Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT9020 (AF:312641 AR:186945)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
3rd Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course is among the Interdisciplinary ones of the Degree programme in Philosophy, International and Economic Studies. The main aim of the course is to provide an overview of the issues concerning the State's intervention in the economy. Emphasis will be placed on theoretical foundations of the economic analysis of government intervention and taxation. The course also illustates existing main welfare programmes, also in an international comparison perspective.
1. Knowledge and comprehension skills:
1.1. understanding the motivations of public intervention in the economy and how the collectivity can take into account objectives of equity and efficiency to make public choices and supply goods and services;
1.2. understanding how public goods and externalities influence the choices of economic agents and tools used by the State to bring the economy back to efficiency;
1.3. understanding the economic effects of taxes;
1.4. understanding the characteristics and the functioning of the main welafre programmes in western economies.

2. Applied knowledge and comprehension skills:
2.1. using social choice models to determine the efficiency and equity of public interventions;
2.3. knowing how to identify the degree of progressivity and redistribution of different taxes;
2.4. knowing how to apply and critically evaluating welfare programmes .

3. Use of independent judgment:
3.1. to interpret the motivations of public intervention;
3.2. to understand the effects of taxes and welfare programmes on agents' economic choices.
Having passed the Introduction to Economics course is advisable
1 The public sector in a mixed economy
1.1 Welfare Economics and social choice
1.2 Market failures
1.3 Public goods
1.4 Esternalities
1.5 Asymmetric Information
2 Taxation
2.1 Taxation theory and distributive principles
2.2 Issues in the design of personal income taxation
2.3 Distortionary effects of taxation
2.4 Tax incidence
3 Welfare programmes
3.1 Poverty, inequality, redistribution
3.2 Design and effects of Welfare programmes
Jonathan Gruber, Public Finance and Public Policy, last edition.
Additional teaching material made available in Moodle.
The exam is written and combines a series of questions in open form, exercises, graphical analyses or multiple choice questions.
As long as the exam will be held online due to the COVID-19 emergency, it will be a randomised test lasting about 30 minutes.
Otherwise, the written exam in presence lasts about 1h-1: 30h and involves 2 to 4 questions.
Examples will be given in Moodle.
There is no oral exam.

- The final grade of the task is given by the sum of the points obtained in the answers.
- The exam is passed if sum of points is at least 18.
- If the sum of the points exceeds 30 the "lode" will be awarded.
The course is organized in:
a) lectures,
b) active learning activites and classroom exercises
c) individual study.
Students are encouraged to attend classes in an active way, reading the chapters of the book before coming to class, and solving the exercises (available on the Moodle platform).
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 22/02/2021