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Economic Policy and Public Choice


Lecture with Tutorial in WS 2018/2019

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Neumärker

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Department for Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory


Lecture: Prof. Dr. Bernhard Neumärker

Time:Wednesday, 10-12h
Room:HS 2121, KG II
Start:Semester week 2, 24th. October 2018


Tutorial: Marcel Franke (english)

Time:Tuesday, 14-16h
Room:3118, KG III
Start:Semester week 3, 30th October 2018


Tutorial: Bianca Blum (german)

Time:Wednesday, 12-14h
Room:1228, KG I
Start:Semester week 3, 31th October 2018




Sub Tutorial: Marcel Franke (German)

Time: Monday, 10-12h
Room:HS 1032
Start:Semester week 4, 5th November 2018


Sub Tutorial: Marcel Franke (German) 

Time:Monday, 14-16h
Room:HS 1234
Start:Semester week 4, 5th November 2018


Sub Tutorial: Ana Helena Palermo Kuss (English)

Time:Tuesday, 8-10h
Room:R 105 Breisacher Tor
Start:Semester week 4, 6th November 2018


Tutorial: Dominik Schröder ( English)

Time:Friday, 12-14h 
Room:HS 1227
Start:Semester week 4, 9th November 2018




Target Group and Language 

  • This course is designated for first-year students of the M.Sc. Economics program (economics and politics), the M.Sc. VWLprogram, the M.Sc. BWL program and Diplom-Students (Hauptstudium). Exchange students are equally welcome to participate.
  • If students of other faculties (e.g. political science) wish to participate, they should contact the tutor by email before the third week of the semester.
  • Participation and registration for experiments in the course is mandatory for writing the exam.

  • 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)".
  • Diplom VWL: "Wirtschaftspolitik (Ordnungspolitik)" and "Ordnungs- und Wettbewerbspolitik".


Downloads & Content

  • Outlines and slides will be provided at this website.
  • Literature will be provided on Ilias.
  • The passwords will be provided in the first sessions of the lecture and tutorial.








Tutorial 1

Tutorial 2

Tutorial 3

Tutorial 4

Tutorial 5

Tutorial 6

Tutorial 7

Tutorial 8

Tutorial 9





  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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