This course examines major issues in economic policy. The aim of the course is to understand the reasons for government intervention in the economy, the extent of that intervention, and the ways in which people will likely respond given economic policy. We will consider both the economic policies that government might undertake that require revenue and the issues inherent in designing a tax system to collect revenue. We will analyze the successes, failures, and compromises inherent in government interventions in a variety of areas such as education, healthcare, social security, environmental, and tax policy. Throughout we will use both sound theory and empirical evidence to better understand the complex set of incentives that economic policies can create for individuals and businesses. For each issue, the goal will be to apply what you have learned in previous economics classes or through the required textbook to analyze current policy issues and learn to make well-reasoned, analytic arguments in favor, or against, particular policies.
Prerequisite: PubPol 555