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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2023/2024

Public Economics

Type: Elective course (World Economy)
Area of studies: Economics
When: 4 year, 3 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of all HSE University campuses
Instructors: Natalya Rakuta
Language: English
ECTS credits: 4
Contact hours: 44

Course Syllabus


This course provides a basis for the economic analysis of public policy issues. It focuses on the role of public sector in the economy, its functions, management techniques, taxation, and the efficiency assessment. The main parts of the course are devoted to the key elements of public finance: taxation and spending. The course also examines issues related to the role of the state, public choice, management of public assets and liabilities, and fiscal federalism. It develops an analytical framework that facilitates the evaluation of public policy. One of the aims of the course is to address theoretical concepts using instruments of economic analysis. The second one is to take into account the specifics of the world economy.
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
  • non-blocking Essay
  • non-blocking Group presentation
  • non-blocking Class participation
  • non-blocking Final exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2023/2024 3rd module
    0.1 * Class participation + 0.15 * Essay + 0.4 * Final exam + 0.15 * Group presentation + 0.2 * Midterm


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Economics of the public sector, Stiglitz, J. E., 2000
  • 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