Introductory Microeconomics for Policy Analysis

Monday 15th of March 9am – 12.30pm
Wednesday 17th of March 1pm – 4.30pm
Monday 22nd of March 9am – 12.30pm
Friday 26th of March 9am – 12.30pm

Location: St. Andrews on The Terrace

Lecturer(s): Dr Veronica Jacobsen, MBIE

Course Learning Objectives

The principles of microeconomics are fundamental to any policy analysis, essential for all analytical work in the public sector, and are the foundations for building further skills and knowledge in economics.

The objective of this course is to provide participants with an appreciation of the principles of microeconomics used in public policy analysis. To do this the course will help participants to understand:
• the nature of markets by providing a primer/refresher on basic economic concepts that underpin the economic way of thinking and by discussing supply and demand, consumer, firm and industry behaviour (microeconomics);
• the economic role of government by providing a framework for understanding the limits to markets and the nature of market failure, the rationale and form of intervention including regulation, service provision, and redistribution, and the limits of government action; and
• the economic way of thinking by providing particular economic problems as illustrations and by conveying the nature of the tool-kit that economics profession brings to the analysis of policy issues.

Please note that this course has a group essay component. Course attendees will be assigned to groups to prepare an essay on an agreed topic – further details will be shared closer to the course’s commencement.

Course Objectives

On completion of this course participants will:
• have an understanding of key economic terms and concepts;
• be able to relate economic thinking to current policy issues;
• understand how market forces operate and how government policies influence, and are influenced by, market forces;
• understand why markets can sometimes fail to deliver the best outcomes for society;
• identify instances of market failure and apply economic principles to designing policies in to prevent or reduce the costs of market failure; and
• appreciate how economics can be used in many areas in the public sector

Session outline and delivery

1 How the Market Works
2 How the Market Fails
3 How Government Fails
4 Economics of Policy Issues

Target Audience and assumed background

This course will be most helpful to policy advisors with little or no experience in using economic frameworks for policy analysis. The course is also useful for policy advisors with economics training who have not done courses such as Public Economics that are used for policy analysis.

Course cost

This course is provided by the Government Economics Network (GEN) at a cost of $300 plus GST per person.