Public Economics Lectures (2nd Year Ph.D. Course)

This Ph.D. course covers basic issues in the optimal design of tax and social insurance policies, with emphasis on combining theoretical models with empirical evidence. Topics include efficiency costs and incidence of taxation, income taxation, transfer and welfare programs, public goods and externalities, optimal social insurance (excluding social security), welfare analysis in behavioral models, corporate taxation, and education policy.

Lecture Recordings
Watch the complete 28-lecture course from Fall 2012 on YouTube here.
Each lecture lasts 1.5 hours.

Course Outline
The slides and reading list are divided into eight parts:
Tax Incidence [3 lectures]
Efficiency Cost of Taxation [3 lectures]
Optimal Taxation [5 lectures]
Income Taxation and Labor Supply [4 lectures]
Social Insurance [5 lectures]
Public Goods and Externalities [4 lectures]
Corporate Taxation [4 lectures]
Education Policy [2 lectures; slides only, no videos]

Lecture slides (joint with Gregory A. Bruich) in pdf format
(for faster downloading, see the lite version with lower image quality)
Reading list in pdf format
Source files in Scientific Workplace format (the corporate taxation and education policy source files are in LyX format) and .doc file for the reading list
(this zip file contains .rap files that require the beamer package, available for free download here)

We would like to thank Jon Gruber, Day Manoli, Emmanuel Saez, and many other colleagues whose comments and lecture notes contributed to the development of these slides. Please contact Gregory Bruich ( or Raj Chetty ( if you have any questions or suggestions.