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Public Economics, National Research University Higher School of Economics

62 ratings
10 reviews

About this Course

This course offers an introduction into the public economics theory. It does not aspire to cover theories of taxation, public expenditures, regulation etc. at length and in-depth. Rather, our ambition is to give a bird's-eye view of central themes of public economics and related disciplines, and teach concepts, logic, and ideas, rather than methods of analysis, which would require an entirely different course format. Our choice of topics covered by the course reflects a trade-off between salience and centrality, on the one hand, and suitability for a brief online introductory course, on the other. The course content is neither comprehensive (which would be a "mission impossible" for virtually any public economics course"), nor representative of other such courses. With these limitations and caveats in mind, we encourage our students to continue their public economics studies in a more regular fashion, and see our role inter alia in motivating interest in such "continued education". The central theme of the course is the role of government as a mechanism of resource allocation which complements and augments markets. Governments are viewed as public agencies set to correct market failures. Such agencies however are prone to failures of their own, and hence markets and governments are two imperfect alternatives. We deal with government's limitations, with particular emphasis on those that have to do with informational asymmetry, limited administrative capacity, and imperfect accountability to society. Otherwise the course's man themes are economics of taxation, regulation, politics of public economics, incentives in government, and government vis-à-vis (civil) society....

Top reviews


Dec 12, 2018

This course is an exceptional.\n\nThanks for your offering.

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10 Reviews

By Ahmed Salad Tifow

Dec 12, 2018

This course is an exceptional.

Thanks for your offering.

By Gianluca conti

Nov 14, 2018

excellent course!

By carlos andres merlano porras

Jul 11, 2018

The public economics course is an excellent course with novel concepts about public economics, most of them from recent academic journals. Nonetheless, it does not offer enough practice exercises taking on that some of the economic concepts are too complex to digest and some of the questions from the quizzes and the final exam are very difficult to solve, while the lectures do not offer much help in this regard. Another issue with this course is that it is difficult to receive feedback from the debate forums to solve doubts, which are going to be plenty throughout the course. Finally, the public economics course has an excessive academic focus, requiring a more practical approach with real live examples.

By Osman hasan osman

May 08, 2018

Very good i gett many benefit

By Patrick Cage

Feb 08, 2018

This course may be good for those that want a highly theoretical and model-oriented grounding in public economics. This course is very focused on models of public economic questions developed in academic papers. You learn the structure of the models, the question it is expected to answer, the results of the model. You learn the terminology as well. The professor could also spend more time discussing key concepts before diving into the models. When he does emerge from the series of models, it is often to make vague and general comments about the nature of government. Additionally, the problem sets for the course require the user to solve math problems with these models. However, there are only sometimes actual examples where these models are solved, making the quizzes very challenging. The course could benefit from these mathematical examples as well as case studies or at least examples for when the concept being discussed arises.

I work in international policymaking (environmental policy) specifically, so I was hoping for a course that would speak to more of the real challenges and questions around the economics of public good provision and the role of government in facilitating public good access. This course is solely academically focused - it does not address this practical matters, nor does it discuss the degree to which the models have been validated and/or challenged. As a result, it will be useful as a resume-builder, but unfortunately, I do not expect I will use the skill set from this class in the future.

By Анастасия Ясинская

Dec 18, 2017

Курс будет полезен и понятен, если вы гуманитарий :)

By thakurdev

May 29, 2017

Very good and challenging course.

By Yuming Zhang

May 21, 2017

This is a brilliant course!I love it!

By wangwei

Feb 08, 2017


By Issah Quarmson

Oct 18, 2016