23689 - Economics of Taxation

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Carlo Mazzaferro

  • Credits 5

  • SSD SECS-P/03

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Economics and Economic Policy (cod. 8420)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

No poverty Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to introduce students to the some relevant topics in public economics. The course is based on three modules. The first one concentrates on the implications of asymmetric information for the optimal redistributive tax policy. Additional discussions are devoted to topics like tax evasion and the political economy aspects of taxation. The second module is concerned with the measurement of distribution and redistribution of income resulting from public intervention. The final module focuses on public economics when more than one level of government exists, addressing in particular fiscal federalism and fiscal competition.

Course contents

Module of the integrated course 70431 - WELFARE STATE E TASSAZIONE (C.I.) together with the module 66250 - POLITICHE PUBBLICHE E REDISTRIBUZIONE DEL REDDITO

1. Preliminaries

Duality in consumption

Individual welfare measures

Measures of excess burden of taxes

2. Measurement of the progressivity of income taxation

A progressive income tax schedule: principles

Methods for implementing a progressive income tax

Redistributive welfare effects

Local and global measures of progressivity

3. Optimal taxation under asymmetric information

Optimal commodity taxation

Ramsey model

Uniform vs. differentiated taxation

Optimal mix between direct and indirect taxation

Optimal income taxation

Optimal linear income tax

Optimal non-linear income tax

Optimal taxation and public provision of private goods


Suggested textbook for this course is:

Hindriks, J. and Myles, G.D. [2006], Intermediate Public Economics , The MIT Press.

Further material for this course will be available in the personal webpage of the lecturer

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

Written paper usually including three short essays. Available time: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Office hours

See the website of Carlo Mazzaferro