ECON4405 Public Economics

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit develops the advanced economic analysis needed to understand and evaluate policies across a range of public policy issues. The unit has four general themes: 1) Public Economics and Social Welfare; 2) Public Choice, Collective Action and Inequality; 3) Taxing, Spending and Fiscal Federalism; and 4) Policy Cases in Public Economics. The unit will provide students with the theoretical base to enable them to critically reflect on all of four of these themes in a rigorous and scholarly manner.
Students are able to (1) explain advanced concepts related to public economics; (2) critically question public policies and the absence thereof, keeping in mind all possible consequences on the entire population; (3) identify the roles that cost–benefit analysis and the valuation of non-market benefits and costs play in policy decisions; (4) assess the relative merits of different public policy options based on consideration of both efficiency and equity grounds; and (5) demonstrate the capability to write and speak clearly and concisely on public policy issues.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) assignment; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Prof. Tim Krieger
Unit rules
Enrolment in the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) (BH002)
completion of 144 points in the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) (BH005)
enrolment in the Master of Economics (42620).
Contact hours
lectures/tutorials/seminars/workshops: up to 3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.