Fall 2005 Course Description

Advanced Policy Economics

Section Title: Public Finance
Instructor(s): Shama Gamkhar
Course: P A 393L - Advanced Policy Economics
(previously Political Economy II)
Unique Number: 64199
Day & Time: Wednesdays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.110
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: This course seeks to develop student capabilities in the use of analytical tools for policy analysis and decision-making in the area of public finance. Throughout the course a mixture of theory and applications is used to give students general tools to evaluate contemporary public finance problems and policies. Students are expected to have an understanding of the material covered in an introductory microeconomics course and preferably an introductory public financial management course prior to enrolling in this class. The first half of the course will address fiscal policy and federalism issues in the demand and supply of public goods and services. This section will first provide the principles of public economics and then consider various applications to policy issues such as: (1) Public sector productivity (2) Privatization; and; (3) State and local economic development issues.

The second half of the course will address policy issues on the revenue side: (1) Tax analysis and its application to state and local taxes and user fees/charges; (2) Capital financing by state and local level governments and; (3) Intergovernmental grants. This section will examine issues such as the equity, economic efficiency, and development impact of various types of taxes (income tax, property tax, sales and business taxes), the economic effects of alternative methods of financing public investment primarily at the state and local government level, and the program effects of intergovernmental grants.

The course format will primarily be a combination of lectures, discussions and student- presentations. The assignments will include project work (group) and a research paper to be written individually by the students on a topic or their choice, but related to the course content. There will also be a take home final exam.

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