UCL Department of Economics


ECON0082: Public Economics


There are three aims of the module:

  1. Give the students a solid background in in the theory of public finance, as well as models of savings and labor supply
  2. Give the students an overview of data for conducting PhD theses
  3. Teach the students modern applied econometrics procedures, including methods to address “natural experiments”, including difference in differences, regression discontinuity, and instrumental variables; as well as “structural estimation”, including GMM and calibration methods.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Estimate a simple labor supply model using both instrumental variables and GMM.
  2. Use the estimated model to calculate deadweight loss (a key concept of public finance).  Understand the different theories of public finance.
  3. Understand key policy tools that governments use to tax and transfer resources.  

Public Economics

Module information video presented by Eric French


Taught by:Eric French


  • Term 2: 10 lectures and 5 tutorials
  • Assessment: During May/June you will be required to sit a two-hour closed book examination.
Suitable for:Students who have begun the MRES sequence
Moodle page:ECON0082