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ES50124: Public finance

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Economics
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework 1 (CW 30%)
  • Coursework 2 (CW 40%)
  • Coursework 3 (CW 30%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
To provide students with practical knowledge and understanding of policy issues in public finance;
To make students familiar with main analytical concepts and principles in public finance;
To enable students to apply economic tools to analyse constructively main issues in public finance.

Learning Outcomes:
After successful completion of this unit, students should be able to
(i) give an economic analysis of main issues in public finance;
(ii) understand and critically assess policy debates in public finance.

Abstract reasoning (FA); problem solving skills (FA); diagrammatic skills (FA); information synthesis (FA); writing skills (FA).

The main focus of this unit is on taxation and its effects on economy and society more generally. We begin with the study of welfare costs of taxation, its economic and social outcomes, tax incidence, and optimal commodity and income taxation. We continue with the discussion of the role of taxation in correcting for negative externalities, budget deficit and public debt, tax evasion and avoidance, choice between taxation and government borrowing. We also study alternative methods for public revenue generation such as Internet crowdfunding.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

ES50124 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Economics


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
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