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ECOM-440 Public Economics 1: Taxation Policy, 5 cr 
Code ECOM-440  Validity 01.08.2020 -
Name Public Economics 1: Taxation Policy  Abbreviation Public Economic 
Scope5 cr   
TypeAdvanced studies
  GradingGeneral scale 
    Can be taken more than onceno
Unit Master's Programme in Economics 

Jukka Pirttilä 

Target group 

Master’s Programme in Economics. Open to other students as well.


Annually in the third period

Learning outcomes 

After the course, student should be well versed in the basis of government intervention and the impacts and the design of tax policies, and be able to use the material covered in own analytical work and research afterwards. Specifically, the course covers the following area:

  • welfare theoretic underpinnings of government intervention
  • equity and efficiency, measurement of inequality
  • tax incidence and the deadweight burden of taxes
  • the impact of taxes on household behaviour: labour supply and taxable income elasticities
  • optimal income tax and transfer policies
  • corporate income taxation
  • tax evasion and avoidance
  • tax competition
Completion methods 

The course consists of lectures (24 hours) and homework. There will be a final exam.


Knowledge of the basic concepts of microeconomic theory.

Recommended optional studies 

Knowledge of microeconometric tools would be an advantage.


This course covers key topics in modern public economics research, utilizing mainly theoretical but also empirical material. The course focusses on taxation. It is recommended that students also take the course Public Economics 2 to get a full picture of the field.

Study materials and literature 

Given in the course

Activities and teaching methods in support of learning 

All material related to the course is delivered through Moodle. It also contains a discussion forum where students can discuss issues related to the course with each other and the teacher.

Assessment practices and criteria 

The course is graded on a scale from 0 (fail) to 5. The grade is an average of home work (30%) and final exam (70%).


Current and future instruction
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Future examinations
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