Introduction. The reasons for public intervention in market economies. The role and dimension of public expenditure. The growth of public sector.
Public goods. Voluntary provision of public goods. Collective action. The spatial dimension of public goods.
Collective choices. Majority voting and median voter. Arrow's impossibility theorem.
Inequality of income and wealth. Distribution and redistribution of income. The welfarist approach to equity and the social welfare function. Different views on distributive justice.
Social expenditure. Reasons for public intervention. Public intervention in health and pensions.
The redistributive effect of taxation. Tax incidence in partial equilibrium. The effect of taxes on consumption choices and on labour supply. Equivalence among taxes. Effects of profit taxation. Tax incidence in general equilibrium.
Distortionary effects of taxation: the excess burden of taxes and the equity/efficiency trade-off. Optimal taxation.
Personal income taxation. Characteristics of the income tax: choice of tax base, progressivity, family vs individual taxation. The Italian Irpef. The debate on taxation of top incomes.
Corporate taxation. The taxation of capital. The taxation of wealth.
Consumption taxation. The VAT. “Green” taxes and externalities
Budgetary policy. European rules and national budgets. Deficit spending. The public debt
Fiscal federalism. Fiscal decentralization in Italy. Transfer to sub-central bodies and the standard costs approach. Local taxes: real estate taxation and the Irap. Means testing and Isee