About this Course
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Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

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Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 14 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 weeks, 6-8 hours per week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 14 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 weeks, 6-8 hours per week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
22 minutes to complete

Introduction

...
Reading
1 video (Total 2 min), 2 readings
Video1 video
Reading2 readings
Course syllabus10m
Supplementary reading10m
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Government in a Market Economy

In this lecture we discuss reasons calling for government presence in market economies. We stress key advantages of markets over governments which make privately taken decisions highly efficient in the absence of externalities. The latter significantly distorts the work of market mechanism and lead to inefficient outcomes. We consider possible solutions to this inefficiency which are based either on coasean agreements or on public coercion (governements) and discuss conditions, advantages, and disadvantages related to these solutions....
Reading
5 videos (Total 89 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
1.2. Market failures and the Coase theorem24m
1.3. Collective action problem21m
1.4. Correcting externalities14m
1.5. Socially productive and unproductive activities15m
Reading1 reading
Syllabus10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Problem Set 120m
Week
2
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Design of Government: A Tax Theory Primer

This lecture covers the positive and normative theories of taxation, ways and means to collect public revenues, and existing informational, administrative, political constraints governments have to deal with. We consider lump sum tax as first best option which implementation in practice, unfortunately, is severely restricted by informational asymmetry. Then follows a cursory introduction into one of the most beautiful (but also most technically complex) parts of public economics which characterizes optimal tax schedules minimizing welfare losses subject to information constraints; such analysis is carried out in the so-called Mirrlees economy. Another focal point of the lecture is the role of elasticity in selecting taxes and how the concept of elasticity can be applied to the analysis of time inconsistency in taxation....
Reading
7 videos (Total 100 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video7 videos
2.2. Power and Limitations of Lump-Sum30m
2.3. Selecting Tax Schedule8m
2.4. Complexity vs. Simplicity12m
2.5. The Role of Elasiticity22m
2.6. Political Constraints4m
2.7. Protection from Leviathan6m
Reading1 reading
Syllabus10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Problem Set 220m
Week
3
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Scope of Government

In this lecture we discuss how governments perform their key functions such as public regulation and public service delivery using three cases. In the first case, we discuss alternative means to control externalities by considering situations when private firms could cause harm to third parties (employees, customers, local communities etc.). These means include (a) imposing mandatory requirements upon firms to take precautionary measures, (b) allowing damaged parties to sue firms in the court of law, and (c) leaving such incidents to Coase-style private solutions. In the second case, we compare two modalities of public service delivery, namely in-house, by government agencies, or through outsourcing to private sector firms. Finally, we discuss the phenomenon of regulatory capture when wealthy elites unnecessarily complicate and obstruct the entry into the formal sector. ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 96 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
3.2. Controlling Externalities: Litigation vs. Regulation23m
3.3. The Role of Administrative Capacity16m
3.4. Outsourcing of Public Services31m
3.5. Regulatory Capture19m
Reading1 reading
Syllabus10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Problem Set 320m
Week
4
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Politics of Public Economics

This lecture begins with an analysis of how public economic policies differ from each other in democracies and autocracies. We next turn to politics of public economics in democracies and begin with the classical result about non-existence of a universal rule of democratic aggregation of preferences (Arrow's impossibility theorem). Then introduce so-called single-peaked preferences and discuss the role of median voter in collective decision making. Another problem occurs in polarized societies where even economically optimal democratic choice leaves people far to the left and/or far to the right from the median quite unhappy with a majority will. Possible solutions include restricting democratic procedures to smaller and hopefully more homogenous groups and charging user fees for a public good. We discuss the costs and benefits of these two approaches....
Reading
6 videos (Total 95 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
4.2. "Invisible political hand"9m
4.3. Democracy and autocracy compared15m
4.4. Preference aggregation problem12m
4.5. Single-peaked preferences and majority rule23m
4.6. Public goods: jointly or separately?19m
Reading1 reading
Syllabus10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Problem Set 420m

Instructor

Avatar

Leonid Polishchuk

Professor
Department of Applied Economics

About National Research University Higher School of Economics

National Research University - Higher School of Economics (HSE) is one of the top research universities in Russia. Established in 1992 to promote new research and teaching in economics and related disciplines, it now offers programs at all levels of university education across an extraordinary range of fields of study including business, sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, political science, international relations, law, Asian studies, media and communications, IT, mathematics, engineering, and more. Learn more on www.hse.ru...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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