WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to provide students with a basic knowledge of public economics, to analyse the most significant arguments in favour of the need for state intervention in the economy and to briefly describe the main elements comprising the welfare state. The analytical part of the course is structured in three parts. The first analyses the principle market failures that justify corrective measures on the part of State on the basis of criteria of efficiency and maximisation of social welfare. The second section, complementary to the first, starting from criticism of the utilitarian approach, considers the existing relation between income growth and improvement in the living conditions of the population and underlines the lack of a necessary relation between these two factors; on the basis of such an observation it is possible to justify state intervention in the economy based on considerations concerning improving people’s living standards. The concluding part of the course describes how the action of the State responds concretely to the needs for social protection and redistribution outlined in the preceding sections. The ultimate goal is to pass on to students the critical tools required for evaluating the congruity of public policies in contexts characterised by various levels of development and degrees of social and market modernisation.
Basic knowledge in the field of economics.
Course contents summary
- Welfare economics and public finance
- Social welfare and distributive justice
- Labour supply
- Economies with public goods and political decision-making mechanisms
- Other market failures: monopolies and externalities
- More on market failures: social risks
- Goals and means of developments
- Criticism of utilitarianism
- Liberty and the foundations of justice
- Poverty as incapacitation
- Markets, the State and social opportunities
- The welfare state: origins, models, performance
- Pension systems
- Social welfare
- Social protection systems
- Healthcare systems
Bosi, Corso di scienza delle finanze, Il Mulino, Bologna.
A. Sen, Libertà è sviluppo, Mondadori Editore, Milano.