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 Public Economics / Economie publique

(Master PPD & APE, EHESS & Paris School of Economics)

Thomas Piketty - Academic year 2022-2023


(Full syllabus: see PSE teaching home page)

Email : name at

Office: Jourdan R5-04

Course web page :


"Public Economics" is an optional second-year master course that is highly recommended for students wishing to specialize in public economics and related subjects. The objective is to present an introduction to public economics, with special emphasis on optimal taxation and public spendings, and the incidence of tax and transfers policies, both in developed countries and in the developing world.

"Public Economics" is jointly taught by Antoine Bozio, Julien Grenet and Thomas Piketty. The three lectures taught by T. Piketty focus upon normative theories of social and fiscal justice, the historical evolution of wealth and property taxes across countries, and theoretical models of optimal taxation and accumulation of capital and wealth.

Although this is not a formal prerequisite, I assume that students have already taken the "Introduction to Economic History" course and are familiar with the basic facts regarding the historical evolution of income and wealth, the changing composition of capital ownership, etc. Students who have not taken this course (or need to refresh their memory) are strongly encouraged to go through the syllabus and slides used in this course.

"Public Economics" is organized in 12 lectures of 3 hours each. To validate the course, students are required (1) to attend and actively participate to all lectures; (2) to take the exam (exemples of past exams are available here).


Lectures 1-7 by A. Bozio and J. Grenet

(General introduction; Tools for welfare analysis; Taxation of goods and services; Labor income taxation)

(see Antoine Bozio's home page and PSE teaching home page for slides)


Lecture 8: Normative and Intertemporal Theories of Social and Fiscal Justice (T. Piketty)

(Tuesday October 26th 2022 and Wednesday October 27th 2022, 9h30-11h)


Lecture 9: Capital Income, Inheritance and Wealth Taxes over Time & across Countries (T. Piketty)

(Tuesday November 8th 2022 and Wednesday November 9th 2022, 9h30-11h)


Lecture 10: Optimal Taxation of Capital Income, Inheritance & Wealth (T. Piketty)

(Tuesday November 15th 2022 and Wednesday November 16th 2022, 9h30-11h)


Lectures 11-12 by A. Bozio and J. Grenet

(Corporate taxation; Externalities; Social insurance)


Syllabus, reading lists and slides used in previous years