Econ 2450a: Public Economics

Econ 2450a: Public Economics (Fall 2012, Harvard University). Instructor: Raj Chetty. This is the first of two courses in the graduate public economics sequence at Harvard. This one-semester course covers basic issues in the optimal design of tax and social insurance policies, with emphasis on combining theoretical models with empirical evidence. Topics include efficiency costs and incidence of taxation, income taxation, transfer and welfare programs, public goods and externalities, optimal social insurance (excluding social security), and welfare analysis in behavioral models.


Lecture 01 - Introduction, What is Public Economics?
Lecture 02 - Tax Incidence: Introduction, Partial Equilibrium Incidence
Lecture 03 - Tax Incidence: Empirical Applications
Lecture 04 - Tax Incidence: General Equilibrium Analysis
Lecture 05 - Efficiency Cost of Taxation: Marshallian Surplus
Lecture 06 - Efficiency Cost of Taxation: Harberger Approximation, Exact Consumer Surplus
Lecture 07 - Efficiency Cost of Taxation: Empirical Applications, Welfare Analysis
Lecture 08 - Optimal Taxation: Ramsey Model, Capital Income Taxation
Lecture 09 - Optimal Taxation: Mirrlees Model
Lecture 10 - Optimal Taxation: Optimal Transfer Programs
Lecture 11 - Income Taxation and Labor Supply: Labor Supply Elasticity Estimation
Lecture 12 - Income Taxation and Labor Supply: Why Not More Bunching at Kinks?
Lecture 13 - Income Taxation and Labor Supply: Estimation of Labor Supply Elasticity
Lecture 14 - Income Taxation and Labor Supply: Elasticity of Taxable Income
Lecture 15 - Income Taxation and Labor Supply: Micro vs. Macro Elasticities
Lecture 16 - Social Insurance: Motivations for Social Insurance
Lecture 17 - Social Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (cont.)
Lecture 18 - Social Insurance: Alternative Formulas for Optimal Unemployment Insurance
Lecture 19 - Private Information and Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets
Lecture 20 - Social Insurance: Unemployment Insurance and Firm Behavior
Lecture 21 - Social Insurance: Workers' Compensation, Disability Insurance
Lecture 22 - Public Goods and Externalities: Externalities
Lecture 23 - Externalities: Empirical Measurement
Lecture 24 - Public Goods and Externalities: Public Goods
Lecture 25 - Corporate Taxation: What does a Firm Do?
Lecture 26 - Corporate Taxation: Corporate Tax Structure in the US
Lecture 27 - Corporate Taxation: Empirical Evidence on Corporate Taxation
Lecture 28 - Corporate Taxation: Choice of Organizational Form