Home » Faculty and Staff » Babu N.S. Dasari » Public Finance

Public Finance

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
Department of Economics
Economics 442~ Public Finance ~ Fall 2012 (9/04 – 12/21)
Section 40: Tu. 6:00 PM to 8:40 PM (Armitage Building: ATG – 124)

Instructor: Babu Dasari
Office Hours: Tu. Th. 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM (Armitage Hall – 317)
Email: babu.dasari@rutgers.edu

(Email contact is strongly preferred; you must use your Rutgers email, and always mention course number & section in your email. During the week, I will normally respond within 48 hours. If I have not responded within 48 hours, please send a follow-up email) 

Course Description

This course surveys the field of Public Finance. The public sector accounts for about a third of all economic activity in the United States; government affects almost everything that we do in our daily lives, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. This course uses tools of microeconomic analysis to study the taxing and the spending activities of government. We examine how decisions are made about government interventions in markets, what kinds of expenditure activities the U.S. government pursues, how those activities are financed through revenue collection, and the effects of both expenditure and taxation programs on individual behavior and economic welfare. A central goal of the course is for students to understand the principles that determine optimal government intervention in market economies and to be prepared to apply those principles to current policy debates.

Prerequisites

There are three prerequisites. First, students must have taken Economics 101, and Economics 102, or equivalent courses. Second, they must be fluent in basic algebra and comfortable with abstract argument. (Calculus will be used occasionally but will not be required.) Third, they must be ready to attend class regularly.

Textbook

Jonathan Gruber, Public Finance and Public Policy, Third Edition, 2011, Worth Publishers

The textbook companion website (http://bcs.worthpublishers.com/gruber3e/#t_544924____) provides for each chapter flash cards, a chapter outline, and online quiz, and other useful material.

Grading

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

Attendance

Assignments

Mid Terms (2)

Final

10%

20%

40% (20% each)

25%

Attendance has a weight of 10 % in your course grade. There will be 2 midterms. Midterm 1 will be from Chapters 1 through 9 comprising of 20 % of your course grade. Midterm 2 will be from Chapters 10 through 17 comprising of 20% of your course grade. The final exam will be from Chapters 18 through 25 on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.  There is a 20% weight given to your Assignments.

Letter grades for the entire course will be assigned as follows:

Final Grade Rubric

Grade

Range

Grade

Range

Grade

Range

A

  B +

B

90 – 100

85 – 89.99

80 – 84.99

  C +

C

D

75 – 79.99

70 – 74.99

60 – 69.99

F

0 – 59.99

There will be no extra credit projects, and/or no curving of grades.

Course Policies

I request that you arrive on time and remain present, seated, and engaged in the classroom until I conclude. Do not wander in and out of the classroom. Please turnoff and stow cell phones for the duration of the class period. You may not use a laptop in class.

Missed Examinations and / Assignments   

There will be no make-up tests! If you miss a test, the test will be scored as a “zero”. Late submission of country paper and research paper will not be accepted

Academic Violations

I follow a policy of zero tolerance for violations of standards of academic conduct. Please refer to the following document on Rutgers Academic Integrity Policy

http://academicintegrity.rutgers.edu/files/documents/AI_Policy_9_01_2011.pdf  

Disability Statement

This course is open to all students who meet the academic requirements for participation. Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss the specific situation as soon as possible. Information about requesting accommodations can be found at:

http://learn.camden.rutgers.edu/disability/disabilities.html

COURSE OUTLINE* AND TEXT READING ASSIGNMENTS

DATE

TOPICS/INFORMATION

READINGS

9/4

Introduction and Microeconomic tools for public economics

Chapters 1,2

9/11

Empirical methods for public economics, and Budget analysis: surpluses and deficits

Chapter 3, 4

9/18

The theory of externalities, and Applications of externality theory

Chapter 5, 6

9/25

Public goods theory, and Benefit-cost analysis

Chapters 7, 8

10/2

Political economy of public-goods provision

Chapter 9

10/9

Midterm 1 from Chapters 1 through 9, and State and local public expenditures

Chapter 10

10/16

Education as a public good, and The theory of social insurance

Chapters 11, 12

10/23

Social security, and Unemployment and disability insurance: Workers’ Compensation

Chapters 13, 14

10/30

The economics of health insurance, and Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act

Chapters 15 and 16

11/6

Income distribution and welfare policy, and Introduction to taxation

Chapters 17 and 18

11/13

Midterm 2 from Chapters 10 through 17, and Tax incidence

Chapter 19

11/20

Optimal taxation theory, and Taxes on labor supply

Chapters 20, 21

11/27

Taxes on savings, and Taxes on risk-bearing and wealth

Chapters 22, 23

12/4

Corporate taxation, and Tax reforms

Chapters 24, 25

12/18

Final Exam from Chapters 18 through 25 between 6:00 to 9:00PM

 

*The course outline is subject to change.