AØKK08340U Seminar: Public Economics

Volume 2024/2025

MSc programme in Economics

The seminar is primarily for students at the MSc of Economics.


The seminar invites students to analyze theoretical and empirical issues within public economics.

Possible topics include:

- Labor supply and taxation

- Optimal income taxation

- Universal basic income

- Inequality and the tax system

- Public good provision and marginal cost of public funds

- Optimal commodity taxation

- Individuals’ understanding of and preferences for public interventions.

- Taxation of multinational firms

- Taxation and regulation of the financial sector

- Tax havens

- Tax evasion

- Green taxes

- Taxation of sin goods (tobacco, alcohol etc.)

- Optimal social insurance (unemployment, disability, etc.)

- Retirement and taxes / public transfers

- Tax competition

- Border trading

- Taxation and international migration

- Tagging


Students are encouraged to write papers in pairs. Examples of what papers may do include:

- A thorough review of related articles on a specific topic

- An independent extension of an existing theoretical model

- Simulations of a theoretical model with the aim of, e.g., testing an estimation strategies or policy recommendations.

- A replication and extension of the empirical analysis of a published article using the article’s dataset

- An independent empirical analysis using, e.g., data available through one’s work or publicly available data

- A policy paper on a relevant topic of economic policy

Learning Outcome

After completing the seminar, the student is expected to be able to fulfil the learning outcome specified in the Master curriculum and to be able to:


  • Define and discuss the differences between a research question and strategy.
  • Define and discuss the structure of a good (seminar) paper.
  • Identity relevant literature.


  • Use existing knowlegde to analyze new theoretical or empirical problems.
  • Evaluate the feasibilty of a research strategy.
  • Present a research project to peers.


  • Independently plan and execute a research project.


Supplemented by an overall intended learning outcome outlined in the programme-specific curriculum

For relevant literature, please refer to the syllabuses of the courses Public Finance and Tax Policy as well as top journals (American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics etc.), top field journals (American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Journal of Public Economics) and the journals Journal of Economic Perspectives and Journal of Economic Literature.

BSc in Economics or similar
The seminar builds on the courses Public Finance and Tax Policy.
At the seminar the student is trained independently to
- identify and clarify a problem,
- seek and select relevant literatur,
- write a academic paper,
- present and discuss own paper with the other students at the seminar.

The aim of the presentations is, that the student uses the presentation as an opportunity to practice oral skills and to receive feedback. The presentations is not a part of the exam and will not be assessed.

Mandatory activities in the seminar:
- Kick-off meeting
- Finding literatur and defining the project
- Writing process of the seminar paper
- Presentation of own project and paper
- Giving constructive feedback to another student´s paper
- Actively participating in discussions at the presentations and other meetings.

There is no weekly teaching/lecturing and the student cannot expect guidance from the teacher. If the teacher gives a few introduction lectures or gives the opportunity for guidance, this as well as other expectations are clarified at the kickoff meeting.

It is strongly recommended that you think about and search for a topic before the semester begins, as there is only a few weeks from the kick-off meeting to the submission of the project description/ agreement paper.

The seminar project paper must be uploaded in Absalon before the presentations, as the opponents and the other seminar participants have to read and comment on the paper. It is important that you upload a paper that is so finalized as possible due to the fact that the value of feedback and comments at the presentation is strongly associated with the skill level of the seminar paper.

After the presentations, you can with a few corrections improve the seminar paper by including the feedback and comments emerged during the presentations. It is NOT intended that you rewrite or begin the writing of the full project AFTER the presentation has taken place.
Kick-off meeting: Monday September 2nd 2024 at 08.15.-10.00

- Extra meetings / introductory teaching / guidance: Wednesday October 2nd 2024 at 08.15-10.00

- Deadline for submission of commitment paper / project description: Sunday the 22nd of September 2024

- Deadline for uploading a seminar assignment paper in Absalon: Sunday the 22nd of November 2024

- Presentations:
Monday the 9th of December 2024
Tuesday the 10th of December 2024

- Exam date: 20 December at 10.00 AM

All information regarding the seminar is communicated through Absalon including venue. So it is very important that you by yourself logon to Absalon and read the information already when you are registered at the seminar.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Project work
  • 186
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Examples of the feedback given:

-The teacher gives the students individual guidance on formulating a feasible research question and strategy.

-Each student receives individually oral feedback on a written outline and presentation of the project from peers and teacher.

-The teacher gives the students individual guidance during the execution of the project.

-Each student receives individually oral feedback on the paper and at the presentation from peers and teacher.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
A seminar paper in English that meets the formal requirements for written papers stated in the curriculum of the Master programme and at KUNet for seminars.

Exam registration requirements

Attendance in all  activities at the seminar as stated in the formal requrements in the Master curriculum and at the KUnet for  Seminars (UK)  and Seminars (DK) is required to participate in the exam.



All aids allowed

Use of AI tools is permitted. You must explain how you have used the tools. When text is solely or mainly generated by an AI tool, the tool used must be quoted as a source.


Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

Exam information:

The seminar paper must be uploaded to the Digital Exam portal. More information will be available from the middle of the semester.

For enrolled students more information about examination, rules, aids etc. is available at the intranet for Master (UK) and Master (DK ).

Examination Dates can be found here (latest uploading of Seminar paper to the Digital Exam portal for assessment.)



Reexam information:

The reexam form in seminars is a seminar paper with a synopsis

Deadline and more information is available at Seminars(UK) and Seminars(DK).

More information about reexam etc is available at Master(UK) and Master(DK).


Criteria for exam assesment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the seminar and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes in the Curriculum of the Master programme.


To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material.