Public Finance

Course Description

An overview of the fundamental microeconomic analysis of policy issues in public finance, emphasizing taxation. Major topics include public good and externalities, tax incidence and equity and fiscal federalism.

Learning Outcomes

  • Integrate the analysis of government spending and taxing with basic economic theory.
  • Describe optimal taxation using standard economic tools.
  • Analyze how the government sets policies and how expenditure and tax policies affect individual behavior.
  • Explain how political views affect attitudes toward public finance 5Identify the tools used by public finance economists to analyze both positive and normative issues.
  • Identify the tools used by public finance economists to analyze both positive and normative issues
  • Discuss the government’s approach to solving particular problems and changing the status quo.
  • Describe how to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of public expenditures.
  • Construct a theoretical framework for thinking about tax policy.
  • Explain how taxes should be levied to enhance economic efficiency and to promote a fair distribution of income.
  • Analyze the interaction of state, local and federal governments in public finance.
  • Identify the hidden costs of government, welfare economics, and the pure exchange economy.
  • Analyze and discuss the issues of food stamps and child nutrition programs, housing assistance, social security and unemployment in relation to taxation and efficiency.

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