Class: MWR 2:30pm – 3:20pm, Cornett A121
Prof: Elisabeth Gugl Office Hours:
Wednesday 3:30 – 5:00pm
This course provides a general introduction to the economics of government expenditures and taxation. We will consider the role of government in the economy and use economic analysis to predict and verify the effect of government intervention on the behavior of individuals, households and firms. We will discuss the implications of policy for efficiency and equity. Throughout the course, relevant Canadian and international public policy will be discussed.
Students are advised to complete relevant text readings before the lecture. The following is a rough schedule of the course. We may deviate from this schedule. I also indicate the related chapters in the recommended textbook. Note that the chapters may sometimes cover more or less than what we cover in class. Examinations are based on material covered in class.
Introduction: The Role of Government in the Economy Chapter 1 in textbook
A. Sen. 1985. “The Moral Standing of the Market” Social Philosophy and Policy. 2(2), 1-19.
J. Ferris and S. Winer. (2007) “Just How Much Bigger is Government in Canada? A Comparative Analysis of the Size and Structure of the Public Sectors in Canada and the United States, 1929-2004.” Canadian Public Policy, 33(2), 1-34.
An Economic Analysis of Democracy Chapter 8 in textbook
Plurality Rule under scrutiny. To read Martin Osborne’s article click here.
“The Oscar goes to” article on voting for best picture click here
Analysis of Public Expenditures
Public Goods Chapter 4 in textbook
Experimental Evidence of the free-rider problem. An article by Andreoni. An article by Falkinger, Fehr, Gaechter and Winter-Ebmer.
Aaron Swartz and public goods
Externalities Chapter 5 in textbook
Worldwide Pigou-tax to tackle Global Warming. An article by Joseph Stiglitz.
David Suzuki on Externalities, Economics, and the Environment. Suzuki calls economics "a form of brain damage".
An economist responds to Suzuki in the Globe and Mail.
Analysis of Taxation Chapters 15-20 in textbook
Lecture notes: Taxation and Income Distribution
Inequality in Canada: article by Fortin et al.
Video clips on Progressive Income Taxation:
This clip is from the TV Show “The West Wing”
This clip is from the White House from the Obama Adminstration I.
Lecture notes: Tax Incidence, DWL of Commodity Tax, HST, BC Carbon Tax
Carbon Tax and Regressivity an interview with Krishna Pendakur
The Return to the HST in BC, op-ed in the Globe and Mail
Public Expenditures in Canada Chapters 6; 10-14 in textbook
Lecture notes: Income Redistribution and Social Welfare Programs
“Relatively Deprived” Defining the minimum living standard.
How Stats Can calculates the Low Income Cut off
This clip shows the actual distribution of income in the US, what people think it looks like, and what people think it should look like. Hat tip to James Squire!
Take a ride on the New York Subway and find out about the distribution of income along different lines.
Chetty, Friedman, Saez “Using Differences in Knowledge Across Neighborhoods to Uncover the Impact of the EITC on Earnings”
Lecture notes: Employment Insurance
Discussion about Canadian Public Pension enlargement. Click here
2 Practice Exams for Final Exam
Exam Answer Keys