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Economic Policy and Public Choice

Lecture with Tutorial in WS 2020/2021

Prof. Dr. Alexander Spermann

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Götz Werner Chair of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory


You find informations about the online exams:

Informations about the online exams



Lecture: Prof. Dr. Alexander Spermann

Online teaching, asynchronous with videos on ILIAS. Teaching will start first week of November.

The lectures will be uploaded every Thursday, beginning on 5th November 2020.


Tutorial: Dominik Schröder

Online teaching, asynchronous with videos on ILIAS. Tutorial will start second week of November.

The tutorials will be uploaded every Tuesday, beginning on 10th November 2020.


Supplementary Tutorials: Viktor Vogelmann (English), Lida Kuang (Chinese)

Online teaching, asynchronous with videos on ILIAS. Sub-Tutorials will start third week of November.

The sub-tutorials will be uploaded every Wednesday, beginning on 18th November 2020.



For the password of the slides on this page and for the password for Ilias please send an informal mail to wipo(at)vwl.uni-freiburg.de with the subject "EPPC password".



Have any questions? Feel free to write a mail to dominik.schroeder (at) vwl.uni-freiburg.de


Target Group and Language 

  •  This course is designed for first-year students of the M.Sc. Economics program (economics and politics), the M.Sc. VWL program, and Diplom-Students (Hauptstudium). Exchange students are equally welcome to participate.
  •  If students of other programs and faculties (e.g. political science) wish to participate, they should contact the tutor by email before the third week of the semester.
  •  Recommended prerequisites: Good knowledge of microeconomics.
  • This module is entirely taught in English.


Credits: 6 ECTS

  • M.Sc. Economics: First-year course for profile "Economics and Politics".
  • M.Sc. VWL (PO2014): "Wirtschaftspolitik" and "Constitutional Economics and Competition Policy".
  • M.Sc. VWL (PO2011): "Wirtschaftspolitik (Ordnungspolitik)".
  • M.Sc. BWL (Public and Non-Profit Management): "Volkswirtschaftslehre"
  • Diplom VWL: "Wirtschaftspolitik (Ordnungspolitik)" and "Ordnungs- und Wettbewerbspolitik".


Downloads & Content

  • Outlines and slides will be provided at this website.
  • Literature and presentations will be provided on Ilias.

Organizational Matters



Lecture Slides (Revision 30.10.2020)



Tutorial Outline

Tutorial 1

Tutorial 2

Tutorial 3

Tutorial 4

Tutorial 5

Tutorial 6

Tutorial 7

Tutorial 8

Tutorial 9

Tutorial 10



Sub-Tutorial 1

Sub-Tutorial 2

Sub-Tutorial 3

Sub-Tutorial 4

Sub-Tutorial 5 (see videos on ILIAS)

Sub-Tutorial 6

Sub-Tutorial 7

Sub-Tutorial 8

Sub-Tutorial 9 (see videos on ILIAS)



  1. Introduction
  2. Economic problems of economic policy
    1. Economic man and collective action
    2. Allocation and exchange
    3. Distribution and conflict
    4. Liberty and welfare
    5. Implementation and reform
    6. Stability and sustainability
  3. The public choice of economic policy
    1. Rational and behavioral public choice
    2. Positive and normative public choice
  4. Institutions and hierarchies of public choice
    1. Authoritarian policy formation
      1.1 Leviathan governments
      1.2 Autocratic regimes
    2. Democratic organization and voting rules
      2.1 Rational voting and basic voting systems
      2.2 Direct and representative democracy
      2.3 Legislature and Bureaucracy
      2.4 Interest groups, rent-seeking and lobbying
    3. Spatial hierarchy
      3.1 Federalism
      3.2 Supranational policy choice
  5. Liberal concepts of economic policy formation
    1. Ordoliberal design and Constitutional political economy
    2. Liberal paternalism
    3. New Ordoliberalism
  6. Application to special policy issues
    1. Redistribution in democracy
    2. Organizing the just welfare state
    3. Market regulation and privatization
    4. Constitutional budget constraints and their effects on economic policy


Introductory Textbooks:
  • Hillman, A.L.: Public Finance and Public Policy, 2nd Ed., Cambridge 2009.
  • Mueller, D.C.: Public Choice III, Cambridge 2003.
Additional readings will be announced in the lecture and tutorial.


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