Economics in Public Policy

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Mohan Bijapur 32L.1.31

Prof. Daniel Sturm 32L.2.25


This course is available on the BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in International Relations and BSc in Social Policy and Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

The course is not open to students on the BSc Economics and joint BSc programmes between Economics other departments.


Students normally will have completed Economics A (EC100) or Economics B (EC102) or their equivalent.

Course content

This course uses economic analysis to explore important questions in contemporary public policy. The first term focuses on microeconomic policy problems while the second term focusses on macroeconomic policies. The use of mathematics is minimal (in particular with no calculus) and the emphasis of instruction is on graphical analysis and economic intuition. Precise topics and readings will be announced and are selected to be of current interest.  Last year’s topics included externalities from road transportation; the implications of high income taxes in Scandinavian countries; the trade-off behind unemployment insurance systems; the effectiveness of policies to support peripheral regions; the effects of international economic integration; the patterns of long-run income and wealth inequality; the economics of global warming; central bank independence and inflation targetting; financial crises, asset price bubbles and the subprime mortgage crisis; unconventional tools of monetary policy; currency crises; currency unions and the euro; the economics of Brexit; the Greek sovereign debt crisis and growth policy.


15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

A one hour revision lecture will be held in week 11 of the MT and week 11 of the LT.

Formative coursework

Four pieces of written work to be handed in to the class teacher. Students are expected to make positive contributions to class discussions.

Indicative reading

There is no set course textbook. A list of selected texts and readings will be provided at the start of term.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the January exam period.
Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

The Lent term examination is based on the Michaelmas term syllabus, and the Summer exam on the Lent term syllabus.

Key facts

Department: Economics

Total students 2017/18: 89

Average class size 2017/18: 14

Capped 2017/18: No

Lecture capture used 2017/18: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication