Joint-honours information for 2017 entry

Public Economics

Module L1091

Module details for 2017/18.

15 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

This module provides students with a broad understanding of the scope of public economics ¿ the role played by the government in the economy. The focus is on the rationale for government intervention and the existence of the public sector. The module will address questions such as when should health or education be provided by the state or privately, should the government intervene in individuals pension and savings decisions. The module will combine theoretical and empirical approaches.
The first part of the module will begin by introducing the welfare-theoretic foundations of government intervention, the theory of externalities, sources of market failure, public goods, information failure and incomplete markets. The module will then develop the theory of public choice and political economy, the theory of taxation and social insurance. The final part of the module will examine specific examples of government interventions: e.g. healthcare, education, pensions, savings etc. In each field the module will also consider new behavioural considerations in understanding individual responses.

Module learning outcomes

Have demonstrated a systematic understanding of the those principles at the forefront of economics as they relate to economic problems and issues.

Have demonstrated a systematic understanding of the economic field of Public Economics.

Be able to use the power of abstraction to focus upon the essential features of an economic problem and to provide a systematic framework for the coherent and critical evaluation of the effects of policy or other exogenous events.

Be able to critically analyse an economic problem or issue using an appropriate theoretical framework, recognise its limitations and appreciate uncertainties around such analyses.

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
PresentationT1 Week 11 100.00%
Unseen ExaminationSemester 1 Assessment70.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterLecture2 hours11111111111
Autumn SemesterSeminar1 hour111111111110

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Annemie Maertens

Assess convenor

Please note that the University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver courses and modules in accordance with the descriptions set out here. However, the University keeps its courses and modules under review with the aim of enhancing quality. Some changes may therefore be made to the form or content of courses or modules shown as part of the normal process of curriculum management.

The University reserves the right to make changes to the contents or methods of delivery of, or to discontinue, merge or combine modules, if such action is reasonably considered necessary by the University. If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the University reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the University withdraws or discontinues a module, it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative module.