Princeton Econ 523 - Graduate Public Finance

This six-week course provides graduate-level discussion of topics and methods in public finance. It covers a variety of applied topics: (1) equity, efficiency, fiscal policy, (2) business/capital taxation, (3) the taxation of top earners, (4) taxes, innovation, and entreprenuership, (5) the Rosen-Roback model and place-based policies, and (6) the safety net.

Syllabus, Deadlines

I. Overview of Equity, Efficiency, Fiscal Policy

- Lecture 1

- Supplemental examples of connecting theory and data (Card SBTC, Allen Gravity)

II. Business Taxation

- Lecture 2 Policy: Taxation and the Firm (note on taxes and investment from Auerbach)

- Lecture 3 Theory: Capital Taxes in a Spatial Setting, Capital Markets, Quantitative Harberger Model (notes on Harberger from Auerbach and Poterba)

- Lecture 4 Evidence: Firm Location, corporate taxes, and million dollar plants

III. Taxation of High-Income Earners

- Lecture 5 (note on labor supply elasticity estimates from Card)

IV. Innovation Policy

- Lecture 6 (note on IP from Glen Weyl)

V. Spatial Public Finance and Place-based policy

- Lecture 7: overview of spatial PF and Rosen-Roback model

- Lecture 8a: Place-based policies theory

- Lecture 8b: Place-based policies evidence

- Lecture 8c: State tax structure and business location subsidies in general equilibrium

VI. Safety Net and EITC

- Lecture 9

Acknowledgements: These lectures are often heavily based on materials developed by David Card, Raj Chetty, Pat Kline, and Kevin Murphy as well as Enrico Moretti, David Albouy, Alan Auerbach, Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman, Manasi Deshpande, Hillary Hoynes, and Jesse Rothstein.

WWS 593i - The Future of fiscal policy in the US

This six week couse will evaluate fiscal policies that governments will likely consider in the 21st century, from both empirical and theoretical perspectives. Recent economic developments (including technological change, the rise of robots, and geographic sorting) present many challenges for policymakers. After briefly reviewing some of these developments, the course will focus on assessing several likely policy responses: taxing capital and top-income earners, the safety net and redistribution, and place-based policies that aim to address spatial disparities in opportunity. Lectures will frame each class, followed by a student-led discussion of the readings and memos. The goal is to have a principled discussion about the potential market failures operating in these settings, to critique the current methods of government intervention, and to discuss the pros and cons of alternative policies. 

Syllabus

Week 1: Overview, Efficiency, Equity, and Fiscal Policy (slides)

Discussion: Should we tax robots?

Week 2: Business Taxation (slides)

Discussion: how much should we tax corporations? Who benefits from corporate tax cuts? Should we broaden the base and lower the rate?

Week 3: Taxation of High-Income Earners (slides)

Discussion: how high should top income tax rates be? How large should tax expenditures be? Should we eliminate the state and local tax deduction?

Week 4: Innovation Policy (slides)

Discussion: Should innovation be subsidized? How should innovation and entrepreneurship policy be structured? Patent boxes, Section 179, H1-B visas?

Week 5: Spatial Public Finance and Place-based policy (slides)

Discussion: What is the economic case (if any) for targeting places instead of people? Should we invest in economic development for places or simply move people away from depressed areas?

Week 6: Safety Net and EITC (slides)

Discussion: How generous should the safety net be? And how should it be structured? Specifically, should we expand the EITC, increase the minimum wage, or provide everyone with a universal basic income, or something else?

Acknowledgements: These lectures are often heavily based on materials developed by Kevin Murphy and Raj Chetty as well as Alan Auerbach, Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman, and Pat Kline.

Booth 35916 - New Developments In Public Finance

This course provides graduate-level discussion of topics and methods in public finance. It covers a variety of applied topics: Health insurance (Mahoney), education (Zimmerman), Spatial Public Finance (Zidar), and Investment and Housing Tax Policy (Zwick).

Syllabus

Lecture 1: Introduction to Spatial Public Finance, the Rosen-Roback Spatial Model

- Lecture Notes

Lecture 2: Placed-based Policies

- Lecture Notes, Calibrated Spatial Model, Train's Discrete Choice

Lecture 3: Capital Taxation in a Spatial Setting, Quantitative Harberger Model

- Lecture Notes, supplemental Harberger notes from Auerbach and Poterba

Lecture 4: Firm Location, Taxes, and the Incidence of Local Corporate Tax Cuts

- Lecture Notes

Acknowledgements: These lectures are often heavily based on materials developed by David Card as well as Pat Kline, Enrico Moretti, David Albouy, Alan Auerbach, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman.

Booth 33001 - Microeconomics

This course teaches the basic principles of modern microeconomics and their application to business decisions. The course will cover the following topics: the economic determinants of consumer choice; the behavior of firms in competitive and monopolistic settings; the effect of market structure on prices, production, and profit; factor markets, investment, and technological change; the strategic aspects of pricing; the effect of incomplete information and uncertainty on the behavior of consumers and firms.

Syllabus

Week 0: Math Review

- Lecture Notes, Supplemental Math Review

Week 1: Supply and Demand, Elasticities, and Applications

- Lecture Notes

Week 2: Consumer and Producer Surplus, Efficiency, Government and Taxation

- Lecture Notes, Supplemental Uber case study

Week 3: Consumer Behavior, Market Demand, and Consumer Welfare

- Lecture Notes, Utility Example, Demand for Movies Example

Week 4: Economic Cost, Factor Demand, and Technological Change

- Lecture Notes, Cost Example

Week 5: Industry Supply, Market Equilibriuim, Profits

- Lecture Notes

Week 6: Capital Markets and Investment

- Lecture Notes, PDV.xls, Supplemental Note of Firm Investment

Week 7: Monopoly, Innovation, Advertising

- Lecture Notes, Revenue.xls, Supplemental Reading on Market Power

Week 8: Oligopoly, Strategic Interaction, Discrete Choice

- Lecture Notes

Week 9: Uncertainty, Insurance, and Adverse Selection

- Lecture Notes

Week 10: Price Discrimination, Behavioral Economics, and Course Review

- Lecture Notes

Acknowledgements: These lectures are often heavily based on materials developed by Kevin Murphy and Alex Frankel as well as Bob Topel, Matt Notowidigdo, Emily Oyster, Raj Chetty, Loukas Karabarbounis, Jesse Shapiro, David Card, Jon Guryan, and Jonathan Gruber.

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