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Public Economics D16, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Offentlig ekonomi D16

This syllabus is valid: 2017-11-13 valid to 2022-01-02 (newer version of the syllabus exists)

Course code: 2NE012

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Economics: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Economics

Revised by: Rector of Umeå School of Business and Economics, 2017-11-09


The course focuses on different kinds of market failures that arise when the conditions for first best socially desirable outcomes in market economies are not met. Externalities, the existence of public goods, and the problems of asymmetric information and the appropriate design of taxes to address these failures will be discussed.

The course is organized as follows:
  1. The fundamental theorems of welfare economics
  2. Externalities 
  3. Public Goods
  4. Asymmetric Information and Efficiency

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student is expected to:
  • be able to suggest the appropriate instruments to correct for the existence of externality,
  • be able to discriminate between pure and impure public goods,
  • be able to suggest the appropriate means of financing the optimal provision of a public good in a complete information case,
  • understand why information asymmetry makes the first best provision of a public good difficult, and
  • confidently use the analytical tools necessary for the analysis of public economic questions.

Required Knowledge

90 ECTS of undergraduate courses in economics, whereof 30 ECTS on C-level (G2F). Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English B/6. Mathematical Economics I D7, or the equivalent.

Form of instruction

The course is offered in the form of lectures.

Examination modes

The examination consists of written examination at the end of the course.

A second exam opportunity is always offered within a short time span after the regular exam date for those students not achieving a Pass. The subsequent exam opportunity is either the re-take opportunity the week before the fall semester or the next regular exam date.

The following grading system will be used: Fail (Underkänd), Pass (Godkänd) and Pass with Distinction (Väl godkänd).

It is normally not possible to do additional examinations to reach a higher grade. Exceptions can be made for a student with the grade Fail on any of the examinations if the examiner (not the lecturer) finds this appropriate. The task must be a minor undertaking, closely related to the learning outcome not reached, and performed in close proximity to the original examination.

When a student has failed an examination on two occasions, he or she has a right to have another grading teacher. A written request for an alternative examiner should be handed to the Dean of the Business School no later than two weeks before the next examination opportunity.

Credit transfer
Academic credit transfers are according to the University credit transfer regulations.


Valid from: 2017 week 45

Leach John
A course in public economics
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press : 2004. : 413 s :
ISBN: 0-521-82877-5
Search Album, the University Library catalogue