Public Economics

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Public Economics

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    ECON 201 or ECON 271

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    The role of government in society is examined using the tools and methods of microeconomics. Topics include welfare economics, public goods, externalities, optimal taxation and voting models.

    This paper uses intermediate microeconomic theory to analyse the role of the state in a market-oriented economy. The topics covered include equity and efficiency principles, market failures and their solutions, public choice mechanisms, taxation and tax evasion.

    Learning Outcomes
    Upon successful completion of this paper, you should be able to:
    1. Develop an appreciation of the reasons for a public sector in a market-oriented economy
    2. Apply economic analysis to public-sector problems
    3. Provide an understanding of the nature of the problems faced by decision-makers in the public sector and a critical awareness of the decision-making process
    4. Provide an introduction to the more specific problems arising in certain areas of public-sector activity

    S. Connolly and A. Munro, Economics of the Public Sector, Prentice Hall, 1999.
    D.N. Hyman, Public Finance A Contemporary Application of Theory to Policy, Cencage, 2014.
    J. Hindricks and G.D. Myles, Intermediate Public Economics, MIT Press, 2006.
    H.R. Varian, Intermediate Microeconomics, Norton, 2006.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.