Economics | Public Finance: Government Spending
E361 | 1736 | Orr

Economics ,  Public Finance: Government Spending
E361 ,  1736 ,  Orr

P: E321 or consent of instructor.

This course examines the role of public sector spending and
regulation in a market based economy.  The primary criteria for
analysis and evaluation are the goals of efficiency (the optimal
use of scarce resources) and equity (the "fairness" of the
distribution of resources).  Topics covered are:

1. Review and extensions of economic theory

-The theory of public goods and externalities as the basis for
government and other collectives.
-The theory of public choice as a basis for understanding
public sector decision making.
-Cost benefit analysis as a basis for assessing the
effectiveness of public sector spending and regulation.

2. A description and analysis of selected public sector spending
and regulatory programs

-Social Security
-Other Income Transfer Programs
-Health Care
-Environment and Safety Regulation

Reading assignments are from a standard public finance textbook,
and from a series of articles discussing current spending and
regulatory policy issues.  Short problem sets and writing
exercises are regularly assigned.  There are two midterms and a

Weights for Final Grade: Midterms, 40%; Final 32%; Problems,
short papers 28%.