You are on page 1of 3

My email address: eafrenkel@ucdavis.

Economics 130
Public Economics
Fall 2015

Mon/Wed/Fri: 12:10 1:00 pm 160 Scrub Oak Hall


Emanuel A. Frenkel


Harvey S. Rosen & T. Gayer, Public Finance, 8th or 9th Edition

McGraw-Hill/Irwin Publishers

Office Hours:
Monday/Wednesday 10:30 am to 11:30 am and by appointment
#1101 Social Science and Humanities
Our course in Public Finance covers the theory and practical workings of
government in todays economy. We will apply theory and examine real-world
issues as we explore the nature and origins of governmental interventions into the
economy. We will examine these interventions with respect to individual and
national well-being, the provision of public goods, externalities, income redistribution and essential welfare programs such as social security and medical
insurance schemes. At all times we will take into account economic principles in our
analysis of government decision-making.
We will look at the policy debates that surround topics such as these and come to an
understanding of why the outcome of these debates plays an important role in
helping to determine the health and functioning of the economy.
What may make this course interesting for you is that during my 20 years as a
Senior Executive at Bank of America Corporation, I interacted with government
officials at many levels (including the highest) on issues of economic policy and as a
lobbyist for the Banking Industry. In this way I was able to see and be involved with
many real world applications of Public Economics. At times I will bring in my
experiences with government to help explain some of the micro-economic theory we
will cover. Hopefully this will add interest to the course.
Public Economics is essentially for majors in Economics and it relies on much of
micro-economic theory. It should provide a firm basis for sharpening your
analytical skills. NOTE: You should be familiar with microeconomic theory at the
ECN 100 level, but you will find that ECN 130 will ground your economic
knowledge more firmly. Public Economics has become an essential ingredient to a
better understanding of, and appreciation for, the economic environment in which
we all live and work.

Page 2
Economics 130
The Economics of Public Finance
Fall 2015
NOTE: For this course in ECN 130, it will be very important for you to ATTEND
THE LECTURES. We will use the textbook primarily as a REFERENCE SOURCE
and supplement to many of the lecture topics. There is a lot of detail in the text: we
will emphasize primarily the key concepts in each assigned chapter and add detail
where necessary. However, I expect that you will CAREFULLY READ the assigned
readings. As for the homework, the honor system and my belief that we are here to
LEARN will guide homework. Homework will not be graded. Homework will
cover materials from the textbook and lecture, and much of the homework will be
questions I will develop.
NOTE: Homework and reading assignments as well as other course information will
be posted to you on a regular basis USING A CLASS EMAIL LIST THROUGH
SMARTSITE. THEREFORE YOU WILL WANT TO CHECK YOUR email address regularly. My email to you will be the main way
of communicating with you outside of lecture and office hours.
Your Discussion Sections are for homework review and questions about text and
course materials. If you honestly do the homework in the sequence assigned,
diligently read the readings, and come to LECTURE and SECTION, you surely will
be prepared for the exams and also will learn a very exciting topic in economics
You final grade in Economics 130 will be based on three (3) Midterms and the
Final Exam. Each midterm will count for approximately 20%, and the final
will count for the remaining 40% weight in the final grade.

***Approximately here means that we will also weight for

performance trend (both up and down). I will explain how this works in
The first midterm is scheduled for October 12. The second midterm is scheduled for
October 30. The third Midterm will be on November 20. The material covered by
each midterm will be announced in advance in class and will be sent to you via
email. The final will be comprehensive. The final exam will be on Friday,
December 11th at 8 am! The midterms and final will consist of short answers and
problems. All exams are closed book. FINALLY: I do not give early or late exams,
so if an emergency arises, you will need ironclad written documentation to
support your position. As for family reunions, important birthdays, too many other
exams on December 11th, and the like DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!!
I will hold a comprehensive review and tie all of our topics together before our final
exam at the end of the course!

Page 3
Economics 130
The Economics of Public Finance
Fall 2015
Course outline
We will divide our course ECN 130 into Three Parts: Textbook Chapter Numbers
are indicated as a rough guide to the lecture material. It will be a good idea to read
the suggested pages in each Chapter in advance of the lectures on the associated
Part 1.
Why We Have Government Chapter #1
The Tools of Welfare Analysis Chapters #2 and #3
Public Goods Chapter #4
Part 2.
Externalities (and Education) Chapters #5 and # 7
Political Economy Chapter #6
Part 3.
Government Programs

Income Re-distribution Chapter #12

Programs for the Disadvantaged Chapter #13
Social Security Chapter #11
Health Care Chapters #9 and #10

Course Review
Please Note: I will need at least the two weeks notice with official notification before exams
from students who fall under the guidelines of the Student Disability Center (SDC) and
need extra time during exams. This two week notice allows the economics department to
prepare for the extra time and facilities requested.