Public Economics - EC553

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
(version 3)
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6 15 (7.5) DR EJ Cartwright


EC500 Microeconomics and EC502 Macroeonomics





To understand and be able to evaluate the role played by government in the economy it is important to understand key elements of microeconomic analysis and then be able to apply this understanding to the practical evaluation of policy issues. Economic theory is typically a positive science with right and wrong answers but evaluating policy issues is a much more normative science where there are often no correct answers (just opinions). The module reflects these two sides of studying public economics.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

10 lectures
6 seminars

Method of assessment

10% In Course test
10% Essay (1500 words)
80% Examination (2 hours)

Preliminary reading

J Stiglitz, Economics of the Public Sector (3rd ed), Norton, 2000
J Cullis and P Jones, Public Finance and Public Choice, 2009
J Hindriks and G Myles, Intermediate Public Economics, 2006
N A Barr, The Economics of the Welfare State, Oxford UP, 2004

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

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.

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