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Economics of Public Policy


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Tutor: Andy Ross
  • Assessment: an examination (80%) and coursework (20%)

Module description

The course aims to show how simple economic analysis can guide the formulation and ‘evaluation’ of public policy, and to provide a toolkit for the evaluation of future policy issues. We will study a wide variety of contemporary public policy issues.

The module is relevant to anyone wishing to pursue a career in policy development, government, academia or consultancy. It applies microeconomic principles and concepts but the emphasis is on application, and the material is highly relevant to non-economists involved in policy development. You will be referred to academic and non-academic resources.

Learning objectives

If you successfully complete this module, you will:

  • understand why the government intervenes
  • understand the range of options available to policy-makers
  • understand the strengths and weaknesses of policy options in addressing the range of problems government face
  • be familiar with the process of policy-making and the tools available to policy-makers in England
  • be familiar with the principles and practice of cost-benefit analysis, and its strengths and weaknesses in comparison with alternative approaches.