Chair of Labour Economics


Winter Semester 2023/24


Dr. Mario Bossler, Chair of Labor Economics

Course: Public Policy

Program: Bachelor-level

Credits: 5 ECTS

Contents & Objectives

This course provides an introduction into public economics. Public economics studies the role of the government in the economy. It basically answers the following questions:

  • When should the government intervene?
  • How might the government intervene?
  • What is the effect of those interventions?
  • Why do governments choose to intervene in the way that they do?

The aim of the course is to provide students with and understanding of the public policy making process of the government and to endow them with the necessary skills to judge about public policies. Students will study the core theoretical models of public economics as well as modern empirical methods of public finance. The focus will not lie on the theoretical details, but rather on the beauty of the different methods to provide answers to public policy questions.

The lecture will cover the following topics:

  1. Introduction into public economics/finance
  2. Theoretical toolkit
  3. Empirical toolkit
  4. Public goods
  5. Cost Benefit Analysis
  6. Applications

Main reference

Gruber, J. (2022): Public Finance and Public Policy, seventh edition, Worth Publishers, Macmillan Learning, New York.


Written exam (60 min.) optional in English or German


Basic knowledge in microeconomics and econometrics.


First lecture on October 26th (second week)! 

Exercises start in the third week!

Lecture in English:                        Thursday 2:15pm - 3:45pm in the Audimax

Exercise (1st group in English):   Thursday 10:15am - 11:45am in HS 166

Exercise (2nd group in German): Tuesday 10:15am - 11:45am in the Sparkassen-Hörsaal

General information

The Chair of Labor Economics supervises Bachelor's theses in the wide area of labor economics. Topics usually relate to policy concerns, examples are the minimum wage, minijobs, or labor shortages, just to name a few. The thesis can be written either in German or English. For more information regarding the formal and content-related structure of the thesis, see: Hinweise zur Anfertigung wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten (in German) here.


Former thesis‘ topics:

  • Fachkräftebedarf in Pflegeberufen: Zustand, Entwicklung & Lösungsansätze


It is recommended to attend the bachelor seminar in Current developments on the labor market where the students can discuss their ideas, elaborate a literature review and familiarize themselves with the appropriate empirical methodology. The thesis will build on these skills.

There is no list with prespecified topics, but each students in encouraged to approach the chair with his or her own idea.