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Fall Term (Jump to Winter Term)

Lecture Gruber and required readings Additional Material Tutorial (T3-4)
Introduction Chaps. 1-3 Course Outline
Problem set on Pareto efficiency (skip question 4)
Excess burden Chap. 2
Tax avoidance Chap. 20.1
*Feldstein (JPE, 1995)
Kopczuk and Slemrod, "Dying to save taxes," REStat, 2003.
Feldstein (NTJ, 2008)
Optimal taxation Chap. 20
West and Williams on optimal gasoline taxes, Journal of Public Economics, 2007
Problem set on optimal taxation
Tax incidence Chaps. 19
Take up PS
Taxation and income distribution Chaps. 17.1, 18
*Saez and Veall, 2005, "The Evolution of High Incomes in Northern America: Lessons from Canadian Evidence"
Gruber and Saez, 2000, "The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Paper 7512.
A. Heisz, 2007, "Income Inequality and Redistribution in Canada: 1976 to 2004," Statistics Canada.
Income support programs Chaps. 21, 14 Take up practice midterms
Fall Break
Midterm exam II Practice midterm #1
Practice midterm #1 with solutions
Practice midterm #2
Business taxation Chap. 24 Mankiw, "The problem with the corporate tax," New York Times, 2010.
Taxation of savings and consumption

plus: Student presentations
Chaps. 21
Robert Frank, 2005, "Progressive Consumption Taxation as a Remedy for the U.S. Savings Shortfall,"

Students whose family names beginning with the letters A-K or M will present in the second hour of class.

Notes on presentations:
You should speak for no more than FOUR minutes. There will be time for one or two comments from the class after each presentation. You should briefly summarize the main point in the article you wrote about, plus your reaction to it. You should try to create opportunities for others to respond to what you say -- extra points will be awarded to those who engage with the class. Be provocative!
Taxation of savings continued

plus: Student presentations

Students whose family names beginning with the letters L or N-Z will present in the second hour of class.

Sales taxation Chap. 25
G. Mankiw, "Much to love, and hate, in a VAT", The New York Times, May 1, 2010.
*M. Smart, "The Impact of sales tax reform on Ontario consumers: A first look at the evidence", School of Public Policy, 2011.
Gruber, "Tobacco at the Crossroads," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2001.
Viscusi, "Cigarette Taxation and the Social Consequences of Smoking," TPEA, 1995.
"Waist banned," The Economist, July 30, 2009
"Ounces of Prevention The Public Policy Case for Taxes on Sugared Beverages," New England Journal of Medicine, April 30, 2009.
Long-run fiscal policy (the lecture) Chap. 4
L.J. Kotlikoff, 2006, "Is the United States bankrupt?" Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, 235-250.

A. Auerbach, 2011, "Long-term sustainaility in major economies".
D. Bernheim, "A neoclassical perspective on budget deficits," JEP, 1989.

Winter Term

Lecture Gruber and required readings Additional Material Tutorial (T3-4)
Public goods: Efficiency Chap. 7
*Samuelson, 1954
Problem set on public goods
Private provision of public goods Chap. 7.3
Andreoni, "An experimental test of the public goods crowding-out hypothesis," AER, 1993.
Problem set on voluntary contributions
Bergstrom, Blume, and Varian, 1986
Andreoni survey, 2008
Thaler, "It's time to rethink the charity deduction," New York Times, 2010.
Take up PS on Pareto efficiency, public goods
Voting Chap. 9
*D. C. Mueller, 2003, "The size of government," Public Choice III, chap 21.
Problem set on voting
Public choice Chap. 8
*C. Mulligan et al., "Do democracies have different public policies than non-democracies?" JEP, 2004.
Take up PS on charity, voting
Externalities Chap. 5.1-5.3
*Parry and Small, 2005,"Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?", AER.
Problem set on externalities
Policy responses to externalities Chap. 5.4-6.2
*Gilbert E. Metcalf, "Market-Based Policy Options to Control U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions," JEP, 2009.

Mintz and Olewiler, 2008, "A Simple Approach for Bettering the Environment and the Economy: Restructuring the Federal Fuel Excise Tax"
Take up PS on externalities, midterm
Midterm exam I Sample midterm (ignore question on Ricardian equivalence)
Reading Week
Economics of traffic congestion *Arnott and Small (1994) "Stuck in traffic", Macleans, January 2011.
Cost-benefit analysis Chap. 8
*Ashenfelter and Greenstone (JPE, 2004)
Chay and Greenstone (JPE, 2005)
Public-sector pricing Chap. 7 Problem set on pricing
Fiscal Federalism Chap. 10
Sample final exam
Key concepts from the course
Review session with TA