Public Economics, spring 2016

course web page

Syllabus

Test 1 Test 2 Test 3

Models

Optimal government size

Rawlsian redistribution

Adverse selection

Homework assignments

Reflection 1, due Monday, 2/8: Chapter 7 (public goods), and Samuelson (1954).

Reflection 2, due Wednesday, 2/17: Chapter 9 (political economy), Lindahl (1958), and Black (1948).

Problem Set 1 on public goods, due Monday, 2/22: Click here for the pdf.

Reflection 3, due Wednesday, 2/24: Chapters 5-6.

Problem Set 2 on externalities, due Monday, 2/29: Click here for the pdf.

Reflection 4, due Monday, 2/29: Hardin (1968), and Coase (1960).

Test 1, Wednesday, 3/2

Problem Set 3 on optimal government size, due Monday, 3/14: Click here for the pdf.

Reflection 5, due Wednesday, 3/16: Chapter 10, and Tiebout (1956).

Reflection 6, due Monday, 3/28: Answer these questions based on Chapters 18-25.

Test 2, Wednesday, 4/13

Reflection 7, due Monday, 4/18: George (1890) and Tideman (2004).

Reflection 8, due Wednesday, 4/20: Chapter 12 (social insurance)

Reflection 9, due Monday, 4/25: Rawls (1971) excerpt and Okun (1975) excerpt.

Problem Set 4 on Rawlsian redistribution, due Wednesday, 5/4: Click here for the pdf.

Reflection 10, due Monday, 5/9: Click here for the pdf.

Reflection 11, due Wednesday, 5/11: Akerlof (1970).

Problem Set 5 on adverse selection, due Monday, 5/16: Click here for the pdf.

Test 3, Monday, 5/23

Reading list

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, 144

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, 416424.

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.