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040244 UK Intermediate Public Economics (MA) (2021S)

Track in Policy Evaluation

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 4 - Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 50 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Digital, until Easter at least.

Thursday 04.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 11.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 18.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 25.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 15.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 22.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 29.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 06.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 20.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 27.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 10.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 17.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 24.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course


A minimal amount of familiarity with game theory and mathematical optimization will be expected. The necessary game theoretical background can be met by studying Gibbons, "A Primer in Game Theory", Chapter 1, Sections 1.1 and 1.2. Weeks 1 and 2 of the Coursera lecture from the University of British Columbia (Jackson et al, "Game Theory") are a great alternative. Students who studied microeconomics at an advanced undergraduate level (esp. consumer and producer theory) should have the necessary optimization background. Else, they may find it in Jehle and Reny, "Advanced Microeconomic Theory", appendix A1, sections A1.1, A1.2, and A1.4, as well as appendix A2, sections A2.1, A2.2, and A2.3.

Course Outline:

Economists rarely come to an agreement when discussing the optimal size or duties of the public sector. In this class and its advanced sequel we will see how one may use the standard microeconomics toolbox (game theory, consumption and production theory, equilibrium theory) to formalize important arguments for and against the expansion of the public sector.

Following usual approaches, we will keep the analysis of government activities and that of government finances separate. Only the former will be analyzed in this course. Students will discuss the desirability of government intervention on different normative grounds: efficiency, justice, and paternalism.

Assessment and permitted materials

The assessment will be based on two extended homeworks (20pts each) and a final exam (60pts).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The grading will then be as follows:

85-104 points, 1
70-85 points, 2
60-70 points , 3
50-60 points, 4
less than 50 points, 5.

A positive evaluation requires students to achieve a pass grade (4) and to actively attend the seminar. Two unauthorized absences will be excused.

Examination topics

Normative Theories of the State: Justifying State Intervention

Part I - Efficiency
Part II - Justice
Part III - Paternalism

Reading list

Main texts:
“Intermediate Public Economics,” 2nd Ed., Jean Hindricks and Gareth D. Myles, The MIT Press.
(Covers most topics, in a different order, at a less advanced level.)

Further readings will be made available on MOODLE in due time. All assigned readings will be in English.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Th 20.05.2021 13:27