Microeconomic Policy

2019-2020
Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

The objective of this course is to identify, justify, analyze and
evaluate policy options to various current economic problems, including
issues in the fields of development and trade, climate and environment,
labor markets and social insurance, as well as competition policy for
and regulation of product markets. Using problem sets along with work on
empirical economic data will increase and deepen understanding and help
broach a large number of applied policy fields.

Specific learning outcomes upon completion of this course are:
i. students are able to formulate the economic rationale for policy
intervention in various current economic problems, developed from
insights based on economic theories;
ii. students are able to evaluate existing and potential policy options,
both in theory and in practice;
iii. students can apply tools of economic modeling and are able to
interpret economic data;
iv. students show a critical attitude to existing theoretical and
empirical policy analysis of current economic problems.

Inhoud vak

Microeconomic policy is on top of the agenda when it comes to keeping
individual countries on the path to stability and growth. Microeconomic
structural reforms (say, in labor and product markets, social security
and welfare systems) are often seen as long-run policy measures, geared
at structural and sustainable solutions, and are complementary to
short-term macroeconomic stabilization policies.

This course discusses the role of economic policy in the context of both
market failures and government objectives to adjust market outcomes,
including distributional aspects.

Current structural economic problems arising in the following fields are
prime candidates to be discussed:
• taking into account the trade-off between efficiency and equity when
formulating policy goals in an interconnected world;
• measuring inequality of incomes and the role of distributional policy;
• development and trade: analysis of living standards and poverty,
provision of legal and political frameworks, trade protection, WTO;
• environment: externalities from pollution, regulation and tax
solutions; public goods and free rider behavior; climate policy
challenges and trade effects;
• labor market allocation; labor supply responses to the tax and
transfer system;
• social insurance and asymmetric information: disability insurance,
moral hazard, welfare payments;
• competition policy and regulation: imperfect competition, market
power, cartels, price-discrimination, regulation and de-regulation.

During the course, both theoretical and empirical economic work in
policy context is discussed.

Onderwijsvorm

Lectures
Tutorials

Toetsvorm

Grade is average of problem sets (30%) and written examination (70%),
with written exam grade of at least 5.0.

Vereiste voorkennis

Basic knowledge of mathematics (differential calculus; high school
level) and statistics, as provided in the academic core of most academic
BSc programs at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam or equivalent.

Literatuur

Main text: to be specified;
Various academic papers and ancillary textbook chapters, to be announced
on Canvas.

Doelgroep

Third-year bachelor students of any major (except Economics and Business
Economics; and Econometrics).

Overige informatie

This course replaces the previous course "Structural Policy". It is an
integral part of the University Minor Economics; participants gain
strongly from attending the entire minor program. This course prepares
for Economic Policy Analysis, and has intersections with the course
Macroeconomic Policy.

Aanbevolen voorkennis

The course builds on a previous courses in the Minor Economics program,
in particular, Foundations of Microeconomics. Familiarity with contents
of that course is assumed. Familiarity includes a working knowledge of
how to apply economic models in context and how to select and use
appropriate graphical tools of analysis. Foundations of Macroeconomics
is useful.

Algemene informatie

Vakcode E_ME_MIEP
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P2
Vakniveau 300
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit School of Business and Economics
Vakcoördinator dr. S. Hochguertel
Examinator dr. S. Hochguertel
Docenten dr. S. Hochguertel

Praktische informatie

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