Econ 131 - Undergraduate Public Economics

Spring 2017 - Taught by Emmanuel Saez

This course does not use B-space. This course focuses on the role of the government in the economy. The aim is to provide an understanding of the reasons for government intervention in the economy, analyzing the benefits of possible government policies, and the response of economic agents to the government's actions. The course covers tax policy and inequality, social insurance programs, public goods, environmental protection, and the interaction between different levels of government. Special emphasis is on current policy issues such as social security reform, health care reform, income tax reform, and budget deficits.

Each lecture is posted in pdf format with linked references. The source tex file and the pdf tables and figures are also provided separately so that you can use and adapt this material for your own lectures (no permission needed). Slides will be updated about 1 week before each lecture

Sections' notes are posted online (Francis Wong) and (Dario Tortarolo)


Lecture Slides:

Introduction (updated 2017) (tex) (figs&tables)
Theoretical Tools (updated 2017) (tex) (figs&tables)
Empirical Tools (not covered in lectures) (tex) (figs&tables)
Budget and Debt Analysis (updated 2017) (tex) (figs&tables)
Introduction to Taxes and Transfers and Inequality (updated 2017) (tex) (figs&tables)
Tax Incidence (updated 2017) (tex) (figs&tables)
Optimal Labor Income Taxation (updated 2017) (tex) (figs&tables)
Taxes and Labor Supply (updated 2017) (tex) (figs&tables)
Taxes and Reported Income (updated 2017) (tex) (figs&tables)
Taxes on Capital and Savings (updated 2017) (tex) (figs&tables)
Corporate Taxation (updated 2017) (tex) (figs&tables)
Externalities (tex) (figs&tables)
Public Goods (tex) (figs&tables)
Cost-Benefit Analysis (not covered in class) (tex) (figs&tables)
Political Economy (tex) (figs&tables)
State and Local Governments (tex) (figs&tables)
Education (tex) (figs&tables)
Social Insurance: Introduction (tex) (figs&tables)
Social Security and Retirement (tex) (figs&tables)
Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, Workers' Compensation (tex) (figs&tables)
Health Insurance (tex) (figs&tables)


ps1  (due date: February 15)  ps1 solutions (available after due date)
ps2  (due date: March 8)  ps2 solutions (available after due date)
PRACTICE Midterm from Spring 2015  
  midterm 2015 solution
Midterm  (in class 5:10pm-6:30pm: March 15)  midterm solutions (available after midterm) midterm grades statistics
ps3  (due date: April 5)  ps3 solutions (available after due date)
ps4  (due date: April 26)  ps4 solutions (available after due date)
Final Exam 2015   final exam 2015 solution final grades statistics 2015