This module analyses the economic rationale for "collective choice" in a market economy. We will consider measures of social welfare, equity and efficiency. We will evaluate analytically the government's ability to identify and achieve "better" outcomes, particularly under a democratic process. We will consider the economic case for interventions to redress market failures, to redistribute resources, and to provide public goods and services Using economic models and analyses (e.g. mathematical derivatives). This module is also applied: we will discuss and compare actual and proposed programmes in the UK and abroad in the areas of poverty reduction, education, and health.

Learning outcomes: They should have a general appreciation of the composition of private income and wealth, the sources and uses of public funds in the UK and abroad, and the structure of major programmes such as the NHS. They should also have a clear understanding of the characteristics of a public good, and a grasp of equity and efficiency issues related to taxation and redistribution.

Key and Employability Skills: By the end of this module, students should be able to form clear, logical, economic arguments for (or against) specific policies, and to articulate these in writing. In preparing for the final and the term paper, students will demonstrate their ability to access and highlight key statistical and descriptive institutional information from government and academic sources. In each of these, the students will demonstrate written communication skills, and their ability to apply economic theory and knowledge of broad empirical patterns and institutions to specific policy dilemmas. This module incorporates literacy, numeracy and ICT skills, as well as research, information and communication skills. It will equip the student with an understanding of patterns, trends, and institutions that are crucial to obtaining and adapting to employment in or involving the public sector and international institutions.

Module contains:
Experience of Work: No. However, it will involve crucial knowledge and tasks similar to those involved in work environments such as a public policy research institute or a lobbying organisation.
Academic Skills: Yes. Literacy, numeracy and ICT skills. Research, information and communication skills.
Professional Working Skills: Yes. Adaptability, flexibility, adoption of new techniques, project management.
Career Awareness: Yes. Opportunity awareness and will provide tools needed for self presentation. Some knowledge of organisations that are potential employers. Creativity, originality, and business skills, in the domain of assessing public policy choices as well as the private provision of public goods. Understanding of issues related to social and environmental responsibility.
Personal Development Plan: Yes. Self awareness, target setting and action planning. Time management, self management. Reflection and evaluation.