BEX4810 - Public economics - 2019

0 points, SCA Band 3, 0.000 EFTSL

- 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)

Associate Professor Vai-Lam Mui


Associate Professor Vai-Lam Mui

Not offered in 2019


This unit examines how collective decisions affect the welfare of a society. It will first discuss how free-riding and coordination problems in collective decision making by the citizens, and incentive and credibility problems in the public sector, determine economic policies. It then applies this incentive approach to study how various kinds of interactions between citizens and their government determine social welfare, paying special attention to the importance of voting; political competition; distributional conflicts and institutions in determining collective decision making.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. understand the issues and analysis of collective decisions
  2. become more discriminating observers of the political and policy environment
  3. be able to review market failures and consider the potential for solving these failures in the collective or political setting
  4. be able to examine problems of free-riding, incentives to vote, interest group influence, bureaucratic behaviour and constitutional frameworks
  5. understand the economist's role in the process of formulating public policy.


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