Public Finance

Professor: Light
Units: 0.5
Elective Course
Concentration: Economic Analysis

This course is intended to provide an overview of public finance theory as well as a review of current research in a number of applied public finance areas. The first part of the course will cover the theory of public goods, externalities, and optimal taxation. This portion of the course is intended to give students exposure to concepts and analytical methods which are often used and referenced in public finance research. These tools are useful for both analyzing existing policies and guiding the development of new policies.

The second part of the course is designed to give students broad exposure to current research on public finance issues. In this section of the course, we will study transfer programs for the poor, education and transportation finance policy, policy options for dealing with environmental externalities, and the regulation of addictive goods. Additionally, students will give presentations during the last two lectures on public finance research they have conducted in areas of their choice.