The course aims to analyze the interactions that exist between economic
systems and formal and informal institutions, and to study both from a
theoretical and an empirical perspective different approaches to public policy
intervention in the economy.
Particular attention is devoted to the analysis of the role of government and its
influence on the economy, and to the role of the public sector in the promotion
of sustainable economic development.
Typical tools of law and regulation will be presented, as well as advanced public choice topics such as voting and the policy formation process.
The final part of the course focuses on public policies for the environment, and
it introduces methods for cost-benefit analysis and counterfactual policy
The emphasis of the course will be on understanding how the theoretical tools
can be applied to analyze real world issues. To this end, empirical evidence and
case studies will be widely discussed in light of the theory.
At the end of the course the students will be able to master state-of-the art
economic tools necessary to evaluate the financial sustainability of public
policies and to assess the potential impact of public policy interventions for a
The role of government:
- Policy instrument choices: why an instrument over another?
- Externalities and the Coase theorem
- Public good provision
- Cost-benefit analysis
- Introduction to economic regulation
- Incentive regulation
- Behavioral economics and regulation: risk perception, risk ambiguity
and behavioral nudges
- Voting and the common pool problem
- Politics and efficiency
- Politics and income distribution
Public Policies for the Environment
- Introduction to policy evaluation tools
- Regulatory and fiscal policies for the environment
The course combines traditional lectures with empirical applications aimed at
applying concepts previously introduced. Both traditional lectures and
empirical sessions aim at fostering participation and class discussion.
Collection of readings and case studies will be indicated during the course.
The final evaluation consists of:
- Applied assignment during the semester for those attending (25%)
- Written exam at the end of the semester (75%)
For those non-attending the course there will be the option to take the full written exam (100%).