Public Finance

Master Degree in Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets

6 cfu

Teaching period
First semester: September 2020 - December 2020

Class hours
Tuesday: 11.00-13:00, Laboratorio CIMEO -- Link to the live straming (zoom platform)
Thursday: 11.00-13.00, Room 2C VI floor -- Link to the live straming (zoom platform)

Office hours
During the first semester:
Tuesday: 16.00-18:00
Wednesday: 14.00-16.00
During the second semester: please, contact by e-mail.

Knowledge achieved
This course is designed to help students to achieve a solid grasp of the theory of public finance by applying the tools of microeconomics. The course trains students in areas relevant to the needs of business and government's institutions. Having taken the course, the students are expected to know about: market failures with a special focus on the environmental issue; theories of optimal taxation; tools for public policy evaluation.

Skills achieved
The skills acquired will allow the student to deeply understand relevant economic, political, and institutional issues, not only from a national point of view, but also in connection with international reality.

The course is designed for students with good knowledge of intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Market Performance: Equilibrium and Efficiency
Departures from Efficiency and Government Intervention
The environmental issue
Criteria for Policy Evaluation and Policy Decision Making
Public provision and public expenditure
Tax Theory
Optimal Commodity Taxation
Optimal Income Taxation

Suggested Readings
Public Finance and Public Choice: Analytical Perspectives. John Cullis and Philip Jones, third edition, Oxford University Press (chapters 1-2-3-4-5-7).
Available at Biblioteca Federico Caffè (

Intermediate Public Economics. Jean Hindriks and Gareth D. Myles, second edition, The Mit Press (chapters 15-16).

Lecture slides and additional readings are available upon request, please send me an e-mail.

Topics and readings may be added or deleted as the term progresses.

The final program will be available at the end of the course.


Attending Students:

Paper presentation (40% of final mark). Students are required to present a paper to the class. The paper will be assigned at the beginning of the course.

(Virtual) Class work (10% of final mark). At the end of each class students are required to write (half page) or discuss (2 minutes) the main message of the lecture.

Final exam (50% of final mark). Students are required to answer two questions among the four that are proposed and that concern only the topics covered during the course. The final exam is written and will last 90 minutes.

Non-Attending Students:

Final exam. Students are required to answer to four questions. The final exam is written.