ECON 4015 - Public Economics IV (H)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

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 4015
    Course Public Economics IV (H)
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Assumed Knowledge ECON 3508 or ECON 4011
    Restrictions Available only to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Economics (Honours) program
    Assessment Typically, assignments & final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Duygu Yengin

    Dr Duygu Yengin
    Office hours: TBA in MyUni
    Office location: Nexus 10 Building, Level 4, Room 4.48
    Phone: 83134500
    Course Timetable

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

  • 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
    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
    The required textbook, if any, will be announced in MyUni and via email. Any academic articles to be covered will  also be announced in MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    You could buy the following recommended books or borrow them from the library. 

    • Public Economics, Gareth D.Myles, Cambridge University Press
    • The Theory of Externalities, Public Goods and Club Goods, Richard Cornes and Todd Sandler, Cambridge University Press
    • Lectures on Public Economics, Anthony Atkinson and Joseph E. Stiglitz, McGraw-Hill BookCo.
    • Public Goods, Theories and Evidence. Batina and Ihori. Springer-Verlag (available as online text through Adelaide Uni library)

    Online Learning
    The course makes extensive use of MyUni to post notes, assignments and for communication with the students.
  • 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 following topics will be covered. 
    • Introduction, 
    • General Equilibrium 
    • Taxation 
    • Provision of Public Goods.
    Depending on time constraints, the following topics may be also covered: income inequality and poverty, externalities, club goods etc.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Classroom discussions, presentations
  • 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
    Assignments 40%
    Final Presentation  50%
    Class Participation  10%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The assignments, unless specified as a group assignment, must be solved individually. You are free to consult external sources as long as you properly acknowledge them.
    Assessment Detail
    There will be a final presentation and a written report on allocated articles/topics. 

    Each student is also responsible for making 2 “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 5% each and will constitute the classroom participation mark.

    The due dates of assignments will be available in MyUni. 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.

    Additional Assessment

    If a student receives 45-49 for their final mark for the course they will automatically be granted an additional assessment. This will most likely be in the form of a new exam (Additional Assessment) and will have the same weight as the original exam unless an alternative requirement (for example a hurdle requirement) is stated in this semester’s Course Outline. If, after replacing the original exam mark with the new exam mark, it is calculated that the student has passed the course, they will receive 50 Pass as their final result for the course (no higher) but if the calculation totals less than 50, their grade will be Fail and the higher of the original mark or the mark following the Additional Assessment will be recorded as the final result.
  • 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
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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