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Economics 203

ECON 203: Public Finance

Prerequisite: ECON 105 or ECON 106

Credit Hours: (3)

All three levels of government discussed with emphasis on financing federal government.  Students are introduced to government taxation and spending.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

Public Finance relates the role of the government in our economy. Students will be introduced to how our economic system works and how it has expanded in recent years. Topics such as the effects of the government's budget and its size, the deficit, taxes, and the nature of the political process are all covered.

Topic Outline

1. Fiscal Functions
2. Fiscal Institutions
3. Public Choice Theory
4. Public Expenditures
5. Principles of Taxation
6. Taxes
7. Fiscal Federalism
8. The National Debt


Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

The following teaching strategies will be employed:

  • Lectures and discussions.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. Explore the fiscal functions such as allocation, distribution, and stabilization.
2 . Examine the constitutional framework, the voting systems and individual choice, and the theory of representative democracy.
3. Discuss the market failure and social goals and examine allocative efficiency.
4. Explore the size of the public sector and the cross sectional analysis.
5. Discuss the benefit principle, equity, and incidence of taxation.
6. Discuss the characteristics of personal and corporate income taxes.
7. Examine the characteristics of sales taxes.
8. Discuss property and wealth taxes.
9. Discuss the characteristics of payroll tax.
10. Examine fiscal federalism and fiscal stabilization.


Assessment Measures

Tests, homework, reports, presentations, class participation. Grades and percentages depend on individual professors.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

Date Action Reviewed by
December 2004 Made alterations to syllabus N. Hashemzadeh, Chair

Revised    4/13/09    Charles Vehorn