Economics 313

ECON 313: Public Planning

Prerequisite: ECON 206

Credit Hours: (3)

History of planning in the public sector, cost-benefit analysis, program budgeting, efficiency criteria and discounting analyzed, and specific cases reviewed. Class reports on projects undertaken by local planning agencies.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

This course explores the theoretical foundations for government provision of goods and services in a market economy. It reviews the fundamentals of the benefit-cost analysis of public projects and programs. It also reviews the actual political process of government budgeting.

Topic Outline


1. Introduction: The Role of Government in the Economy
2. Rationale for Public Planning
3. Defining Program Objectives
4. Estimating Project Effects

  • Direct Benefits
  • Indirect Benefits
  • Discounting



Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

The following teaching strategies will be employed:

  • Lectures, role-playing/simulation.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. Develop an understanding of the role of government provision of public goods and services in a market oriented economy.
2. Develop an understanding of problems in defining government's goals and objectives in providing public goods and services.
3. Learn the basis of benefit-cost analysis
4. Learn the process of government budgeting at the Federal, State, and Local levels.


Assessment Measures

Tests, homework, reports, presentations, class participation. Grades and percentages depend on individual professors.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

Date Action Reviewed by
December 2004 Made alterations to syllabus N. Hashemzadeh, Chair
Revised 4/13/09    Charles Vehorn
April 16, 2012 Revised