Public Economics - EC553

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 3)
Spring 6 15 (7.5) DR F Leite Lopez de Leon checkmark-circle


The module focuses on the role of the government in the economy. It uses the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to study the impact of government policies on individual behaviour and the distribution of resources in the economy.

The module explores the economic arguments for and against government intervention in the economy, also introducing insights from behavioural economics into the analysis and design of public policies.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 16 hours
Private study hours: 134
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Essay (1250 words) (20%)

Examination, 2 hours (80%)

Indicative reading

• Barr, N. (2012), The Economics of the Welfare State (5th ed.), OUP.
• Cullis, J. and P. Jones (2009), Public Finance and Public Choice (3rd ed.), McGraw-Hill.
• Hindriks, J. and G. Myles (2013), Intermediate Public Economics (2nd ed.), MIT.
• Stiglitz, J. (2015), Economics of the Public Sector (4th ed.), Norton.
• Congdon, William J., Jeffrey R. Kling and Sendhil Mullainathan (2011). Policy and Choice. Public finance through the lens of behavioral economics. Brookings Institution Press, Washington D.C.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you will be able to:

• elaborate on the economic arguments for and against government provision of goods
• discuss the problems associated with collective decision making
• apply economic theory in evaluating policy questions on issues such as health and education.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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