EC 1410 Public Economics: Designing Government Policy (HKS SUP-125)





The class meets in Emerson-210 on Mondays and Wednesdays 3-4:15 pm.  The TA is Antonio Coran ( Professor Stantcheva holds office hours for this class virtually for all weeks during which she is teaching. 

Course description: This course focuses on the role of the government in the economy. It is newly designed for Fall 2022. The aim is to provide an understanding of the reasons for government intervention in the economy, analyze the benefits of possible government policies, and the response of economic agents to the government's actions. The course covers tax policy and inequality, social insurance programs (like unemployment insurance, health insurance, and disability insurance), public goods, externalities, and environmental protection. The course tries to strike a balance between theory and empirics. For each topic, we will cover the theoretical models on each issue and then dive into the empirical research evidence. We will also have in-class discussions based on readings from the media and broader audience books. Special emphasis is on current policy issues such as health care reform, tax reform, climate change, and inequality.

Here is the SYLLABUS.

Lecture notes:


Theoretical Tools

Empirical Tools

Tax Incidence

Labor Income Taxation

Taxes and Labor Supply

Responses of Taxable Income


Public Goods

Social Insurance: an Introduction

Health Insurance

Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, and Worker's Compensation