Public Policy Economics (Online)

Course summary

Public Policy Economics (Online)



Overview

All of us are affected by government policies, and governments place particular emphasis on economic policies. This course covers some of the most important questions about the aims and tools of economic policy. It will equip students to evaluate the economic arguments made about public policy choices.

All of us as citizens are affected by government policies, and governments place particular emphasis on economic policies. These are therefore prominent in political debate and in the news. Yet few people have the knowledge to be able to evaluate claims and counter-claims. This course covers some of the most important questions about the aims and tools of economic policy, ranging from competition policy and regulation to industrial policy, from public spending choices to incorporating behavioural psychology nudges'in policy decisions. It covers the role of the state versus the market, and the governments responsibility for sustainability. It will equip students to evaluate the economic arguments made about public policy choices.

Listen to Dr Diane Coyle talking about the course:

For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

Programme details

The areas you will cover in this course are:

  • The aims of public policy
  • Social welfare and growth
  • Market Failures
  • State ownership, privatisation and regulation
  • Industrial policy
  • Social choice and individual choice
  • Social security
  • Behavioural public policy
  • Government Failure
  • Evaluating public policies

We strongly recommend that you try to find a little time each week to engage in the online conversations (at times that are convenient to you) as the forums are an integral, and very rewarding, part of the course and the online learning experience.

Recommended reading

To participate in this course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and you will need to buy the following books:

Le Grand, J, Smith, S, and Propper, C: The Economics of Social Problems 4th edition (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2008)

Coyle, D: GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History (Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 2014)

Certification

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to register and pay the £10 fee.

For more information on CATS point please click on the link below: http://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/studentsupport/faq/cats.php

Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.

All students who successfully complete this course, whether registered for credit or not, are eligible for a Certificate of Completion. Completion consists of submitting both course assignments and actively participating in the course forums. Certificates will be available, online, for those who qualify after the course finishes.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

Fees

Home/EU Fee: £255.00
Non-EU Fee: £295.00
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00

Tutors

Mr Juan Gutierrez Rodriguez

None

Juan D. Gutiérrez is DPhil candidate in public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government (BSG), University of Oxford. Before joining BSG, he worked a year and half as an adviser to the Colombian Minister of Justice and five years as lawyer associate at a leading law firm. He also holds a Master in Public Policy in Latin America from the University of Oxford (2011) and a Master in Law and Economics from Erasmus University of Rotterdam (2007). Juan has published academic papers in a range of policy issues such as oil revenues management, market regulation, antitrust, agricultural development, access to justice and gender based violence.

Course aims

This course aims to:

  • explore the rationale for public policy interventions in the economy
  • provide an overview of a wide range of areas of applied microeconomics used in public policy, including relevant historical and international experience
  • discuss the role of economics in the political process; (iv) provide an introduction to the evaluation of economic policies. It will have some interdisciplinary elements, in touching on political economy and behavioural economics.


This course will enable participants to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the criteria for successful microeconomic public policy interventions
  • show understanding of the reasons for the variation in policy interventions over time and in different contexts
  • evaluate critically policy proposals, including demonstrating awareness of sources of empirical evidence
  • demonstrate knowledge of specific topics in public policy economics
  • contribute to public and policy debates about a range of economic issues

Teaching outcomes

By the end of this course the participants will understand:

  • the importance of definitions and ethics in framing policy questions and public debate
  • the limitations of both states and markets in collective action
  • the many trade-offs and choices that inevitably arise in economic policy


By the end of this course students will be expected to have gained the following skills:

  • critically evaluate data, evidence and arguments about economic policy questions
  • contribute to debates themselves in a more evidence based way
  • link policy choices to social welfare, or ethical, goals
  • connect economic trade-offs with issues of political choice and practical implementation

Assessment methods

Assessment for this course is based on two written assignments - one short assignment due half way through the course and one longer assignment due at the end of the course. Students will have about two weeks to complete each assignment.

Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.

Application

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.

Level and demands

FHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.

Online Course Enrolment Form