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Economics 203

ECON 203
Public Finance

1. Catalog Entry

ECON 203
Public Finance

Credit hours (3)
Prerequisites: ECON 205 or ECON 206

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

2. Detailed Description of 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) Need for Government
    2) Role of Public Finance
    3) Fiscal Functions and Institutions
    4) Tools of Public Finance: Theory and Practice
    5) Cost-Benefit Analysis
    6) Budgeting and Budget Structure
    7) Public expenditure: Public Goods and Externalities
    8) Public expenditure: Health Care, Social Security, and Programs for the Poor
    9) Principles of Taxation: A framework for Analysis
    10) The United States Tax System
    11) Fundamental Tax Reform
    12) Deficit Finance and National Debt
    13) Multi-government Public Finance

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The following teaching strategies will be employed:

Lectures and discussions

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

After completion of the course, students will be able to:
    1) Recognize the role of public finance and fiscal institutions
    2) Analyze critically the rationale for government and its role in a mixed economy
    3) Apply the tools of public finance in theory and practice
    4) Assess public policy, particularly in social insurance programs, such as health care, social
       security, and programs for the poor
    5) Explain the principles of taxation and how the tax system of the United States relates to those
       principles
    6) Analyze the implications of certain taxes on economic behavior
    7) Examine government budgeting, deficit financing, and national debt
    8) Explain multi-government public finance

5. Assessment Measures

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

6. Other Course Information

None.

Review and Approval

September 2, 2014
December 2013 C. Vehorn
April 13, 2009 C. Vehorn
December 2004 N. Hashemzadeh