures, and the efficiency estimation of public policies. Issues related to the role of the state, development of the Welfare State, public choice, management of public assets and liabilities, modern trends in taxation policies, and fiscal federalism are also examined on the material of the developed countries and Russia as well. Public Economics attempts to understand both how the government makes decisions and what decisions it should make. It explains how the public sector interacts with the rest of the economy and why governments act in the way they do.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To develop analytical tools and their application to key policy issues relating to the spending, taxation and financial activities of the government.
  • To introduce students to the main models and analytical tools of Public Economics
  • To develop student’s ability to apply theoretical knowledge to the actual economic cases
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Analyse effects of taxation on labour supply
  • Analyse functions of the government at different levels
  • Analyse market failures.
  • Analyse tax incidence and welfare loss
  • Conduct cost-benefit analysis for government programmes
  • Explain main functions of the government
  • Explain the behavior of economic agents in political process
  • Explain the role of social insurance and its types
  • Explain the tendencies in government expenditures
  • Know different approaches to social welfare
  • Know main theorem and theories of Public Choice
  • Know main ways to increase efficiency in Public Sector
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction to Public Economics
  • Market Failures
  • Income, inequality and poverty
  • Voting
  • Rent-seeking
  • Commodity taxation
  • Income taxation
  • Theories of the public sector
  • Social Insurance and Welfare Programs
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Managing the Public Sector's Assets and Liabilities
  • Multiple Jurisdictions
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Midterm 1
  • non-blocking Midterm 2
  • non-blocking Final exam
    The final exam will be held in a distant format
  • non-blocking Group presentation 1
  • non-blocking Group presentation 2
  • non-blocking Essay 1
  • non-blocking Essay 2
  • non-blocking Class participation
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 2nd module
    0.18 * Midterm 2 + 0.045 * Essay 2 + 0.09 * Class participation + 0.03 * Group presentation 1 + 0.18 * Midterm 1 + 0.03 * Group presentation 2 + 0.045 * Essay 1 + 0.4 * Final exam


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Hindriks, J., & Myles, G. D. (2013). Intermediate Public Economics (Vol. Second edition). Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=564828

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Arrow, K. J., & Lind, R. C. (1970). Uncertainty and the Evaluation of Public Investment Decisions. American Economic Review, 60(3), 364–378. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=bsu&AN=4510669
  • Economics of the welfare state, Barr, N., 2012