ECM3810 - Public sector economics - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Business and Economics

Organisational Unit

Department of Economics

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Habibur Rahman


Dr Habibur Rahman

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)




The unit explains how the Malaysian government operates in comparison with governments in other developed and developing countries. Main topics are: (a) welfare economics (mixed economies and the extent to which they can be met by private markets; role of government in redistributing income; various modes of privatisation, public-private sector partnerships; role and performance of state-owned enterprises); (b) government budget expenditure (welfare economics, provision of public goods and externalities, emphasising environmental issues, income distribution, social insurance and cost-benefit analysis); (c) taxation (emphasis on constructing a theoretical framework for considering tax policy; how taxes should be levied to enhance economic efficiency and promote a fair distribution of income).


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. understand the theory and issues related to welfare economics
  2. identify the rationale for government intervention in the economy and the extent of that intervention
  3. analyse specific policy issues in the area of public expenditure and taxation from the perspective of both traditional public finance and public choice
  4. critically evaluate economic analysis and contemporary public debate in the area of public finance
  5. analyse and understand a framework for taxation which enhances economic efficiency and promotes a fairer distribution of income.


Within semester assessment: 40% + Examination: 60%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information