ECO 321 • Public Economics
In this course we will explore competing views on the proper role of government in the economy. We will study the effects of tax and spending policies, taking into account private agents' response to government actions and the ways government officials may use their powers. In particular, we will focus on the goals of such policies, and whether those goals are achieved given the rules. This is important because private agents(consumers and producers) most often have different objectives than the government, and may be able to exploit the system to their gain at the expense of the governments goals. We will study real world examples of government polices including, but not limited to, applications to public education, pollution control, public housing, and welfare. To fulfill the substantial writing course requirements, students will be require to write four 4-5 page papers. These papers will study public policy using economic methods. Possible topics include public funding of sports stadiums, education funding, school choice, pollution control, or government subsidies.