First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Economics and Political Science
Course unit
EPP6077342, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
EP2422, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2018/19
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Degree course track ECONOMICS [002PD]
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination ADVANCED PUBLIC ECONOMICS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Economics and Management
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit


ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines SECS-P/03 Finance 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
1 Commissione AA 2018/19 01/10/2018 30/09/2019 GRECO LUCIANO GIOVANNI (Presidente)
BUSO MARCO (Membro Effettivo)
DOSI CESARE (Membro Effettivo)
MANENTI FABIO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Mathematics for Economics, Advanced Microeconomics, Advanced Macroeconomics, Advanced Econometrics
Target skills and knowledge: 1. Competences:
- Understanding of the foundations, objectives and limits of government policies;
- Understanding of the tools of government policies for redistribution across individuals and generations (i.e., income and consumption taxation, social expenditure, social security, public debt);
- Understanding of the nature of the trade-off between equity and efficiency of public policies as related to informational constraints and market incompleteness;
- Understanding of the principles of optimal design of government policies in the terms of equity-efficiency trade-off;
- Understanding of the link between fiscal policy, public debt management, and the microstructure of primary and secondary government bond markets.
2. Skills:
- Capacity to read and understand the state-of-the-art theoretical and empirical economic literature in the fields of optimal taxation, public provision of social services, dynamic fiscal policy;
- Capacity to solve simple static and dynamic optimization problems that characterize government decisions in the field of redistribution and fiscal policies;
- Capacity to interpret theoretical and empirical results in the field of redistribution and fiscal policies;
- Capacity to organize and communicate questions, methods and results of empirical and theoretical research in economics;
3. Transversal competences:
- Ability to organize and participate in working groups;
- Capacity to provide original and interesting contributions in the framework of classes, seminars, and instruction visits.
Examination methods: The achievement of competences and skills is verified by a written exam, students' seminars, and integrative activities.
1) The written exam is based on questions to verify the understanding of theoretical and empirical issues analyzed during lectures and the capacity to solve simple optimization problems about taxation, social expenditure, dynamic public finance.
2) Students have to select theoretical or empirical papers from a list given by the instructor and then prepare a seminar to be given during special classes. (Depending on the number of students attending the course, students may be asked to form groups to fulfill this task, according to guidelines issued by the instructor).
3) Students have to attend integrative lectures on public debt management and, possibly, participate to the instruction visit to be organized at the Treasury Department of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance in Rome.
Assessment criteria: The final evaluation is a weighted sum of the evaluation of the written exam (40%), students' seminars (40%) and participation (i.e., class interaction and attendance of integrative activities on public debt management: 20%).
Evaluation criteria aim at promoting: the most comprehensive acquisition of above mentioned competences and skills; the proper use of technical language, and theoretical and empirical tools; the capacity to understand how to use acquired knowledge; clear written and oral presentation of arguments.
Course unit contents: The course analyzes the objectives and the tools of public policies. Departing from the classical theory of state intervention grounded on market failures, the course explores the nature and the implications of the economic failures of the State for the analysis of public expenditure, taxation and public finance. The role of taxation and expenditure policies to counter inequality and to complete (insurance) markets is considered, focusing on implications in terms of efficiency. Integrative activities cover issues in Public Debt Management.

1. Introduction State failures
1.1. Issues in welfare economics
1.2. Issues in political failures of the State
1.3. Introduction to economic failures of the State
2. Income and Commodity Taxation
2.1. Second best redistribution
2.2. Optimal income taxation
2.3. Optimal income and commodity taxation
3. Social Services
3.1. Public provision of private goods and redistribution efficiency
3.2. Taxation and social services, a comprehensive approach
4. Introduction to Dynamic Public Finance
4.1. Intertemporal fiscal policy: redistribution and efficiency
4.2. Issues in Social Security
4.3. Issues in Public Debt

Integrative lectures on Public debt management
I.1. Macroeconomics of public debt
I.2. Public debt management
I.3. Instruction visit of the Italian Treasury
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures
Instruction visit to the Italian Treasury - Ministry of Economy and Finance
Additional notes about suggested reading: Slides and selected readings
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Peer feedback
  • Peer assessment

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)
  • Latex
  • Matlab

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Decent Work and Economic Growth Reduced Inequalities Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions