This course is an introductory course in Public Sector Economics. It provides an overview of the most important topics in Public Sector Economics, such as: microeconomic foundations (externalities, failures of a competitive market, experimental evidence), social welfare and theory of public choice, education, social security (with examples from current research agenda), taxation, fiscal policy (including debt analysis). The course is designed in a way that allows students develop tools of analysis of topics in Public Sector Economics and contribute to class-based discussions.
In terms of structure of the course, in the beginning microeconomic foundations are considered. Students are presented with notions of public goods, externalities, asymmetric information, and imperfect competition. In this context failures of competitive markets are studied. Among other empirical studies, evidence from Experimental Economics is recalled in order to motivate further progress.
In the second part of the course topics of taxation are considered. Efficiency of taxation and social welfare considerations are of main interest, in particular students consider various aspects of income, wealth, and goods taxation. In particular, implications of taxation on economic growth are considered. Voting-dependence and economics of public debt are also mentioned.
In the final part of the course public expenditures on education and social security are analyzed in detail. This part of the course is supplemented with issues of inequality and wealth redistribution. Insights from Behavioral Economics in terms of policy design are presented. Research agenda in that regard is outlined.
It is assumed that all applicants have completed 2 years of undergraduate training in Economics, i.e. they are familiar with basic theories in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Students should usually have at least 3 Economics courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. This must include courses in both Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. We will only consider University/College level courses.
Scholarship - Scottish Summer Endeavour
Scholarship application opens on 1st December
Scottish Summer Endeavour Scholarships are offered to students from all countries who can display evidence of outstanding academic merit.
The scholarships are competitive and awarded broadly on the basis of academic merit. A minimum of 3.3 GPA or equivalent is required and evidence of this must be provided along with your application.
In order to apply, you should be a full-time university/college student who can demonstrate that you meet the academic and language requirements of your preferred course.
1. Choose the course you are interested in.
2. Go to your preferred programme page and select ‘click here to apply now’, located towards the top right of your screen. This will enable you to request an application form and further guidance regarding the application process.
2. Fill out the application form and attach the documents required in order to support your application. This will include the following:
- one letter of recommendation provided by your academic referee (no longer than 500 words)
- (interim) degree transcripts
- Evidence of an internationally recognised English language qualification (if appropriate).
4. Send back the application form stating in your email that you would like to apply for the Scottish Summer Endeavour Scholarship.
5. Remember to enclose any other documents that will support your application.