Year
2020
Units
4.5
Contact
1 x 5-day intensive workshop yearly
Course context
Reserved for participants of the ANZSOG Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) program.
Topic description
This topic seeks to provide a public manager's guide to key economic principles and their application to public sector activities.

Participants will develop an understanding of the merits and limitations of economics in the collective domain and the ability to use positive (objective) and normative (subjective) models to guide and inform efficient and effective government decision-making.

The course has an applied focus using examples from the Australian and New Zealand economies, through opportunities for considering other nations are incorporated in the subject, as are state and regional perspectives. Applied policy problems may be presented as far as time permits, from a wide range of areas such as defence, health, wage-fixing, law and order, education and business cycle, tariffs, arts, environment, immigration, natural resource projects and infrastructure provision.
Educational aims
This subject seeks to provide a public manager's guide to key economic principles and their application to public sector activities. The subject will enable participants to understand:
  • the nature of markets, by providing a primer/refresher on basic economic principles in the form of an introduction to the basic language, methods, concepts and framewors that underpin the economic way of thinking. This will also cover supply and demand, consumer and firm behaviour (microeconomics), plus measurement,growth and operation of aggregate economy (macroeconomics)
  • the economic role of government, by providing a framework for understanding the limits to markets as a form of social organisation and for identifying the precise nature of market failure,the objectives of associated collective intervention and forms of intervention including regulation, service provision, redistribution and promoting growth
  • the economic way of thinking, through developing frameworks for market, state and growth by providingparticular economic problems as illustrations and by conveying the nature of the tool-kit that the economic profession brings to examination of issues, both economic and beyond economics. This may be as much critical as supportive
Expected learning outcomes
On successful completion of this topic, students should be able to:
  • understand the world views and tool boxes that economists bring to the study of the economy and its role in human activity
  • employ the work of economists when specialist knowledge and technique of this kind is called for in public administration and policy
  • appreciate both the strengths and weaknesses of this influential discipline