PP404      Half Unit
Economics for Public Policy

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ethan Ilzetzki


This course is compulsory on the Master of Public Policy. This course is not available as an outside option.


This course has no pre-requisites.

Course content

This is graduate level course for mid-career policy-makers to develop their knowledge and understanding of key principles of economics as applicable to policy-making. The emphasis is on developing an understanding of analytical frameworks and models that can be applied to a wide variety of contexts. Both micro- and macro-economics will be covered, including price theory, understanding markets, externalities, public goods, principal-agent problems, economic growth, inflation business cycles, unemployment, and fiscal and monetary policies.


20 hours of lectures, 15 hours of seminars and 10 hours of help sessions in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 10 problem sets in the LT.

There will be weekly formative course work to give students the opportunity to develop fluency with the tools covered in the course.

Indicative reading

Mankiw, N. Gregory and Mark Taylor (2017) Economics, 4th Edition, Cengage Learning EMEA.

Moss, David A. A Concise Guide to Macroeconomics.

Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets - McMillan, John 2002

Intermediate microeconomics: a modern approach - Hal R. Varian 2014

Participation and the provision of discrete public goods: a strategic analysis - Thomas R. Palfrey, Howard Rosenthal 1984-7

The undercover economist strikes back: how to run or ruin an economy - Tim Harford 2013

The given texts are preparatory reading only. A full reading list will be provided at the start of the course.


Coursework (30%, 2000 words) in the LT.
Online assessment (70%) in the ST.

The online assessment will be administered via Moodle on a day of Summer Term to be co-ordinated each year with other courses of the MPP degree with assessments at this time of year. Students will have a fixed window (e.g. 12-hour or 24-hours) within which to access the assignment questions and to respond to them. Once they have logged into Moodle and downloaded the questions students will have 2 hours to prepare and upload their answers. No outside research will be required. Questions will be based on topics covered in lectures and seminars.

Please note that for the online assessment, extra time can be granted as a standard request for students with inclusion plans or who otherwise would need individual examination adjustments.

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills