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Home | Courses | Public Finance

Public Finance

  • Teacher(s)
    Bas Jacobs
  • Research field
  • Dates
    Period 3 - Jan 03, 2022 to Feb 25, 2022
  • Course type
  • Program year
  • Credits

Course description

This course gives an in depth introduction into the theory of optimal taxation. It discusses the Ramsey principles for optimal commodity taxation and Mirrlees' (1971) non-linear income tax. In addition, the main theorems in public finance will be covered: the Atkinson-Stiglitz (1976) theorem on the desirability of commodity/capital taxation and the Diamond-Mirrlees (1971) production effciency theorem. We will also discuss the Samuelson rule for the optimal provision of public goods in second-best settings with distortionary taxes. The main principles will then be applied to various topics such as optimal income redistribution, capital income taxation, human capital taxation, environmental taxation, and the marginal cost of public funds. Finally, theory will be confronted with actual policy discussions, such as the at-tax debate, proposals for participation subsidies and in-work tax credits, consumption tax proposals, and greening the tax system.

Course literature

Primary reading
The basis of this course is the text book (in progress) Principles of Public Finance which is written by the lecturer. The book is available as a PDF files on Canvas. As this is a book in progress, it still may contain typo’s and mistakes. The lecturer is grateful if you would report them (bjacobs@ese.eur.nl).
In addition to the book, lecture slides will be made available for each week’s lectures and will be posted on the Canvas. Papers indicated with an asterisk in the reading list (see Canvas & schedule below) are compulsory reading.