ECON 7115 - Public Economics IV

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

This course deals with more recent advances in Public Economics. The course has two main parts: Regulation and Taxation under Incomplete Information and Political Economy. In the first part we explore how governments that are seeking to maximise social welfare should regulate and tax industries if firms have private information about some of their characteristics. Contract theoretical tools are developed in order to analyse this. In the second part we cover topics in modern Political Economy Theory. Covered topics may include: lobbying, corruption, the role of constitutions, and public choice.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 7115
    Course Public Economics IV
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Assumed Knowledge ECON 7032 or ECON 7025 or ECON 7121
    Restrictions Available to MAppEc, MAppEc(Int), MAppEc(PubPolicy) & MEc(Course) students only
    Assessment Typically, assignments & final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Mandar Oak

    Office hours: Tuesdays 11.00 am to 12 noon and Fridays 09.00 to 10.00 am
    Office location: Nexus 10 Building, Level 3, Room 3.54
    Phone: 83134768 for an appointment
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Tuesday: 09.00am to 11.00am Napier LG14
    Friday: 10.00am to 12 noon Napier LG09 (Tute Room 7)
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1 To introduce students to the advance tools and models used in the field of Public Economics, especially political economy
    2 To encourage students to think about applying these models in their own research, if necessary, with suitable modifications
    3 To develop a perspective on how public policies are formulated and how they differ from the prescribed standards of normative public economics
    4 To discuss and critique academic articles and policy papers based on academic articles in a group setting
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3, 4
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1, 2, 3
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 2, 3
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    This course will be primarily based on readings from academic journals. Readings will be posted on MyUni as and when necessary.
    Recommended Resources
    The following three books are advanced textbooks in the area of Political Economy. You could buy them or borrow them from the library.
    • Persson and Tabellini. Political Economics – Explaining Economic Policy (MIT Press)
    • Grossman and Helpman. Special Interest Politics (MIT Press)
    • Besley (2006). Principled Agents? The Political Economy of Good Government (OUP). 
    Online Learning
    Typical weekly workload for the course is 12 hours per week, distributed as follows: 4 hours for the lectures/tutorials, 4 hours for requisite revisions/required readings, 4 hours for problem solving and critical thinking about research questions.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be delivered in the standard lecture-mode. Students are expected to actively participate in the lectures, which includes doing the requisite reading, answering questions and participating in the conversations. Some lectures will be offered in a tutorial model in which we will use the problem-solving approach to underscore the concepts covered in the lectures.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Typical weekly workload for the course is 12 hours per week, distributed as follows: 4 hours for the lectures/tutorials, 4 hours for requisite revisions/required readings, 4 hours for problem solving and critical thinking about research questions.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course is divided into two parts:

    The first part is distributed over modules 1, 2 and 3 which will be primarily delivered in a lecture mode, except for the “News Room” presentations.

    The second part, Module 4, is student presentations of articles based on models learnt in the first 3 modules.

    1. Models of Electoral Politics I and II (approx. 4 weeks)
    2. Models of Interest Group Politics (approx. 2 Weeks)
    3. Models of Legislative Politics (approx. 2 weeks)
    4. Applications and special topics (approx. 4 weeks)
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Type Weight
    Homework Assignments (4 x 15%) 60%
    Final Presentation and report 25%
    News Room/ Class Participation (3 x 5%) 15%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The assignments must be solved individually. You are free to consult external sources as long as you properly acknowledge them.
    Assessment Detail
    There will be 4 homework assignments, two assignments based on Module 1 and one assignment each on Modules 2 and 3. Each assignment will be posted in the last week of the module being covered and will be due the week after. Each assignment will have 15% weight.

    There will be a final presentation and a written report by students in groups of 2 or 3 on allocated articles. Each presentation and report is worth 25% in total.

    Each student is also responsible for making 3 “News Room” presentations, each presentation for about 5 minutes, based on the latest news relevant to public economics/public policy and provide a short, less-than-two-page write up on the news covered by him/her. These presentations are worth 15%.
    Each homework assignment will be due one week after the date of posting. If you need to extra time, you must seek prior permission, which may be granted at the discretion of the lecturer.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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