Public Policy (LAWS6257)


The aim of the unit is to provide an understanding of the role of government policy within the analytical framework of welfare economics. Questions of central interest include: What are the conditions that justify government intervention? How can policies be designed to support basic principles of social justice? What kinds of reforms promote economic efficiency? Applications will range from taxation and social security to environmental regulation and protection, and will cover the following specific topics: The structure of the Australian tax-benefit system; Uncertainty and social insurance; Unemployment, health and retirement income insurance; Externalities, environmental taxes and tradeable permits; Monopoly and environmental regulation; Utility pricing and access problems; Cost benefit analysis, intergenerational equity and growth. The unit will provide an overview of the main empirical methodologies used in evaluating policy reforms in these areas. Students may select to specialise in one or more of the policy areas.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Aug 31, Sep 1 & 7, 8 (10-5)


1000wd essay (10%), class presentation (10%), 5000-7000wd essay (80%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


LAWS6139 or LAWS6042 or LAWS6113 or LAWS6984

Additional Information

Core unit for MALP students.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.