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62652-01 - Lecture: Economics of Public Policy 3 CP

Semester fall semester 2023
Course frequency Every fall sem.
Lecturers Beat Hintermann (
Alois Stutzer (, Assessor)
Content This introductory course provides the fundamentals for other core and field courses in the Master of Economics and Public Policy. It sets the stage for students to understand the role of public policy in a market economy. The course includes and combines elements from normative public economics and the institutional approach to political economy.

The questions discussed include: When and how should and do governments intervene, and how can we test whether an intervention was successful using empirical evidence? How can we prevent that a market failure is replaced by a government failure, and vice versa? What institutions can help us reach an outcome that is both efficient and socially acceptable? What is the role of, and the need for, redistribution? The course provides a theoretical foundation for the economics of public policy and discusses applications from different fields. It is taught by Profs. Hintermann and Stutzer and also includes guest lectures from other faculty members and practitioners.
Learning objectives Students become acquainted with thinking about public policy from an economics point of view. They become familiar with different theoretical frameworks to define and shape public involvement in a market economy and, more generally, in society. They understand the concepts of market and government failures and the type interventions that can eliminate them. They learn why public programs need to be evaluated regularly, what principles should guide empirical work and how the results can be interpreted.
Bibliography The reading list will be provided in the course.
Weblink Weblink


Admission requirements This course is open for students of the consecutive "Master of Science in Business and Economics".
Course application Registration: Please enroll in the Online Services (;

Eucor-Students and mobility students of other Swiss Universities or the FHNW first have to register at the University of Basel BEFORE the start of the course and receive their login data by post (e-mail address of the University of Basel). Processing time up to a week! Detailed information can be found here:
After successful registration you can enroll for the course in the Online Services (

Applies to everyone: Enrolment = Registration for the course and the exam!
Language of instruction English
Use of digital media No specific media used
Course auditors welcome
Modules Module: Core Courses in Public Policy (Master's Studies: Economics and Public Policy)
Vertiefungsmodul Global Europe: Staatlichkeit, Entwicklung und Globalisierung (Master's Studies: European Global Studies)
Assessment format main lecture exam
Assessment details The performance evaluation will be based on a written exam.

Passing this course is relevant to continuing with the specialized master’s in Economics and Public Policy. The lecture course can be taken twice. To remain on the degree program, however, it is expedient to pass this class the first time, as this is an admission requirement for all other courses in the master’s program.

Date of the written exam: 12.01.24: 10:15-11:45.

Depending on the number of students, the start of the exam may be moved forward or backward for 15 minutes. Exam rooms and start times will be published until 29.11.23.
You can still withdraw from the examination by submitting a completed, signed form to our office from 17.10.23 until 27.10.23 / 12:00 o’clock. The deregistration form and the mail address can be found on the homepage of the Dean of Studies Office:
Prior to 16.10.23, please deregister only in the Online Services.

Repeat exam: 01.02.24; 14:15-15:30. You will receive the rooms for the repeat exam by mail.

For courses with a main lecture exam, a repeat exam is offered in addition to the regular examination date.This repeat examination can only be taken if the student has taken part in and failed the regular examination (grade < 4.0) see English translation of the study guide of our master programs by December 13, 2021: Paragraph
Assessment registration/deregistration Reg.: course registration, dereg: cancel course registration
Repeat examination one repetition, best attempt counts
Scale 1-6 0,1
Repeated registration one repetition
Responsible faculty Faculty of Business and Economics ,
Offered by Faculty of Business and Economics