Government and Policy
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleMAN-BCU308
Credits (ECTS)6
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Nijmegen School of Management; Bachelor Economics and Business Economics;
dr. F. Bohn
Other course modules lecturer
dr. F. Bohn
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. F. Bohn
Other course modules lecturer
dr. F. Bohn
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2022
2  (07/11/2022 to 29/01/2023)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to

  • critically assess the role of inefficiencies in non-market situations (based on case studies, empirical applications and policy recommendations);
  • critically discuss models in which rational behaviour leads to non-optimality; this will also allow them to evaluate government decisions and the role of institutions;
  • organise discussions, critically review (scientific) literature and bring research findings into the discussion.
This course offers 6 ECs in less than six weeks (but four sessions per week), with oral exams before Christmas. It is, therefore, ideal for international students who cannot return after Christmas. Of course, it is also well-suited for regular economics students, IEB students, pre-Master students and students from other disciplines or faculties. This year, the course will be run on the basis of physical presence, although online participation will be made possible for students from abroad. Class meetings with online participation from a screen will be made possible, but there will be no weblectures (only live streaming) since course interaction is essential.

We focus on economic decisions taken under political constraints. We shall discuss market and government failures which can be caused by strategic decisions taken by consumers, firms, voters, policymakers, civil servants or lobby groups. In particular, we examine wasteful rent-seeking behaviour, the bureaucrat’s influence on an excessive budget provision, distortions created by interest groups and campaign contributions, and the underprovision problem of public goods. Other topics may be “paternalistic public policy”, “(expressive) voting”, or “the effect of political instability on public finance decisions”.

Overall, we study measures to protect ourselves against inefficiencies created by individuals, firms, interest groups and the government. How can we prevent (and regulate against) any form of manipulation and exploitation? We use and extend the concepts of welfare and equilibrium introduced in microeconomics, but also study the macroeconomic implications. Theoretical approaches are combined with case studies, empirical applications and policy recommendations.
The course programme is flexible, but consists of two main components: (i) formal teaching with assignments and working group meetings; (ii) student-led discussions (on self-chosen topics) which will be extensively prepared. Early on groups of 3 or 4 students will be formed, typically working together on both the assignments and the student-led discussions. In addition, we typically have at least two external presentations, one from Transparency International (the international corruption agency) and one from a representative of a Dutch ministry.

Presumed foreknowledge
  • Mathematics, for instance a course such as Wiskunde (or Mathematics as in the International Economics and Business track);
  • Recommended, but not required: Microeconomics
  • Test information
    Oral exam (80%) + self-organised discussion (10%) + quality participation in discussions organised by others (10%) + bonus points for assignments and self-organised discussion. 
    Partial results from previous years are not valid.

    Required materials
    Selected articles from academic journals
    ISBN-10: 0521894751 | ISBN-13: 978-0521894753 (ca. Euro 40). You can also borrow it for a couple of hours from the secretariat, if you inform the course coordinator ahead of time.
    Title:Public Choice III
    Author:Dennis Mueller
    Publisher:Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA

    Instructional modes

    Working group

    student-led discussions, presentations by external speakers and/or experiments.

    Test weight1
    Test typeOral exam
    OpportunitiesBlock 2, Block 3