Jump to Winter Term
Date Lecture Gruber and required readings Additional Material Tutorial (T3-4)
September 10 Class cancelled
September 17 Class cancelled
September 24 Introduction Chaps. 1-3 Course Outline
Problem set on Pareto efficiency (skip question 4)
October 1 Public goods: Efficiency Chap. 7
*Samuelson, 1954
Problem set on public goods
October 1
(note date)
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
October 8 Voting Chap. 9
*D. C. Mueller, 2003, "The size of government," Public Choice III, chap 21.
Problem set on voting
October 15 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
October 22 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
October 29 Policy responses to externalities Chap. 5.4-6.2
*J. Poterba, "Global warming policy: A public finance perspective," JEP, 1993.

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
November 5 Midterm exam I Sample midterm (ignore question on Ricardian equivalence)
November 12 Fall break
November 19 Economics of traffic congestion *Arnott and Small (1994) "Stuck in traffic", Macleans, January 2011.
November 26 Cost-benefit analysis Chap. 8
*Ashenfelter and Greenstone (JPE, 2004)
Chay and Greenstone (JPE, 2005)
December 3 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.
Date Lecture Gruber and required readings Additional Material Tutorial (T3-4)
January 7 Excess burden Chap. 2
January 14 Tax avoidance Chap. 20.1
*Feldstein (JPE, 1995)
Kopczuk and Slemrod, "Dying to save taxes," REStat, 2003.
Feldstein (NTJ, 2008)
January 21 Tax incidence Chaps. 19
Problem set on optimal taxation
January 28 Optimal taxation Chap. 20
West and Williams on optimal gasoline taxes, Journal of Public Economics, 2007 Take up PS, practice midterms
February 4 Midterm exam II Practice midterm #1
Practice midterm #1 with solutions
Practice midterm #2
February 11 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.
February 18 Reading Week
February 25 Income support programs Chaps. 21, 14
March 4 Business taxation Chap. 24 Mankiw, "The problem with the corporate tax," New York Times, 2010.
March 11 Taxation of savings and consumption Chaps. 21
Robert Frank, 2005, "Progressive Consumption Taxation as a Remedy for the U.S. Savings Shortfall,"
March 18 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.
March 25 Public-sector pricing Chap. 7 Problem set on pricing
April 1 Fiscal Federalism Chap. 10
Sample final exam
Key concepts from the course
Review session with TA