Core II: Economics for Public Policy
Public policy leaders frequently interact with professional economists. This module aims to prepare you for this interaction by developing the skills necessary to become a critical consumer of economic thinking. Weeks 1 to 3 cover foundational material. The first week introduces the ‘economic approach’ and considers the range of policy issues to which it can usefully be applied. The second and third weeks explore economists’ preoccupation with markets, asking what markets can achieve, and why they sometimes fail. Weeks 4 to 8 turn to the process of policy formulation (the finance, design, choice, and implementation of policy). The fourth week considers the challenges of financing policy via taxation and/or debt. The fifth and six weeks focus on design, illustrating with policy responses in education, healthcare, and welfare services. The seventh week asks how public policy leaders should choose between competing project designs. Finally, the eighth week examines the political obstacles that can hinder implementation, together with solutions suggested by the economic literature on institutions.
Faculty: Blavatnik School of Government