Checking date: 25/04/2023

Course: 2023/2024

Topics in public economics
Dual Bachelor in Law and Economics (Plan: 416 - Estudio: 230)

Coordinating teacher: NAME CORREA, ALVARO JOSE

Department assigned to the subject: Economics Department

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
Conocimientos de Microeconomía intermedia
Students must learn how to apply their knowledge in subjects such as Public Economics and Microeconomics in the analysis of problems relating to the role of the public sector in the economy. In particular, students will acquire the following knowledge skills: ¿ Understanding of the reasons for government intervention in the provision of a basic set of private and public goods and the value judgments that justify different types of interventions that are seen in different countries ¿ The student will be exposed to the different systems of economic evaluation of public projects, with special emphasis on the information necessary to make possible that activity. ¿ Understand the role of the state as provider of insurance and the redistributive effect of its policies. ¿ Carefully distinguish the impact of government spending on the behavior and welfare of economic agents.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
1. Externalities 1.1 Theory of Externalities 1.2 Private Sector solutions to negative externalities. 1.3 Public Sector remedies for externalitites 1.4 Distinctions Between Price and Quantity Approaches to Addressing Externalities 1.5 Externalities in Action: Environmental and Health Externalities 2. Public goods. 2.1 Specific examples of inefficient private provision. 2.2 The problem of Crowd-out. 2.3 How to measure the preferences for public goods. 3. Cost-benefit analysis. 3.1 Measuring the costs and benefits of public projects. 3.2 Applications: Valuing life; Valuing Time. 4. Government intervention in Education. 4.1 Private sector failures in the provision of education. 4.2 Redistribution, equality of opportunity and education. 4.3 Different types of public intervention. 4.4 Higher education. 4.5 Ways to evaluate educational institutions. 5. Problems of asymmetric information and adverse selection and social insurance policies. 5.1 Reasons for the social security system. 5.2 Unemployement insurance. 6. Public Health Systems. 7. Political economy 7.1 Representative democracy. 7.2 Public choice theory. 7.3 Rent seeking and corruption.
Learning activities and methodology
The student will apply the basic ideas of Public Economics to study specific cases of public sector intervention. As an important part of the teaching methodology is based on case studies, students should consult papers and articles in professional journals.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40

Calendar of Continuous assessment

Basic Bibliography
  • Gruber, Jonathan. Public Finance and Public Policy. Worth Publishers. 2019
  • Stiglitz, Joseph. Economics of the Public Sector. Norton and Company . 2015
Recursos electrónicosElectronic Resources *
Additional Bibliography
  • John Leach. A course in Public Economics. Cambridge University.
  • Peter Zweifel. Health Economics. Springer. 2014
  • Roberto Serrano. Welfare Economics and Social Choice Theory . springer. 2005
(*) Access to some electronic resources may be restricted to members of the university community and require validation through Campus Global. If you try to connect from outside of the University you will need to set up a VPN

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.