Public Finance is a field of study that explores the role of government in the economy, with a focus on the collection and allocation of public funds. This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts and tools of public finance, and examines the various ways in which governments at different levels (national, state/provincial, and local) raise revenue, allocate resources, and redistribute income.
Topics covered in this course may include:
- The theory of public goods and externalities
- Taxation and tax policy, including the design and evaluation of different tax systems
- Public expenditure, including the economics of public spending and the analysis of public sector efficiency
- Fiscal federalism and intergovernmental transfers
- Social insurance programs, such as social security and Medicare
- Public debt and its implications for macroeconomic stability
- The political economy of public finance, including the influence of interest groups and public choice theory
Throughout the course, students will be expected to apply theoretical concepts to real-world situations, using case studies and data analysis to explore the complex issues facing policymakers in the realm of public finance. By the end of the course, students should have a solid understanding of the key principles and debates in the field, and be able to critically evaluate policy proposals related to taxation, spending, and fiscal management.