Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit develops the advanced economic analysis needed to justify and evaluate public policies. The unit offers both theoretical frameworks and empirical methods to understand a wide range of issues in public economics, including public goods, externality, asymmetric information, tax incidence, tax evasion, efficiency and equity of taxation, optimal taxation, income inequality, social security and pension, intergovernmental fiscal relations, application of big data and machine learning to public policies.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Philosophy, Politics and Economics [Bachelor of Arts (Honours)]

Students are able to (1) understand the key issues in public economic policies; (2) identify the theory needed to analyse these issues and then learn how to conduct analysis using relevant economics models and empirical methods; (3) write both descriptive and analytical reports on the key issues facing public economic policies; and (4) debate over the key issues facing public economic policies with proper concepts, analytical framework, and empirical facts.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) discussion and presentation; (2) essay; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Shawn Chen
Unit rules
Enrolment in
the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) (BH002)
or completion of 144 points in the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) (BH005)
or 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.