ECON4624 – Empirical Public Economics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

This course discusses the impact and effectiveness of public policies. We discuss modern econometric techniques that allow assessment of how public policy affects individuals, businesses and society. We study a variety of public policies, incuding taxation, social insurance and public service provision. Students will learn to read, understand and critically assess empirical research in the area of public economics, and be introduced to a variety of empirical methods to evaluate public policy research questions.

Learning outcome

Learning outcome

You should know

  • how public policy affects economic behavior
  • how to assess empirical research on public policy
  • how to formulate credible empirical design for evaluating public  policy    



You should be able to

  • identify empirical policy problems in public economics
  • identify the assumptions, relevance, and limitations of different empirical methods
  • assess arguments appearing in the policy debate relating to the impact of public policy     



You should

  • be able to read and understand reports and journal articles that make use of the concepts and methods that are introduced in the course
  • be able to make use of the course content in applied exercises and  your own academic work, for example in analyses that are part of the master’s thesis.


Students admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students not admitted to the Master’s programme in Economics or the Master’s programme in Economic Theory and Econometrics (Samfunnsøkonomisk analyse), can apply for admission to one of our study programmes, or apply for guest student status.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

You must fulfill one of these prerequisites:

Recommended previous knowledge


Lectures and seminars.

Voluntary tuition activities:

  • A term paper
  • An oral presentation


A 3-hour written school exam.

Previous exams.

Exam papers with comments from examiner

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course

Every autumn
Every autumn
Teaching language