Social Economics and Policy
This information is for the 2021/22 session.
Prof Stephen Jenkins OLD.2.29
This course is available on the BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and International Relations and BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.
Places on this course are limited and priority is given to Social Policy students in the first instance. If places remain available once Social Policy students have been accommodated, they will be offered on a first come first served basis to students from outside the Department.
This course is not available to third year students.
No prior knowledge of economics is required.
This course provides an introduction to the economics of social policy and the economics of income distribution. The course begins by introducing basic economic concepts and principles and discussing their application to different social policy areas, including childcare, education, health care, social care, housing and the environment. Key concepts include supply, demand and elasticities, externalities and market failure, private insurance and social insurance.
The course goes on to analyse the distribution of household income, poverty and inequality, labour market earnings, and unemployment. It covers concepts of human capital and productivity and looks at a range of policies, including minimum wage legislation, taxation and the social security system.
Throughout, the course emphasises the importance of understanding political goals in assessing the effectiveness or justice of economic and social policies, and seeks to encourage students to draw on both theory and empirical evidence in addressing its core questions.
The course uses charts but is taught without mathematics and is designed to be suitable both for students with no prior knowledge of economics and for those who have taken A level economics.
Courses in Social Policy will follow the Teaching Model which has been adopted by the Department of Social Policy during the period of the pandemic. This is outlined HERE: https://www.lse.ac.uk/social-policy/Current-Students/teaching-in-the-department-of-social-policy
This course will be taught through a combination of either a recorded lecture plus a follow-up Q and A session or a ‘live’ on-line lecture; and classes/seminars of 1-1.5 hours (with size and length of classes/seminars depending on social distancing requirements).
Further information will be provided by the Course Convenor in the first lecture of the course.
Students will be expected to complete exercises as required for classes, and write three formative essays during the course of the year.
J Le Grand, C Propper & R Robinson, The Economics of Social Problems, 4th Edition, Palgrave, 2008
R Lipsey and A Crystal, Economics, 14th edition, OUP, 2020 (or earlier edition)
N Barr, Economics of the Welfare State, 6th Edition, OUP 2020 (or earlier edition)
H Glennerster, Understanding the Cost of Welfare, 3rd edition. The Policy Press, 2017
J Hills, Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and US, revised edition, The Policy Press, 2017
A B Atkinson, Inequality: What Can Be Done? Harvard University Press, 2015.
Online assessment (100%) in the ST.
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.
Department: Social Policy
Total students 2020/21: 38
Average class size 2020/21: 7
Capped 2020/21: Yes (30)
Value: One Unit