Public Economics

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This course aims to expose students to the logic and method of state intervention in the economy. The way it’s organized, this course ensures a compromise between the Public Economy and Public Finances. The first part deals with the real rationale for state intervention in the economy, including issues that relate to Public Goods, Externalities and Economic Foundations of Wellness. The second part deals with the institutional and financial perspective this intervention, i.e., aspects of the foundations of state intervention in the economy. Students must achieve a level of mastery of the topics discussed that will enable them to formalize, graphically and mathematically, problems of public intervention in the economy and to assess the costs and benefits of these interventions. Students must also understand the process of public budget, from its preparation, to its discussion and approval. The focus of the course of Public Economics is of microeconomic nature.


Chapter I: Market economy and public intervention
Chapter II: Objectives and instruments of government intervention
Chapter III: Public intervention and promotion of efficiency
Chapter IV: Public intervention and equity
Chapter V: Cost-Benefit Analysis
Chapter VI: Financial Decentralization
Chapter VII: The Public Budget

Teaching Methodologies

As a discipline with high theoretical and practical component, the methodology adopted is based on a presentation and explanation of all the programmed contents, including recourse to the students questions about a given topic, or, where appropriate, no dialogue between teacher and students and attempts to include students in discussions.


Ahmad, E. (1997). “Financing decentralized expenditures: an international comparison of grants”, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Barbosa, A. S. P. (1997). “Economia Pública”, Lisboa: McGrawHill.

Lee, Johnson and Joyce (2003) “Public Budgeting Systems”, 7ª Edição, Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Mateus, Abel e Mateus, Margarida (2002). “Microeconomia: Teoria e Aplicações I e II”, Lisboa, Editorial Verbo.

Pereira, Paulo Trigo, António Afonso, Manuela Arcanjo, José E. G. Santos (2009). “Economia e Finanças Públicas”, 3ª edição, Lisboa, Escolar Editora.

Rosen, H. S. (2006) “Public Finance”, 5th Ed., Boston Burr Ridge, McGraw-Hill. 



ECTS Credits



  • Teóricas - 30 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 30 hours

Evaluation Methodology

  • 1st Written test: 40%
  • 2nd Written test: 40%
  • Research work: 20%