ECON335-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Public Economics

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


Economic theories for the role of government in a market economy and the role of economics in the formulation and evaluation of public policy.

“We cannot possibly afford perfect markets, but we regulate real markets in many ways, and it would be desirable to know what these regulations are achieving.”
George J. Stigler (JPE, 1967)
The purpose of this course is to study economic theories for the role of government in a market economy and the role of economics in the formulation and evaluation of public policy. The topics covered include responses to market failure due to the existence of externalities, a comparison of private and public goods, an analysis of tax incidence and dead weight loss, and methods for evaluating the alternative policies available.
It is hoped that ECON335 will teach you how to employ microeconomic theory to understand, analyse, and evaluate government interventions.

Learning Outcomes

The objectives of the course are:
1. Students can explain and apply theory, concepts, models or reasoning from their selected subject major to a problem/issue/context.
2. Students can critique concepts, models or reasoning from their selected subject major.
3. Use fundamental economic principles to explain the behaviour of people and organisations.
4. Explain political and regulatory influences on the economy.
5. Students can write a report/essay on a problem/issue/situation/scenario.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.


Recommended Preparation

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 09:00 - 11:00 E7 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 24 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 11:00 - 12:00 E14 Lecture Theatre
26 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
02 Tuesday 09:00 - 10:00 E14 Lecture Theatre
26 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun

Examinations, Quizzes and Formal Tests

Test A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 19:00 - 21:00 E6 Lecture Theatre
25 Mar - 31 Mar
02 Wednesday 19:00 - 21:00 F3 Lecture Theatre
25 Mar - 31 Mar

Course Coordinator

Andrea Menclova


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Midterm test 40%
Essay 20%
Final exam 40%

The ‘45% rule’ does not apply to this course. That is, students do not need to reach 45% weighted average across invigilated assessments. Please refer to for further information.

ECON335 midterm test will take place at the end of Term 1. The final exam will be in the exam period and emphasis will be put on the second part of the course (but concepts and tools learned in the first part may be employed).

In ECON335 essay, you will be asked to summarise and comment on/respond to the brief report entitled "Te Arotake Mahere Hokohoko Tukunga: Review of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme; Summary of the consultation"; please see the Lecture Schedule below for the full reference (highlighted with ***) and Learn for a copy of the article. Please write your essay 2-3 standard pages long, typed, and double-spaced. I will remind you of the due date for the essay in class and via Learn and late submissions will not be marked for credit.

Be careful to use your own words and ideas. The use of ChatGPT and similar AI tools is permitted but needs to be explicitly acknowledged in the References. It is also crucial to recognise that while AI tools can help you sketch a first draft of your essay, the end product needs to be yours; this means that a substantial amount of editing will almost certainly be required. AI tools are getting significantly better over time but are still prone to using outdated information, not enough local context, too casual language etc. ChatGPT also routinely makes up false (non-existent!) references. You are personally responsible for the quality, originality, accuracy/correctness, and style of your essay.

In addition to formally assessed work, you are expected to actively participate in class and (especially) in tutorials. In tutorials, we will be discussing the readings posted on Learn (please read these before the tutorial) and applying the concepts and tools covered in class to different situations and policies. Please join the debate!

In general, there will be no make-up exams and essays handed in late will not be marked for credit. Please come see me at the beginning of the semester if you are concerned about completing all pieces of assessment in the scheduled time. In the event of an illness or another serious complication, you are eligible to apply for a Special Consideration (please refer to the Calendar for more information).

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Rosen, Harvey S. , Gayer, Ted; Public finance ; Tenth edition; McGraw-Hill Education, 2014.

Recommended Reading

Cullis, John G. , Jones, Philip R; Public finance and public choice : analytical perspectives ; 3rd ed; Oxford University Press, 2009.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $893.00

International fee $4,200.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Department of Economics and Finance .

All ECON335 Occurrences

  • ECON335-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024