University of Hartford

Barney School of Business & Public Administration


Dept Code/Course Number (EC316)


Economics of Public Policy



Class Days



CRN #21668

Class Hours

5:00-7:20 P.M.


Summer 2002

Class Location






Dr. Demetrios Giannaros





Office Phone:




Fax Number:



Web Site:


Econ/Fin/Ins :




Office Hours

Monday 3:00-5:00 PM, TR 11:15-12:00 PM or by appointment.

Note: E-mail is generally answered promptly.  Feel free to e-mail me.





Texts:            REQUIRED TEXTS:


Economics of Social Issues, 15th Edition by Ansel M. Sharp, Charles A. Register and Paul W. Grimes, Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2002.


Taking Sides, Clashing Views on Controversial Economic Issues, 10th Edition, by Thomas R. Swartz and Frank J. Bonello, Dushkin/McGraw-Hill, 2002


Supplemental Readings: Handouts and Internet based assignments





            The course applies the basic principles of economics for analysis of current socio-economic issues for public policy decision-making.  Selected policy areas will likely include: inflation and unemployment; economic growth; urban decay, poverty, discrimination, healthcare, retirement policies, tariffs and international trade policy; pollution, government regulations, income distribution, economic discrimination and other contemporary issues.  Prerequisites: EC 110, 211 or permission of instructor.




Giannaros, EC316, p. 2/6




The primary objective of the course is to assist the student in learning how to apply basic economic theories to study, analyze and evaluate alternative public policy solutions to socio-economic and business related problems facing the local, national and global community.  The intention of the course is to evaluate current and past public policies from a socio-economic perspective of public policy decision-making.   Utilizing primarily the cost/benefit analysis approach to evaluation of feasible actions, alternative solutions are discussed and debated.






The course’s format is a combination of lectures, discussion requiring active participation of students and assigned student presentations/debates.  Videos, information from the Internet or current event publications are also used for discussion purposes.  Class members are expected to have read the assigned readings prior to class discussion of the material and to keep up with current economic and socio-economic news through newspapers, magazines, television and/or the Internet. Course examinations will cover assigned readings, class lectures, presentations and discussions.  Therefore, class attendance and participation is very important for your performance in the course.


Students will be assigned topics to research for class presentation, discussion and/or debate.*   After researching the subject(s) assigned and using historical statistical facts and economic theories to support your position, a brief written analysis is expected.  It is expected that for appropriate credit to be received, approval of the topic by the instructor is required along with adherence to scheduled date(s) for presentation.  Presentations that are not done on the date scheduled result in significant loss of value. 



The GRADE for the course will be determined as follows:


                        CLASS PRESENTATIONS/Debates*            25%

MIDTERM                                                         25%    

                        FINAL EXAM                                     30%

                        OVERALL CLASS-PARTICIPATION      20%



* A more formal research paper/project may be substituted for the in class presentation.  This requires the prior approval of the Professor. NOTE: No make-up exams are generally allowed, unless there is a substantiated medical reason!





Giannaros, EC316, p. 3/6


Topics Covered:                  SEMESTER OUTLINE**

Topics and Readings

I.  Social Well-Being, Economic Resources Allocation and the Role of Government in

   Alternative Economic Systems—Lessons from the fall of the Soviet Union.

            Sharp ch. 1, 2

--Demetrios Giannaros, “Did the Shock Therapy Approach Work in the Economic Restructuring of Eastern Europe?  Some Evidence from Poland and Russia:  A Brief Review”, Global Business and Economics Review, June 2000 (on reserve at Econ/Dept.


            Demetrios Giannaros, “Is Cuba’s New Business Investment Policy a Success or Failure?

A Comparative Analysis of Economies in Transition”, Global Business & Economics Review- Anthology, 2001 (on reserve at econ/dept.)


II.  Social Costs/Social Benefits, Market Failures, Externalities, Price Controls and Optimization in Allocating Resources:  E.g.; Economics of Education and Health.

            Sharp ch.3,

Swartz   Issue 12--  “Is it time to abolish the Minimum Wage?

Swartz   Issue 6-- “Is managed Competition the Cure for our Ailing Health Care



III.  The Economics of Pollution and Global Warming?  What next? Regulation or Market


Sharp Ch. 4

Swartz  Issue 16—“Does Global Warming Require Immediate Government Action?

Swartz Issue 17—“Should Pollution be Put to the Market Test?


IV.  Urban Problems, Analysis and Policy: The Economics of Crime and its Prevention and the Problem of Unemeployment

Sharp Ch. 5, 11  

Swartz  Issue 7—“Do private prisons pay?”

            Swartz   Issue 2—“Should we encourage the Private Ownership of Guns?”


V  The Economics of Income Distribution, Poverty, Discrimination, Wage

Differentials and the impact of Government Expenditures, Taxation and Debt

            Sharp Ch. 6, 13

            Swartz  Issue 4—“Is there Discrimination in the Labor Markets?”

Why does Connecticut have three of the most poor cities in the nation while having the

the highest per capita income?


VI.   The Economics of Regulation, Monopoly Power, Deregulation and “Big Business”:  The Cases of the Airline, Telecommunications, Electric Industries and Professional Sports

Sharp Ch 7, 8

            Swartz Issue 1-- “Are Profits Only the Business of Business”

Swartz  Issue 3—“Should Cities Subsidize Sports and Sports Venues?”

            Swartz Issue 5—“Is the Department of Justice Being Too Hard on Microsoft?

                                                                                                Giannaros, EC316, p. 4/6

VII.  Protectionism or Free International Trade, Finance and Labor: Can we Restrict Ourselves into Prosperity? Should there be Mobility of Resources?

Sharp Ch. 9

Swartz   Issue 14—“Is Free Trade a Viable Solution for the New Millennium?

