Public finance (2020/2021)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Alessandro Sommacal
Alessandro Sommacal
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
secondo semestre (lauree) dal Feb 15, 2021 al Jun 1, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide students with rigorous economic tools for the modern analysis of public policies. We will review the justifications for the economic role of the state, focusing on the role of public expenditure, taxation and regulatory policies. We will supplement the analysis of theoretical models with evidence from Italian public policies. We will focus on the underlying motivations behid public interventions and on the effect of public policies in terms of efficiency and equity. At completion of the course students should be able to: - Understand and evaluate critically the justifications for the public intervention in the economy. - Analyse and assess rigorously public policies on the basis of economic theory. - Master the economic analysis of the main italian taxation tools.


-Positive and normative public finance; the fundamental theorems of welfare economics; market failures (externalities; public goods; asymmetric information).
-Government revenues and expenditures: a taxonomy.
- Revenues: impact on individual decisions and fiscal incidence; tax policy in a modern fiscal system.
- Social expenditure: the pension system; the health care system.
- Social choice theory

A specific attention will be devoted to the institutional features of the Italian system.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
H.S. Rosen e T. Gayer Scienza delle Finanze (Edizione 5) McGraw-Hill 2018 9788838694707

Assessment methods and criteria

The details on teaching activities and assessments methods will be made available as soon as the health and safety regulations concerning the teaching activities for next academic year will be formally finalized