Case Studies in Microeconomic Policy

Subject ECON90068 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 hours per week [2 x 1.5 hour seminars]
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


One of the following subjects or equivalent:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Honours-level training in Economics.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Rhonda Smith, Prof Guyonne Kalb




Subject Overview:

This subject will emphasise the application of economic theory and empirical methods to the analysis and development of public policy. The subject will consist of modules, with each module to cover a specific policy application. A module will consist of an introduction to a policy issue, an overview of relevant theory and empirical tools, demonstrate application of those tools to address the policy issue, and options for presenting the findings. The orientation this subject will be to applications of microeconomic theory and methods. This might involve, for example, design of environmental policy using auction theory; evaluating whether there is evidence of collusive behaviour by firms in an industry using game theory and econometric methods; design of welfare and tax policies using micro-simulation modelling and other methods; and using benefit-cost analysis to evaluate the net gain to society from active labour market programs. The exact applications taught will vary over time depending on the staff teaching the subject.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

• Understand the Australian policy environment;

• Identify types of public policy issues where economic methods can assist with analysis and development of policy;

• Formulate a program of research for analysis and development of a public policy issue;

• Choose and apply relevant theory and empirical methods to address a public policy issue;

• Assess the limitations of available economic methods for undertaking research on public policy issues; and

• Identify alternative methods of presenting findings, and strengths and weaknesses of those methods.

  • Project 1 (2000 word written assessment). Due end of Week 4 (33.33%)
  • Project 2 (2000 word written assessment). Due end of Week 8 (33.33%)
  • Project 3 (2000 word written assessment). Due end of Week 12 (33.33%)

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

High activity level: Application of theory to practice; Interpretation and analysis; Problem solving; Synthesis of data and other information; Evaluation of data and other information; Critical thinking.

Moderate activity level: Written communication; Oral communication; Collaborative learning; Accessing data and other information from a range of sources; Team work.

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