PP404      Half Unit
Economics for Public Policy

This information is for the 2021/22 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.

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, inequality, economic growth, inflation, business cycles, unemployment, and fiscal and monetary policies.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars totalling a minimum of 30 hours across Lent Term.  This year teaching will be delivered through a combination of online lectures, with seminars taking place in person where possible and where conditions allow.

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

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.


Take-home assessment (60%) in the ST.
Memo (30%) and problem sets (10%) in the LT.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2020/21: 33

Average class size 2020/21: 8

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

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