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Economics: Public Policy

EC 130 OL1 (CRN: 61918)

3 Credit Hours

About EC 130 OL1

Revenues and expenditures of federal, state, and local governments and intergovernmental relationships; the effects of expenditures and taxation upon individuals, business institutions, and the national economy. Prerequisites: EC 011, EC 012.

Instructor

Notes

Dates: June 20 - July 15, 2022

More Information

Section Description

This is an online course, which means that there are no meeting times. The course material is entirely delivered through Blackboard. In this course, we explore the role of the government in the economy, studying the theory, tools and practice of public finance. We answer basic questions such as: When should the government intervene in the economy? How might the government intervene? What are the effects of those interventions? The course is organized around six modules: • In Module 1, we study the basic theoretical tools of public finance that rely on microeconomics to describe economic choices and assess the effects of public policies. • In Module 2, we examine the role of the government in providing public goods such as education and study the costs and benefits of government programs. • In Module 3, we study the role of the government in addressing externalities such as environmental and health externalities, and the consequences of government interventions. • In Module 4, we study a more recent role of the government, which is to provide insurance. We cover the theory of social insurance and focus on Social Security. • In Module 5, we review the main health insurance programs in the US, including public and private health insurance. • In Module 6, we study how the government raises revenue. We study the theory of taxation to understand tax policies and their consequences. We focus on the equity and efficiency implications of taxation. We explore the effects of taxation on behaviors and their consequences for potential tax reforms.

Section Expectation

The course provides a study plan including homework and exam dates. The course is organized as follows. (1) Students are required to read textbook chapters and articles. (2) Students are required to watch the pre-recorded lectures and videos. (3) Lecture notes are posted. (4) Homework assignments are completed by students at the end of each module. (5) Three exams are assigned (one after modules 1 & 2, one after modules 3 & 4, and one after modules 5 & 6). Whenever possible, exam questions are randomized and do not allow backtracking as per the economics department policy. LEARNING OBJECTIVES After this course, you should be able to: • Describe the features of the main public policy programs in the USA, • Upgrade your technical skills to approach public policy issues as an economist, • Apply economic tools to understand the consequences of government intervention in the economy, • Discuss the pros and cons of government programs and public policy reforms. REQUIRED COURSE MATERIAL Gruber, J. Public Finance and Public Policy, 6th edition, Worth Publishers. You can either purchase or rent the ebook online. You do not need to purchase their website access. We will not use their website. Instead, you will complete your homework through Blackboard, which is free. Reference: eBook: https://www.amazon.com/Public-Finance-Policy-Jonathan-Gruber-ebook/dp/B07RTZFWZ2/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_1?keywords=Gruber%2C+J.+Public+Finance+and+Public+Policy%2C+6th+edition%2C+Worth+Publishers&qid=1563980319&s=digital-text&sr=1-1-fkmr2

Evaluation

ASSESSMENTS Homework assignments (40% of the total performance). Three exams (60% of the total performance, each worth 20%). MEETING DEADLINES, EXAM DATES, AND GRADE APPEALS Homework due dates and exams dates are announced in advance in the schedule. Homework assignments needs to be turned in on time for full credit. Late homework turned in 24 hours late is marked 50% off. After this, homework solutions are posted and homework cannot be turned in anymore. Exams can be rescheduled in rare exceptions, including planned athletic or religious event provided within the deadlines specified by the university, ACCESS accommodation, or Student’s Dean’s Office excuses (which covers illness). There are no additional assignments or tests beyond those provided for everyone during the semester within the deadlines specified in the study plan. If you would like to contest a grade, please follow the procedures outlined in this policy: https://www.uvm.edu/policies/student/gradeappeals.pdf Standard grade scale: >=97%: A+ >=87%: B+ >=77%: C+ >=67%: D+ >=93%: A >=83%: B >=73%: C >=63%: D >=90%: A- >=80%: B- >=70%: C- >=60%: D- < 60%: F

Meetings

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Location

Online (View Campus Map)

Important Dates

Deadlines
Last Day to Add
Last Day to Drop
Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw

Resources

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