Swartz   Issue 15—“Does Free Trade Make the Poor, Poorer?”

Swartz    Issue 18—“Has the North American Free Trade Been a Success?”



VIII.  The Economics of Inflation, Unemployment,Underemployment and Economic Growth:  Could Immigration/Free Mobility of Labor be the Savior for Future Economic Growth as the Population Ages and the World becomes more Interdependent?

            Sharp Ch. 10,11,12

            Swartz Issue 10-- “Does the Consumer Price Index Overstate Changes in the Cost of


             Swartz Issue 8—“Is Deflation Coming?”


IX  Government Deficits, Savings, Investment (in capital and humans), National Security and Economic Growth

            Sharp Ch. 13

            Swartz   Issue 11—“Should the Federal Government Budget Surpluses be used to

             Reduce taxes?”


            Giannaros, Kolluri and Panik:  “An Empirical Analysis of the Effects of             Government on Private Investment:  Evidence from the OECD Countries”, International Economic Journal, 1999


X.                 Social Security, Medicare and other Current Economic Policy Issues Facing the Nation and the State

Sharp 14

Swartz Issue 9-- Is the Current U.S. Social Security Program Securely Anchored?



** PLEASE NOTE: Syllabus may be changed with an in class announcement.  It is the responsibility of the student to stay updated on course requirements, assignments and/or handouts.  Contemporary issues in the news will also be discussed using economic applications of theory.  Due to time limitations, some topics are discussed (in class) in more depth than others. However, students are expected to study all assigned readings on the syllabus and be ready for class discussions/exam accordingly.


Course Contextual Coverage:


Ethics: Some, as it relates to public policy                                      

Global: Significant coverage

Political, social, legal, regulatory and environmental: Significant coverage

Technological: Some in-class use of Internet for current issues discussion

Demographic diversity: Substantial coverage

Communication skills: Exams and assignments are generally written.

Giannaros, EC316, p. 5/6

Required by the Barney School--UNIVERSITY RULES:


Disability Guidelines

If you have been diagnosed with a disability and you require reasonable accommodations, you must make an appointment with the Director of Student Services at 768-4260.  Documentation must be presented so that you may be referred to the appropriate office for these accommodations.  All information is kept strictly confidential.


Academic Honesty Statement  from The Source and Manual of Academic Policies and Procedures:


B.  All students are expected to observe generally accepted principles of scholarly writing in all examinations, compositions, papers, essays, tests, quizzes, reports and dissertations whether written in the classroom or outside.  Sources of information used by a student in the preparation of work submitted as a basis for credit, or for a grade, or to satisfy graduate or undergraduate thesis requirements shall be clearly indicated in some conventional manner, such as by the use of quotation marks, footnotes, and bibliography.

C. Students are forbidden to submit as their own any project, paper, or creative work which is in whole or part the work of another.

D. The use of a term paper writing service, such services being prohibited by Connecticut law, is academically dishonest and violate rules of scholarship.

E.  All examinations and quizzes are to be completed without reference to books or notes, except when the instructor of a course shall have given explicit authorization for an "open-book examination" or some other specified sort of assistance.  Except as authorized by the instructor, no student is to give or receive assistance in the completion of an examination or a quiz.


Action to be taken in event of an alleged act of academic dishonesty

L.  2.  to report that the student is considered to be guilty of the alleged violation beyond a reasonable doubt, and to recommend one or more of the following:


     (a) that the student be dropped from the course and/or a grade of "F" be assigned.   

     (b)  that the student be suspended (i) for the remainder of the current semester, losing credit for their current academic program, or (ii) for the following semester or year; 

     (c) that the student be dismissed from the university.


Guidelines on Student Conduct


In an effort to create an environment that is conducive to learning, the following guidelines are presented to make explicit expectations that the Barney School has for students in its classes.  Students are expected to:


1.       Follow the Academic Honesty Policy without fail.

2.       Respect differing views on campus and to engage in responsible discussion with others with whom you do not agree.

3.       Regularly attend classes and submit assignments on or before specified deadlines.

4.       Prepare for each class by completing reading assignments, homework and/or case preparation.

5.       Not bring food and drink into the classroom unless instructor approval is given.

6.       Raise a hand if you wish to speak or be excused from the classroom.  Students are not permitted to get up and leave at will.

7.       Act in a reasonable manner in the classroom and halls so as not to disrupt others.

8.       Dispose of gum, trash and paper in designated receptacles.  Do not leave trash in the stairwells, classrooms, desktops or any other non-designated receptacle.

9.       See professors during their regularly scheduled office hours or by appointment.  Office hours are posted on each professor’s door.


Giannaros, EC316, p. 5/6


10.   Take exams when they are scheduled unless you have been excused on official university business, such as participation in athletic events, or medical emergency (notifying your professor prior to the exam).

11.   Immediately contact professors if you will miss or have missed a class or exam and also to make up what you have missed.


The Source also specifies the following acts as punishable misconduct and subject to Judicial Review.

    a.        Damage, destruction or theft of University property;

    b.        Deliberate interference with any class or University function;

    c.        Refusal to vacate a building;

    d.        Tampering with fire alarms or fire-fighting equipment;

    e.        Possession or use of a dangerous article;

      f.        Illegal or unauthorized entry or presence in a facility;

    g.        Alcohol – no possession or use in class;

    h.        Noise and general disorderliness;

      i.        Providing false information to a University office;

      j.        Acting with violence;

    k.        Failure to respond to a reasonable request and to produce identification;

      l.        Possession, use or storage of drugs and drug paraphernalia;

  m.        Abuse of computer access – incl. copying software;

    n.        Visitors – you are responsible for the actions of your visitors.