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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[11/80]  MANAGEMENT [80/40 - Ord. 2018]  Professionale 6 36


The course aims to provide the students with the main public finance tools and concepts.

Learning goals
1) Knowledge and understanding. The course enables students to acquire systematic knowledge of those parts of the standard contents of Public Economics/Public Finance courses devoted to tax revenue and public services provision. After completing the course, the student will have honed his ability to understand why and in what way the political institutions contribute to the realization of economic activities.
2) Ability to apply knowledge and understanding. The models, case studies dealt with and the knowledge of the functioning of public institutions treated in class and assigned in the exercises at home aim to empower the student with the ability to analyze and understand the economic problems of a general nature beyond the specific cases treated in textbooks.
3) Making judgments. During the lessons, and in the final test, students will be called through the use of ad hoc cases to suggest forms of public intervention in the economy by the political decision-maker (government or local institution). To do this the student will need to know how to understand and analyze the economic framework in which the various economic operators concerned are involved. Particular attention will be given to the ability to always relate the need for public intervention to the concomitant need to find the fiscal resources with which to finance such interventions.
4) Communication skills. Through conducting exercises, the commentary to the texts used and classroom discussion of fac-smile of exam papers, students will learn to articulate with rigor and precision of their knowledge of the matter, as required during the verification final test. Students will also be encouraged to take action in the classroom, giving their opinions on the analyzed economic situations, motivating and supporting their points of view in dialogue with the teacher and other students.
5) Learning skills. The pervasive use of economic methodology in the analysis of social phenomena, the attention to the economic incentive problems underlying most of the situations that characterize the public intervention in the economy, the systematic use of the Cartesian diagram logic and the concept of mathematical function will improve and enhance the learning skills of the students later in their academic and professional career.


The course requires a good knowledge of basic (first-year undergraduate) microeconomics and macroeconomics concepts - especially the national account analysis, as well as an adequate knowledge of linear algebra.


1 Introduction
- Why studying Public Finance is important?
- Analytic tools
2 Social insurance and redistribution
- Social insurance and pensions
- Social protection against unemployment
- Public sector intervention in health care
- Income distribution programs
3 Tax analysis
- Taxation and income distribution
- Taxation and economic efficiency
4 Tax systems
- The personal income tax
- Corporate taxation
- Consumption taxation
5 Principles of fiscal decentralisation
- Optimal fiscal federalism
- The Italian case

Teaching Methods

The course consists of 18 classes (36 hours).

Verification of learning

Learning is usually verified through written exam (maximum duration: 100 minutes) containing 3 questions divided in various sub-points to be developed.
The exam questions are always arranged so as to require students to highlight their mastery in algebraic derivation of economic relations, in the graphic representation, in the comments of the reference economic phenomena, in knowledge of the relevant institutional framework.
The score of the exam is out of thirty. The exam can only be passed in front of at least two fully satisfactory answers.

Consistently with the descriptors identified in the training objectives, the following elements will be evaluated:
1) clarity in expressing the theoretical contents regarding tax theory analysis and reasons for public sector intervention (evaluation of knowledge and understanding).
2) the ability to revise the concepts and apply them to the cases that do not correspond exactly to the examples of the textbook but still covered in class or assigned deepening individual student (evaluation of ability to apply knowledge and understanding).
3) the ability to suggest a specific form of public intervention to address a market failure or know-how concrete examples, motivating their answers through the addressed theoretical tools and illustrating the logical path followed (evaluation of independent judgment).
4) The clarity and comments, the ability to synthesize, the mastery of the algebraic derivation of formal relations and their graphical representation (evaluation of communication skills)
5) the institutional knowledge of architecture of the welfare state and the Italian tax system (assessment of learning ability).

The allocation range of the final grade is :
- From 18/30 : for a level of elementary knowledge of the subject, that is when the student can only take into account the general issues under review ( market failures , regulatory and welfare state , tax theory , Italian tax system ), set up at least basic graphical analysis of the economic aspect analyzed.
- To 30/30 , with eventual praise, if the student will show an adequate mastery of the technical and economic language, will systematize in a logical and coherent fashion the knowledge he or she has acquired, will formally set the reference economic models and will support the analysis with a rigorous graphics processing of the concepts.

Depending on the situation related with the COVID-19 emergency, the structure and the format of the exam might be modified. Changes will be communicated through ESSE3.


- Jonathan Gruber, Public Finance and Public Policy, 6th edition 2020, Macmillan

More Information

Slides are available - usually the day before each class

Questionnaire and social

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