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ECON 205
Public Economics Fall 2020
Division II

Class Details

This course examines the role of the government in a market economy. We consider three broad issues: under what conditions is government intervention in the economy appropriate? When merited what is the most effective form of intervention? What effects do government policies have on incentives and behavior? In addition to a theoretical perspective, we will discuss particular government spending programs in the United States, including Social Security, various types of publicly-provided insurance, spending on education, and public assistance for the poor. Finally, we will study how the government raises revenue through taxation. We will discuss the principles that guide tax design and consider the effects of the tax code on behavior. In the fall of 2020, special consideration will be given to policy responses to public health crises, including Covid-19.
The Class: Format: seminar; Lecture / discussion format. Fall 2020: in some weeks, we will meet as a full group for one 75 minute block (in person if possible) and break into smaller groups for one hour discussion sections (most likely remote); section times will be arranged at the beginning of the term.
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 2376
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: problem sets, short writing assignments, participation in discussion and activities, midterm exam, and final exercise
Prerequisites: ECON 110
Enrollment Preferences: Prospective economics and political economy majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: PHLH Decision-Making by Institutions + Individuals
POEC U.S. Political Economy + Public Policy Course

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