IntrodLecture

IntrodLecture - ECON 253/253W PUBLIC FINANCE Dhammika...

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1 ECON 253/253W PUBLIC FINANCE Dhammika Dharmapala
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2 My Contact Information Email: dhammika.dharmapala@uconn.edu Telephone: 860 486 3027 Office: Monteith 306 Office Hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays 11-12
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3 Economics Defn: the study of how scarce resources are allocated among competing uses Emphasis on private markets But, a substantial fraction of society’s resources are allocated through the public sector e.g. Federal, state and local government expenditures represent 1/3 of US GDP
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4 Economics of the Public Sector This class provides an overview of the economics of the public sector, through An introduction to the theory of government expenditures and the theory of taxation A series of applications to public policy issues of current interest
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5 What is Public Finance? Public finance is the analysis of the role of government in the economy. This analysis is both: Positive (what effect does a particular government intervention have?) Normative ( should government intervene in a particular way?)
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6 Theory v. Empirical Analysis This analysis is also both: Theoretical (using abstract models to predict and evaluate the effects of government activity) Empirical (using data and statistical methods to quantify the effects of government activity)
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7 Expenditures v. Revenues Public economics is sometimes divided into: Government expenditures Government revenues Current policy applications will be drawn equally from both areas
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8 Four Questions of Public Finance When should government intervene in the economy? How should government intervene in the economy? What are the effects of government intervention? Why do governments intervene in the ways that they do?
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9 Why Study Public Finance? Consider some of the most important policy debates of recent years: Policy responses to global warming Social Security reform Health care reform Tax reform All of these are closely related to the subject matter of public finance
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10 Textbook Gruber: Public Finance and Public Policy, 2 nd ed., Worth Publishers Website: http://bcs.worthpublishers.com/gruber2e/
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11 Supplementary Reading Most readings are from the textbook, but these are supplemented by readings on specific topics from scholarly journals and other sources Generally available online Important, esp. for topics not covered in depth in the textbook
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12 Course Website WebCT Vista: vista.uconn.edu Check regularly for: assignments readings other course materials
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13 Prerequisites Microeconomics using: Pindyck and Rubinfeld or equivalent Game Theory Basic statistical tools Generally, we will use graphical analysis or numerical examples rather than calculus
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14 Assessment: Econ 253 Final Exam (May 10; cumulative, closed- book): 50% Midterm Exam (March 4; closed-book): 20% Online Quizzes (approx. weekly): 10% Assignments (2): 10% Class participation: 10%
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15 Assessment: Econ 253W
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IntrodLecture - ECON 253/253W PUBLIC FINANCE Dhammika...

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