Department of Economics by CH2e39


									Department of Economics                                                                Economics 378
Ohio Wesleyan University                                                               Public Finance
Delaware, Ohio                                                                        Robert J. Gitter
                                                                                            Fall 2009

Course Description – This course deals with the government’s role in the allocation of goods and services in
our economy. Both theoretical and empirical aspects of the government’s role are explored. Among the topics
dealt with in this course are public goods (defense expenditures), externalities (the economics of the
environment), income distribution (transfer programs), the economics of education, public utilities and the
effects of taxation.

Course Goals – Government at all levels plays a large role in our economy. It is hoped that the student taking
this course will understand the reasons for government intervention and the consequences of these actions. We
will also explore the tools of analysis used by government. Knowledge gained in this area should serve the
students well in their future endeavors in the public or private sector.

Prerequisites – ECON 252 (Intermediate Microeconomics) and ECON 251 (Research Methods) both with a
grade of C – or better.

Course Structure – The course meets twice each week. The lectures will deal with applications of the material
from the text and also cover new material. The text for the course is Public Finance and Public Policy (2nd
edition) by Jonathan Gruber. The book is short and additional readings will be assigned as well as a shorter
book for a book discussion that will be assigned later. Since Intermediate Microeconomics and Research
Methods are prerequisites for this course, students are expected to review the relevant sections of that text
as needed.

Lectures will begin at 1:10 and run until 2:25 when we are on schedule. Otherwise they may run until 3:00

Examinations – There will be three exams in this course; two midterms and a final exam. The midterms and
final will cover material from assigned readings and lectures. The final will be comprehensive in nature. Any
exam missed will be scored zero. There will also be homework most weeks. Assignments are to be turned in
on time.

The weight of the various course requirements in determining the final grade are:

                                            Date                               % of Grade
First Midterm Exam                   Tuesday, September 29                             25%
Second Midterm Exam                  To Be Determined                                  25%
Final Exam                           Wednesday, Dec. 16th 1:30 P.M.                    25%
Homework                                                                            17.5%
Book Discussion                      To Be Determined                                 7.5%
Examinations/Attendance – Students prefer a choice of questions on an examination. Not having to answer
all questions, however, reduces the incentive to attend class. In order to encourage attendance, I have adopted
the following policy.

The course is divided into three parts; before the first mid-term, between the first and second mid-term and after
the second mid-term. Students who miss no more than one class in a section of the course will be able to omit
one question on the subsequent examination. Students who miss more than one class must answer all questions.
Job interviews, illness, athletic events, travel, etc., all count as absences.

Grading Scale -       A 86 and above
                      A- 85-86
                      B+ 84-85
                      B 78-84
                      B- 77-78
                      C+ 76-77
                      C 71-76
                      C- 70-71
                      D+ 69-70
                      D 66-69
                      D- 65-66
                      F-65 or below

Office Hours: Room 217, R.W. Corns Building
              MTWThF - 10:30-11:30
              And by appointment.

Office Phone - 368-3536

E-Mail – (a great way to reach me)

Homepage – (Please check for changes in assignments and updates)
                                                READING LIST

Note: Additional readings will be assigned some weeks. These additional readings will be greater in weeks
when only one chapter is assigned. If possible, they will be posted on the website. Please check this site often
for updates.

Week Dates             Topics                                                              Readings in Rosen

1      Aug. 25 & 27 Intro. & Review of Microeconomics Theory                               Ch. 1, 2

2      Sept. 1 & 3     The Tools of Public Finance                                         Ch. 3, 4

3      Sept. 8 & 10 Externalities                                                          Ch. 5, 6

4      Sept. 15 & 17 Public Goods and the Economics of Defense                             Ch. 7

5      Sept. 22 & 24 The Economics of Education                                            Ch. 11

6      Sept. 29        FIRST MID TERM EXAM .

The schedule for the remainder of the class will be distributed later.

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