Economic policy in the European Union

This course is an introduction to the analysis of economic policy and policy-making. It aims to provide a detailed and critical understanding of the output and the process of economic policy making, to channel this knowledge through the wider context of economics and political science, and to enable students to develop analytical and theoretical skills that provide the foundations for higher degrees or that can be transferred directly into non-academic careers. Topics will include an analysis of the effects on markets of government policies such as a the establishment of minimum price, a maximun price, a quota, or a subsidy; the effects of taxation and the design of optimal tax systems, market failure (imperfect competition, externatilies, public goods) and ways to deal with it, monetary policy, fiscal policy, and public choice and the making of economic policy. The second part of the course will apply the main concepts to policies related to human capital in the European Union, such as the minimum wage, education subsidies, income taxation, social security or immigration policy. Readings, exercises and class presentations will encourage students to develop practical skills such the ability to plan and work independently and to summarise and elucidate an issue.


1. Supply, demand, and government policies. 2. The efficiency of markets and the costs of taxation. 3. Market failure: externalities, public goods, monopoly. 4. Output, growth, employment, inflation, income distribution. 5. Monetary policy. 6. Fiscal policy. 7. Economic policy making.

Indicative reading: 

Mankiw, N. (2014). Essentials of economics. Cengage learning; Mankiw, N. G., & Taylor, M. P. (2014). Economics. 3rd ed. Boston: Cengage Learning.

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