Econ 131 - Undergraduate Public Economics

Spring 2020 - 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 health care reform, tax reform, and inequality.

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 (Michael Love, 1st part of course) and (Arlen Guarin, 2nd part of course)


Syllabus

Lecture Slides:

Introduction (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Theoretical Tools (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Empirical Tools (not covered in lectures) (tex) (figs&tables)
Budget and Debt Analysis (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Introduction to Taxes and Transfers and Inequality (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Tax Incidence (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Optimal Labor Income Taxation (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Taxes and Labor Supply (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Responses of Reported Taxable Income to Taxes (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Taxes on Capital and Savings (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Corporate Taxation (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Public Policy Response to Coronavirus (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Externalities (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Public Goods (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Cost-Benefit Analysis (not covered in class) (tex) (figs&tables)
Political Economy (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
State and Local Governments (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Education (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Social Insurance: Introduction (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Health Insurance (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Social Security and Retirement (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)
Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, Workers' Compensation (updated 2020) (tex) (figs&tables)

Assignments:

ps1  (due date: February 26, 11:59pm)  ps1 solutions (available after due date)
PRACTICE Midterm from Spring 2017  
  midterm 2017 solution
PRACTICE Midterm from Spring 2019  
  midterm 2019 solution
PRACTICE Midterm from Spring 2020  
  midterm 2020 solution
Midterm  (in class 5:10pm-6:30pm: March 11)  midterm solutions (available after midterm) midterm grades statistics
ps2  (due date: April 1, 11:59pm)  ps2 solutions (available after due date)
ps3  (due date: April 22, 11:59pm)  ps3 solutions (available after due date)
Final Exam 2017   final exam 2017 solution   final grades statistics 2017
Final Exam 2019   final exam 2019 solution   final grades statistics 2019
Final Exam 2020   final exam 2020 solution   final grades statistics 2020