SSST Subjects

EC 445 Public Sector Economics


Programme(s) where module is offered

  • BSc in Economics with International Business
  • BSc in Economics with Finance

Status (core, option, free choice)



FHEQ Level



Unit Value



Semester taught



Pre-Requisite Modules or Qualifications

Introduction to Microeconomics (EC 110),

Introduction to Macroeconomics (EC 130)


Module Code

EC 445


Module coordinator

Goran Mirascic


Applicable From



Educational Aims of the Module

  • This module is designed to introduce students to the issues of public economics, with special emphasis on taxation, various tax policies and structure, public spending and providing public goods and social insurance.
  • It considers the reasons for public sector invention in the economy and the effects of government intervention on economic outcomes.
  • This will prepare students to be informed users of public sector data, and thus, equip students to engage constructively in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of public sector policies.
  • Further understanding of the above mentioned terms and concepts will be additionally requested through a number of in-class discussions of the current issues and assignments conducted by students individually or in small groups.

Module Outline/Syllabus

  • The Public Sector in a Mixed Economy

  • The Public Sector in the US

  • Market Efficiency

  • Market Failure

  • Efficiency and Equity

  • Public Goods and Publicly Provided Private Goods

  • Public Choice

  • Public Production and Bureaucracy

  • Externalities and the Environment

  • The Analysis of Expenditure Policy

  • Cost – Benefit Analysis

  • Health Care

  • Defence and Technology

  • Social Insurance

  • Welfare Programs and the Redistribution of Income

  • Education

  • Introduction to Taxation

  • Tax Incidence

  • Taxation and Economic Efficiency

  • Optimal Taxation

  • Taxation of Capital

  • The Personal Income Tax

  • The Corporation Income Tax

  • Tax Avoidance

  • Reform of the Tax System

  • Fiscal Federalism

  • State and Local Taxes and Expenditures

  • Deficit Finance


Student Engagement Hours

Type Number per Term Duration Total Time


15 2 30


15 2 30


Total Guided/Independent Learning Hours 140
Total Contact Hours 60
Total Engagement Hours 200

Assessment Method Summary

Type Number Required Duration / Length Weighting Timing / Submission Deadline

Final exam


3 hours


Week 17

Mid-semester test


2 hours


Week 9

 Group project: Policy formulation and theoretical description of steps needed for policy implementation

(including presentation)


Written part: 1000 words


Presentation: 15 minutes

Written part: 15%


Presentation: 5%

Week 14

Individual report


1000 words


Week 5


Module Outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • To comprehend the most important terms from the field of Public Sector Economics.

  • Identify and explain the various types of market failure that provide a justification for government interventions

  • Critically evaluate the main policy instruments used to mitigate market failures

  • Accurately describe different policy implications of good/bad government interventions

  • Explain the systematic limitations of government intervention e.g. presence of information problems and the role of public bureaucracy

  • Identify the trade-offs (efficiency vs. equality) captured by public economics models;

  • Demonstrate ability to conduct a research to collect information from variety of sources and provide information related to solutions in familiar and unfamiliar context.

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Lectures will be based on the key text book with additional readings from supplementary resources. The reading material will be combined with the aim of better comprehension of lectures named in the course outline. (ILO: 1-6)

  • In-class exercises with appropriate tools and practice problems (ILO: 2-6)

  • Individual Project assignment is used for self-study engagement. (1-6)

  • Group project aims to integrate theoretical concepts with practical skills (ILO: 1-7)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Midterm test and Final exam (ILO: 1-6)

  • Individual and group projects (ILO:1-7)

Practical Skills:

  • Ability to create reports from the field of Public Sector Economics

  • Ability to engage constructively in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of public sector policies.

  • Ability to (theoretically) apply knowledge from the field of Public Sector Economics to the real-life concerns

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • IT Lab exercises with tutor-lead support

  • Individual project assignment (PS: 1)

  • Group project (PS: 2-3)(PS: 1-3)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Written Exams (PS: 2-3)

  • Individual Project (PS: 1)

  • Group project (PS: 2-3)

Transferable Skills:

  • A problem-centered and problem-solving approach

  • Ability to effectively present own and others’ point of view

  • Numeracy Skills

  • Communication Skills: written and oral

  • Presentation Skills

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • IT Lab exercises (TS: 1-4)

  • Individual Project (TS: 1-5)

Assessment Strategy:

  • Individual Project assignment (TS:1-5)

  • Written examination (TS:1-4)


Key Texts and/or other learning materials

Set text

  • Joseph E. Stiglitz, Rosengard, J., (2015), Economics of the Public Sector, 4th edition, W.W. Norton & Company

Supplementary Materials

Please note

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the module and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided.

More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module and programme can be found in the departmental or programme handbook.

The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by the University of Buckingham and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Date of Production : April 2017

Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee

Date approved by School Board of Study

Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee

Date of Annual Review


Posjeti nas

Hrasnička cesta 3a, Sarajevo, 71 000

Bosna i Hercegovina

Prijemni ispiti se održavaju na SSST-u, od aprila do septembra, sa početkom u 9:00 časova.


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Fax: +387 33 975 030

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