This course develops concepts in microeconomics (and to a limited extent, macroeconomics) that are instrumental in understanding and conducting public policy analysis. It is intended for students who have had limited prior exposure to economics. Though it is not a formal pre-requisite for JSGS 802, the latter assumes the student has successfully completed JSGS 805.
COURSE CONTENT AND APPROACH
The purpose of this course is to provide an economic framework for the analysis of public policy. The course uses ainly microeconomic concepts to examine when and how the government should intervene in the economy. Using the starting point of policy as intervention, the course examines the circumstances under which government involvement is most likely to be desirable. The course then moves to consider the key instruments that government uses in its intervention. In the examination of these two broad issues, the course pays particular attention to how people and firms behave and how are likely to respond to policy instruments. The course also develops the key concepts associated with cost-benefit analysis and shows how these concepts are used in the analysis of public policy.