Cursos / 1º Ciclo / Faculty of Economy and Business Management :: Economics

Versao Portuguesa


2º curricular year
Semestralidade: 1st semester


Leading Teacher: Prof. Doutor Francisco Castelo Branco
Assistant Professor: Prof. Doutor Francisco Castelo Branco

Class type and School hours

Orientação Tutorial : 1 Horas
Teórico-prática : 2 Horas

Main Aims/Objectives

1. Develop analytical capacity, scientifically supported on State intervention in the economy in the allocative, distributive and stabilizer dimensions;
2. Knowledge of the scientific field of Public Choice in democratic political systems .
3. The comparative study of the impact of the major taxes in the present tax structure of developed countries - theory of tax incidence and optimal normative theory versus positive optimal theory (Economics of Taxation).

Specific Aims/Objectives

1. Contemporary State Functions .
2. Public Goods and Market Failure .
3. Theory of Domestic Divergences - Externalities .
3. Approaches to Distributive Justice.
4. Public- Choice Theory and Rent- Seeking Theory.
5. Theory of Tax Incidence (Economics of Taxation)
6. Normative Optimum Taxation versus Positive Optimum taxation

Skills to be acquired

Develop analytical skills through theoretical models presented, allowing, a scientific reflection and criticism on the real complex economic environment; the definition of policies on public choice ground - health policies , education policies , industrial policy , security policy , environmental policy.

Teaching Procedures

Lectures ;
Analysis and critical discussion , scientifically supported , of current topics on the policies implemented in Portugal in different areas of state intervention and fiscal policy .
Comparative studies , supported by targeted research between different European economies and the US economy.


I - Functions of the State in the Economy
Allocative function
Distributive function
Stabilizing function
State Functions Coordination and Conflict

II - The Theory of Public Goods
Failures of Market System and Public Goods
Free- Riding and Provision of Public Goods
Meritorious goods versus Public Goods
Positive and Negative Externalities - the Theory of Domestic Divergences .

III - Sssymetric Information

IV - The Theory of Optimum Distribution
The Optimum of Pareto
Is Equity an Economic Problem ?
Equity and the Social Welfare Function
The Second-Best Theory
Approaches to Distributive Justice

V - Traditional Approach of the State versus Public- Choice Approach
Public- Choice Theory - J. Buchanan and the concept of Economic Constitution and Fiscal Constitution.
The Rent- Seeking Theory - Lobbies and discretionary fiscal policies.

VI - The Theory of Tax Incidence (economics of taxation)
IRS incidence
IRC incidence
VAT incidence
Optimal Normative Taxation
Optimal Positive Taxation

Evaluation Type

Two tests in the semester course .
Presentation and discussion of research essays. .

Teaching Resources

Datashow ; specialized national and foreign journals ; Internet sources ; statistical information via national and international databases; e-books.


Public economics
State intervention
Public policy
Public goods
Fiscal Constitution
Public- Choice Theory
Pareto criterion
Social Welfare Function
Distributive Justice

Main Bibliography

Author TRIGO PEREIRA, Paulo et al.
Title Economia e Finanças Públicas
Edition 5ª ed.
Editor Escolar Editora
Year 2016
Author ROSEN, Harvey and GAYER, Ted
Title Public Finance - Global Edition
Edition 10th ed.
Editor McGraw-Hill Education - Europe
Year 2014
Author Teixeira Ribeiro, José Joaquim; Lições de Finanças Públicas
Title Lições de Finanças Públicas
Place Coimbra
Editor Coimbra
Year 2011

Complementary Bibliography

Author Sammuelson, P. Northaus
Title Economia
Edition 19ª
Place Lisboa
Editor Mc.Graw-Hill
Year 2016
Author Anthony B. Atkinson;; Joseph E. Stiglitz
Title Lectures on Public Economics