Public Economics


Major areas of public economics include the economics of public expenditure, of taxation to pay for that expenditure, and of policy and programs broadly-defined. Faculty and students of public economics at CSU are engaged in dynamic research in a wide array of timely public policy topics related to health, immigration, education, tax policy, and the welfare state, and often provide advice to policymakers at various levels of government. Courses and research often share commonalities and complementarities with other applied fields such as regional economics, environmental economics and economic development, and therefore the field is a natural one to combine with other major areas of study at CSU. Classes review classic and recent literature and aim toward expanding analytics to original research that is relevant to economic policy.

Graduate Courses


ECON520 Public Economics I — Major topics include the welfare foundations of public economics, cost-benefit analysis, theory of public expenditure, state and local public goods, redistribution and welfare policy, education, and examples of intergenerational taxes and transfers in social insurance programs such as Social Security.

ECON720 Public Economics II — Topics include the economics of heath and health care including programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and taxation as means to finance public expenditures including optimal tax theory and applied examples of incidence (equity and distribution of tax burden) and of efficiency (effects of taxes on resource allocation).