Syllabus for Economics C: Public Economics

Nationalekonomi C: Offentlig ekonomi

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2NE772
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Economics G2F

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle
    G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

    Second cycle
    A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2007-09-27
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2019-10-01
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 27, 2020
  • Entry requirements: At least 52.5 credits from Economics A and B and 15 credits in statistics.
  • Responsible department: Department of Economics

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student is expected to be able to:
* explain the functioning of the public sector and what are the current problems within this area
* apply the basic methods for analysis that are used to study the public sector


Why is economic analysis of the public sector a separate area of specialisation within the vast subject of economics? Is it the extent of collective power and its influence that have created this field, the public sector constitutes two thirds of GDP? Or is it the collective decision-making that differs from the mainly individual decisions in market models that motivates a special study? Both questions can be said to motivate studies of public economics.
Overall goals in the public sector are efficiency, welfare distribution and freedom. What are the connections between the overall goals and the more concrete demands for justice, healthcare, education and public transports, to mention some of the tasks that are fulfiled by the public sector? The course presents analytical tools, shows how economists have used these analytical tools and discusses concrete applications against the background of Swedish and American conditions. The theoretical background is mainly the economic welfare theory that uses the concepts and analytical methods of micro theory. The course also refers to questions related to political decision-making, moral philosophy and legal financial theory.
The course starts by dealing with theoretical starting points. Then, there are approaches to problems that relate to the expenses in the public sector and how these expenses are used. Finally, the incomes in the public sector are considered, i.e. mainly the taxation system and those problems that are due to the design of the taxation system.


The instruction consists of lectures with exercises and seminars. The seminar part starts with a planning seminar where the students are divided into groups and are assigned a subject. The essays are then being dealt with one compulsory seminar.
Presence is required at the compulsory seminar. If someone is absent from the seminar, there is a possibility of making up for this during a pre-set period of time shortly after the end of the course.


The assessment consists of two parts: a written exam corresponding to 5 credits and writing a PM and seminar corresponding to 2.5 credits. The grades for the exam are pass with distinction (VG), pass (G) and fail (U). The grades for the seminars are pass (G) and fail (U).
Each part is reported separately in UPPDOK. A total grade for the entire course amounting to 7.5 credits is awarded when all parts have been completed. The grade pass (G) requires a pass on all parts. The grade pass with distinction requires a pass with distinction (VG) on the exam and pass (G) on the seminar part.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 01, 2021

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Rosen, Harvey S.; Gayer, Ted Public finance

    10. ed.: New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education, cop. 2014

    Find in the library


Reading list revisions