In this course we will examine the role of government in modern market economies. In particular we will explore the design and impact of government expenditure programs and taxation systems on the welfare and behavior of its citizens. We will consider the following questions: When is government intervention in the economy appropriate? What is the most effective form of intervention? What effects do government policies have on incentives for firms, individuals, and others in the private sector? The course will cover a wide range of issues in public economics with a primary focus on current policy debates in the United States, employing standard empirical and theoretical tools used in public economic research. Attention will be given to classic works in public economics and recent work at the intersection of behavioral/experimental economics and public economics. (ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.