ECON 3525 - Economic Policy Analysis III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

In this course students will cumulatively write an evaluation of an economic policy. This course is the capstone experience for students in the BEc. For this, students will be applying their knowledge from core economics courses such as Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics to evaluate economic policy. This experience will enable students to comment on economic policy questions in a rigorous and informed manner.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 3525
    Course Economic Policy Analysis III
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites ECON 2507 & ECON 2506
    Incompatible ECON 3523
    Assumed Knowledge ECON 2504
    Restrictions Available only to BEc students
    Assessment Typically, progress reports and a final presentation
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Steven Hail

    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. Provide a balanced and coherent discussion of conceptual, methodological and ethical issues underlying the identification, selection, implementation and evaluation of a variety of micro and macro-economic policy proposals.
    2. Apply what has been learned during the first two years of their undergraduate studies in economics to the description and evaluation of either specific economic policies, or sets of economic policies, relating to three major economic issues: innovation, inequality and environment.
    3. Construct effective reports, both individually and in groups, of a professional standard, to communicate the results of their analysis to non-economists.
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Students are requested to obtain the following inexpensive e-book, which will be used on the course in 2019:

    Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth
    Michael Jacobs (Editor), Mariana Mazzucato (Editor)
    ISBN: 978-1-119-12095-7 August 2016 Wiley-Blackwell 224 Pages

    In this book some of the world’s leading economists propose new ways of thinking about capitalism. In clear and compelling prose, each chapter shows how today’s deep economic problems reflect the inadequacies of orthodox economic theory and the failure of policies informed by it. The chapters examine a range of contemporary economic issues, including fiscal and monetary policy, financial markets and business behaviour, inequality and privatisation, and innovation and environmental change. The authors set out alternative economic approaches which better explain how capitalism works, why it often doesn’t, and how it can be made more innovative, inclusive and sustainable. Outlining a series of far-reaching policy reforms, Rethinking Capitalism offers a powerful challenge to mainstream economic debate, and new ideas to transform it.

    "Thought provoking and fresh - this book challenges how we think about economics.”
    Gillian Tett, Financial Times  

    Other readings and other resources will be provided on the MyUni site.
    Recommended Resources
    The following books are relevant, accessible, and relatively inexpensive:

    Mazzucato, Mariana. 2015. The Entrepreneurial State - Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths. New York: Public Affairs. 

    Atkinson, Anthony B. 2015. Inequality - What can be done? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Raworth, Kate. 2017. Doughnut Economics - Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. London: Random House.
    Online Learning
    MyUni -

    A variety of online Resources will be provided via the above site, during the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The lectures will summarise and review important economic concepts and principles relating to the issues which students are required to research and write about. There will sometimes - although not always -  be one class-room based lecture a week, with the other lecture slot taken up by a relevant presentation given by a prominent economist, which is available on-line. During other weeks, both lectures will be class-room based.

    The tutorials will allow for students to discuss these issues, to present their ideas to their fellow students and tutors, and to provide feedback to their fellow students.

    Attendance of tutorials is compulsory for all students taking this course.

    Attendance of lectures is highly recommended.

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

    Lectures - some may be on-line lectures given by lecturers outside the University of Adelaide: 2 Hours per week. 

    Tutorials: 1 Hour per week.

    Research and writing expectation: 6 Hours per week.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1: Lectures - Introduction to Economic Policy Analysis III; No Tutorials

    Weeks 2-3: Lectures and Tutorials - The Purpose of Economic Policy (Course Learning Outcome 1).

    Weeks 4-5: Lectures and Tutorials - Economic Policy and Inequality (Course Learning Outcome 2 and 3).

    Weeks 6-8: Lectures and Tutorials - Economic Policy and Innovation (Course Learning Outcomes 2 and 3).

    Weeks 9-10: Lectures and Tutorials - Economic Policy and Environment (Course Learning Outcomes 2 and 3).

    Weeks 11-12: Lectures and Tutorials - Presentations (Course Learning Outcomes 1, 2 and 3).
  • 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 Task Task Type Length Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Essay: On the purpose of economic policy Individual 2,000 words, excluding references Friday of Week 5 15% 1, 2 and 3
    Extended journalism: Economic policy and innovation Individual 2,000 words, excluding references Due on the Friday of Week 9 15%
    1, 2 and 3
    Economic journalism: Economic policy and environment Individual 1,000 words, excluding references Due on the Friday of Week 12 15% 1, 2 and 3
    Formal Report and Presentation: Economic Policy and Inequality Group 5,000 words, excluding references Due on the Friday of Week 10 30%
    (Report 20%)  (Presentation 10%)

    1, 2 and 3
    Tutorial Participation Individual N/A Throughout Semester 10%

    1 and 2
    Tutorial Presentations Individual N/A Throughout Semester 15%
    1 and 2
    The group assignment must be completed in groups of 3 or 4 students, with all students in a group drawn from the same tutorial.

    There is no final examination.

    To pass this course, students need to secure an overall mark of at least 50%.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    To pass this course, students need to secure an overall mark of at least 50%.

    There is no final examination.
    Assessment Detail

    1) Short Individual Essay: 2,000 words – suggested limit (Due: Friday of Week 5).   15% Weight.

    What should be the purpose of economic policy, and what role can and should economists play in guiding economic policy decisions.

    2) Balanced and Directed Individual Extended Piece of Journalism: 2,000 words – strict limit (Due: Friday of Week 9). 15% Weight.

    What role should the Government play in the promotion of technological change and innovation? Assess the effectiveness of current and past innovation policies in Australia.

    3)  Major Group Report: Inequality and Policy in Australia : 5,000 words– strict limit (Due: Friday of Week 10). 30% Weight (20% for the report and 10% for the presentation).

    How unequal is Australia? What forms does this inequality take? What has happened to the degree of inequality in Australia over time? How does Australia compare with other high income countries? What are the main social and economic drivers of inequality? What are the main social and economic consequences of inequality? What impact have previous economic policy decisions had on inequality in Australia? Recently, both a Universal Basic Income and a Job Guarantee have been suggested as possible policy measures, to address inequality and other issues. Consider the arguments for and against each of these proposals. Assess the impact of current economic policies on inequality, and provide recommended options for policy reforms.

    4) Individual Opinion Journalism: 1,000 words-strict limit (Due: Friday of Week 12).  15% Weight.

    Provide a piece of economics journalism related in some way to environmental issues, ecological economics and policy. You should be arguing from a particular point of view. Your arguments should be well-researched and supported by evidence. You may choose the topic yourself. If it is deemed to be irrelevant, you will lose marks.

    5) Tutorial Presentations (15%)  and Participation (10%). 25% Weight.

    All assessments are to be submitted electronically on the MyUni site, by the dates listed in the Assessment Summary above.
    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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