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September 26, 2023


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Econ 2450a: Public Economics (Fall 2012, Harvard University). Instructor: Raj Chetty. This is the first of two courses in the graduate public economics sequence at Harvard.

This one-semester course covers basic issues in the optimal design of tax and social insurance policies, with emphasis on combining theoretical models with empirical evidence. Topics include efficiency costs and incidence of taxation, income taxation, transfer and welfare programs, public goods and externalities, optimal social insurance (excluding social security), and welfare analysis in behavioral models.

Course Curriculum

  • Lecture 01 – Introduction, What is Public Economics? Unlimited
  • Lecture 02 – Tax Incidence: Introduction, Partial Equilibrium Incidence Unlimited
  • Lecture 03 – Tax Incidence: Empirical Applications Unlimited
  • Lecture 04 – Tax Incidence: General Equilibrium Analysis Unlimited
  • Lecture 05 – Efficiency Cost of Taxation: Marshallian Surplus Unlimited
  • Lecture 06 – Efficiency Cost of Taxation: Harberger Approximation, Exact Consumer Surplus Unlimited
  • Lecture 07 – Efficiency Cost of Taxation: Empirical Applications, Welfare Analysis Unlimited
  • Lecture 08 – Optimal Taxation: Ramsey Model, Capital Income Taxation Unlimited
  • Lecture 09 – Optimal Taxation: Mirrlees Model Unlimited
  • Lecture 10 – Optimal Taxation: Optimal Transfer Programs Unlimited
  • Lecture 11 – Income Taxation and Labor Supply: Labor Supply Elasticity Estimation Unlimited
  • Lecture 12 – Income Taxation and Labor Supply: Why Not More Bunching at Kinks? Unlimited
  • Lecture 13 – Income Taxation and Labor Supply: Estimation of Labor Supply Elasticity Unlimited
  • Lecture 14 – Income Taxation and Labor Supply: Elasticity of Taxable Income Unlimited
  • Lecture 15 – Income Taxation and Labor Supply: Micro vs. Macro Elasticities Unlimited
  • Lecture 16 – Social Insurance: Motivations for Social Insurance Unlimited
  • Lecture 17 – Social Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (cont.) Unlimited
  • Lecture 18 – Social Insurance: Alternative Formulas for Optimal Unemployment Insurance Unlimited
  • Lecture 19 – Private Information and Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets Unlimited
  • Lecture 20 – Social Insurance: Unemployment Insurance and Firm Behavior Unlimited
  • Lecture 21 – Social Insurance: Workers’ Compensation, Disability Insurance Unlimited
  • Lecture 22 – Public Goods and Externalities: Externalities Unlimited
  • Lecture 23 – Externalities: Empirical Measurement Unlimited
  • Lecture 24 – Public Goods and Externalities: Public Goods Unlimited
  • Lecture 25 – Corporate Taxation: What does a Firm Do? Unlimited
  • Lecture 26 – Corporate Taxation: Corporate Tax Structure in the US Unlimited
  • Lecture 27 – Corporate Taxation: Empirical Evidence on Corporate Taxation Unlimited
  • Lecture 28 – Corporate Taxation: Choice of Organizational Form Unlimited

About the instructor

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