Public sector economics (2016/2017)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Alessandro Sommacal, Claudio Zoli
Alessandro Sommacal
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Disciplinary sector
Language of instruction
Secondo Semestre Magistrali dal Feb 27, 2017 al Jun 1, 2017.

Lesson timetable

Secondo Semestre Magistrali
Day Time Type Place Note
Wednesday 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall SMT.08  
Thursday 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall SMT.08  

Learning outcomes

The course covers the main contemporary issues in public finance and public economics. It is aimed at allowing students to read and understand the theoretical and empirical literature (both academic and policy-oriented) as well as to implement their own empirical research. Reference is also made to main institutional aspects at the national and, where relevant, international level.
Students will have a sound knowledge of concepts and phenomena related to public finance and public intervention in the economy with special reference to: social security, taxation and investment/financial decisions; public debt: macroeconomic effects, long-run financial sustainability, intergenerational equity; market regulation; market auctions.


Main subjects:
Social security (impact on savings and labor supply; pension reforms in an ageing society).
Public debt (macroeconomic effects, sustainability and intergenerational equity: concepts and measurements.)
Imperfect Competition, Market Regulation and Regulatory Reforms; Auctions and Procurement.
Taxation (with a focus on dynamic aspects) in a national and international setting.

Textbooks and references:
For each topic students will refer to a selected bibliography which will be given at the beginning of the course.
Lecture notes, selected scientific papers and chapters of advanced textbooks will be the main references.
Selected teaching material will be made available on the e-learning web page.

Students needing to refresh basic public finance concepts may refer to the following textbooks (listed in an increasing order of complexity):
J. Gruber, Public Finance and Public Policy, Worth Publishers.
H. Rosen, Public Finance, Mac Graw Hill;
J. Stiglitz, The Economics of the Public Sector, Norton & C;
R. Musgrave and P. Musgrave, Public Finance in Theory and Practice, Mc Graw Hill;
J. Hindriks and G. D. Myles, Intermediate Public Economics, MIT Press

Assessment methods and criteria

Written examination: Candidates are expected to write short essays on specific topics and/or solve problems.
Candidates may prepare and present during the course an essay on a topic assigned by the instructor on a specific issue related to the course.
The aim of the essay is to train students to write short scientific reports on either theoretical or empirical issues relevant to the current debate and to become familiar with bibliographical research as well as on policy reports prepared by national or international institutions such as I.M.F., O.E.C.D., European Commission, National Central Banks, the European Central Bank.
The essay and presentation assessment will be part of the final evaluation.

Statistics about transparency requirements (Attuazione Art. 2 del D.M. 31/10/2007, n. 544)

Data from AA 2016/2017 are not available yet