ENR-22306 Public Sector Economics


Studiepunten 6.00

Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. EH van der Werf
Lecturer(s)dr. EH van der Werf
Examiner(s)dr. EH van der Werf

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

UEC-21806 Microeconomics or AEP-20306 Economics of Agribusiness.


This course considers the role of the government in the economy. It does so from a microeconomic perspective. The course deals with the taxing and spending activities of the government, the behavioral responses of consumers and firms, and how the government influences the allocation of resources and the distribution of income. The course extensively discusses the actual financial position of the Dutch government, the existing financial norms about government debts and budget deficits, the present organisation of the Dutch social security system, and the relationship with the European Union.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- analyse the problem of efficient provision of public goods;
- analyse the incidence and social efficiency of taxes;
- evaluate the actual financial position of the Dutch government with respect to existing financial norms, sources of revenue, and types of expenditure;
- analyse recent themes about the Dutch welfare state such as the economic consequences of the ageing population;
- explain the decision making processes of the European Union and the EU system of fiscal federalism.


The course includes lectures and tutorials. In the lectures we present the main topics and some seminal models of public sector economics. Exercises are scheduled along with the lectures to foster acquaintance with economic models of the public sector. During several tutorials, students discuss current issues of Dutch public policies. Finally, students have to present main insights on the organisation of the Dutch public sector and contemporary Dutch policy.


- written closed book exam with open questions (60%);
- individual assignments (10%);
- group assignments, presentations and participation in discussion lectures (30%).
To pass a minimum of 5.50 is required for the written closed book exam.


Rosen, H.S. and Gayer, T., Public Finance, 10th edition (Global Edition), 2014. McGraw Hill. De Kam, C.A., Overheidsfinanciën, 15e druk, 2018. Noordhoff Uitgevers. Compulsory readings (mandatory for written exam) for lectures on Dutch Public Finance and fiscal federalism; a list will be provided on the Brightspace page of the course.

Verplicht voor: BEBEconomics and GovernanceBSc6AF
Verplicht voor: WUECPBSc Minor Economics and Policy6AF