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BUSM074 Economics of the Public Sector


1 (2017/18)



Module organiser

Professor Pedro Martins

Module overview

This course introduces contemporary theories and the empirical literature of the economics of public policy. The course will highlight topics on theories of public goods, public good provision, optimal taxation and redistributive taxation, inequality in incomes and wealth, the global growth and wealth distribution. A large part of the modern literature is empirical, and the course will address the empirical methods which are popularly used in this literature. It will also  identify the problems facing public policy delivery and what solutions and strategies are discussed in the literature to address these problems.


100% coursework (30% critical essay and 70% analytical essay)

Indicative reading list

  • Auerbach, A., and M. Feldstein. Handbook of Public Economics. Vols. Amsterdam, Holland, New York, NY: North-Holland; New York, NY: Elsevier, 1985, 1987, 2003.
  • Atkinson, A., and J. Stiglitz. Lectures on Public Economics. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 1980.
  • Laffont, J. Fundamentals of Public Economics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1988.
  • Acemoglu, Daron and James Robinson. Why Nations Fail, New York: Crown Publishers, 2012

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