30L209 :Public Sector Economics for ECO

General info

Instruction language English
Type of Instruction Lectures and tutorials, debates and discussions (Lecture schedule)
Type of exams Written (80%), debate (20%), participation grade (bonus) (Examination schedule)
Course load:6 ECTS credits
Registration:via Blackboard
Blackboard InfoLink to Blackboard (When you see 'Guest are not allowed in this course', please login at Blackboard itself)


prof. dr. H.A.A. Verbon (Coördinator)

prof. dr. E.H.M. Ponds

C. Sun MSc

A. Maji (TA)


This course aims at enabling students to relate up-to-date economic theory to timely discussions on the role of the government in the economy, both from a national and an international perspective. The student  can discuss the dilemmas and tradeoffs (amongst others, spillovers of sovereign state policy, gains and losses of international economic cooperation) of (de)centralization of government tasks of states within an economic union. The student can apply the general considerations regarding (de)centralized policies to theoretical models of specific policies regarding migration, income redsitribution, debt policy and taxation policy. The student can discuss how government intervention can improve market outcomes by introducing social insurance systems (health care insurance and public pensions) and should be able to come up with arguments pro or con intervention of the government in the covered policy areas. For the above indicated areas of public policy the student should be able to translate specific parts of the theory into an 'opinion paper' using only every-day language.


The following topics will be covered:

  • Economic unions
  • Income redistribution in an economic union
  • Government debt and the EU stability pact
  • Taxation (i.e., tax competition and and optimal taxation)
  • Health care insurance
  • Pensions and the effects of ageing  

Students are expected to take an active role during lectures. In addition, student teams have to prepare a debate pro or con some intervention, and have to present and discuss their case during class. Next to that, during the tutorials exercises will be made to illustrate the ideas discussed during the lectures. There will be a written exam. The final mark will be composed of the result obtained in the written exam (80%), the achievements in the debate classes (20%), and of the participation and performance shown in class (bonus).


This course is required for students of the Economics program (2nd year); students of the EBE-program can use this course as an elective in the 3rd year. Exchange students can choose this course, but should take into account that knowledge of the courses microeconomics 2 and macroeconomics 3 in the Bachelor Economics program are assumed. 

Compulsory Reading

  1. To be announced at the start of classes..

Recommended Reading

  1. Jean Hindriks and Gareth Myles, Intermediate public sector economics, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2006. available as e-book in the TiU library

Recommended Prerequisites

microeconomics 2, macroeconomics 3

Required Prerequisites

Year 1 BSc Economics

Compulsory for

Recommended option for

  • Exchange students TiSEM ( 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 )
  • BSc EBE, track Financial Management ( 2016, 2017 )
  • BSc EBE, track Commercieel Management ( 2016, 2017 )
  • BSc EBE, track Economics and Society ( 2016, 2017 )
  • BSc Economics and Business Economics ( 2013, 2014, 2015 )