Public Economics, spring 2015
course web page
Policy Exercise 1, due Thursday, 2/5: (1) Propose a policy change. (2) Predict behavioral responses. (3) Identify expected winners and losers. (4) Analyze in terms of efficiency and equity. Post to the course Moodle page.
Reflection 1, due Tuesday, 2/10: Chapter 7 (public goods), and Samuelson (1954).
Problem set 1 on public goods, due Tuesday, 2/24: Click here for the pdf.
Problem set 2 on externalities, due Tuesday, 2/24: Click here for the pdf.
Test 1, Thursday, 2/26
Reflection 4, due Thursday, 3/5: Chapter 10 (state and local government expenditures), and Tiebout (1956).
Reflection 5, due Tuesday, 3/24: Chapters 18-25: Click here for the pdf.
Problem set 3 on taxation and optimal government size, due Thursday, 4/2: Click here for the pdf.
Test 2, Thursday, 4/9
Reflection 8, due Thursday, 4/16: Chapter 12 (social insurance)
Policy Exercise 2, due Tuesday, 4/21.
Reflection 9, due Thursday, 4/25: Rawls (1971) excerpt.
Problem set 4 on Rawlsian redistribution, due Thursday, 4/30: Click here for the pdf.
Reflection 11, due Tuesday, 5/5: Chapters 15-16 (health insurance), Akerlof (1970).
Problem set 5 on adverse selection, due Thursday, 5/6: Click here for the pdf.
Reflection 12, due Tuesday, 5/12: Hochman and Rogers (1969).
Reflection 13, due Thursday, 5/14: Chapters 12-13 and 15-17: Click here for the pdf.
Test 3, Tuesday, 5/19
Unit 1: Foundations, public goods, and externalities
Textbook chapters: 1-2, 7, 9, 5-6.
Public goods: Samuelson, Paul (1954) The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure. Review of Economics and Statistics 36:4, 387-389.
Lindahl taxes: Lindahl, Erik (1919, trans. 1958) Just Taxation -- A Positive Solution. Classics in the Theory of Public Finance 134, 168-76.
Majority rule equilibrium: Black, Duncan (1948) On the Rationale of Group Decision Making. Journal of Political Economy 56:1, 23-34.
Common resources: Hardin, Garrett (1968) The Tragedy of the Commons. Science 162:3859, 1243-1248.
Coase theorem: Coase, Ronald (1960) The Problem of Social Cost. Journal of Law and Economics 3:1, 1–44
Unit 2: Mostly about taxation
Textbook chapters: 10, 18-25.
Tiebout model: Tiebout, Charles (1956) A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures. Journal of Political Economy 64:5, 416–424.
Optimal taxation 1: Mankiw, N. Gregory, Matthew Weinzierl, and Danny Yagan (2009) Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice. Journal of Economic Perspectives 23:4, 147-74.
Optimal taxation 2: Diamond, Peter, and Emmanuel Saez (2011) The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations. Journal of Economic Perspectives 25:4, 165-90.
Land value taxation: George, Henry (1890) The Single Tax: What It Is and Why We Urge It. The Christian Advocate.
Land value taxation and secession rights: Tideman, Nicolas (2004) Secession as a Human Right. Journal of Moral Philosophy 1:1, 9-19.
Unit 3: Social insurance and redistribution
Textbook chapters: 12-13, 15-17
Redistribution and Justice: Rawls, John (1971) A Theory of Justice. Excerpts distributed.
Uncertainty: Varian, Hal (2009) Uncertainty. In Intermediate Microeconomics.
Leaky bucket redistribution: Okun, Arthur (1975) Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff. Excerpts distributed.
Adverse selection: Akerlof, George (1970) The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism. Quarterly Journal of Economics 84:3, 488-500.
Aid to the poor as a public good: Hochman, Harold and James Rogers (1969) Pareto Optimal Redistribution. American Economic Review 59, 542-557.