Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: Regulation, Privatization and Institutions

Course unit code: 570070

Academic year: 2019-2020

Coordinator: Germa Manel Bel Queralt

Department: Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economics

Credits: 5

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 125


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture





(Instructor lectures)


-  Student presentation and discussion





(Class discussion of research papers.)

Supervised project


Independent learning




Competences to be gained during study


— Knowledge forming the basis of original thinking in the development or application of ideas, typically in a research context.

— Capacity to apply the acquired knowledge to problem-solving in new or relatively unknown environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to the field of study.

— Capacity to communicate conclusions, judgments and the grounds on which they have been reached to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous manner.

— Skills to enable lifelong self-directed and independent learning.

— Ability to establish original research questions and hypotheses based on a relevant theoretical framework that can be tested empirically.

— Ability to thoroughly read and critically assess research papers in economics, to identify essential contributions and the frontier of knowledge.

— Ability to write scientific articles that can be published in journals of economics and to present them in international scientific conferences.

— Ability to produce financial reports for public or private organizations and communicate results clearly and in a precise manner.

— Capacity to recognize, analyse and assess the complexity, functioning and main challenges of socioeconomic reality, to contribute to the resolution of the economic problems it faces.

— Ability to implement knowledge and theory to the resolution of specific economic problems, typically in new and multidisciplinary contexts.¿

— Ability to formulate relevant economic problems with accuracy in areas such as market regulation, industrial organization and decision-making on public policy, and to propose solutions to those problems, using techniques learned from theoretical or empirical analysis and simulation.

— Ability to search and analyse data from real world economics, in order to fully understand it.





Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

— Understand the context of privatisation and contracting in the public sector.

— Learn various approaches to privatisation and contracting in the public sector.


Referring to abilities, skills

This course examines the theory and practice of privatisation and contracting in the public sector. The focus of the course is the analysis of whether to privatise or contract specific public goods or services and how to structure the contract should the decision to privatise or contract be made. The course draws on the literature from economics, political science and public policy to provide students with an interdisciplinary framework to analyse privatisation and contracting, as well as some aspects of their interrelation with regulation. The course also takes a global perspective, examining privatisation and contracting in various settings around the globe.



Teaching blocks


1. General framework: governments and markets

2. Public firms and public production in market economies

3. Historical roots of privatisation and contracting

4. Economic theory of privatisation

5. Political economy of privatisation and contracting

6. Factors explaining privatisation and contracting

7. Economic effects of privatisation and contracting

8. Privatisation of new generation: P3

9. Alternatives to privatisation: mixed and joint approaches to service delivery



Teaching methods and general organization


The methodology used for this course takes Schumpeter’s view of economic science as including history, theory and quantitative analysis as starting point.

The material is discussed in class through the lecturer’s presentations during the first weeks, followed by presentations given by the students on the last weeks. Open discussion on the topics of the course are compulsory on all teaching blocks included in this programme.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Each student is expected to read the item(s) listed as "required readings" for each session. The selection of required reading(s) is announced once the final size of the class is known.

In addition, students are expected to complete:
— Class presentation of a topic in the programme.
— Participation in class discussions.
— A final exam or alternatively a research assignment with a topic to be accorded in advance with the instructor.

The final grade is calculated as follows:
— Class presentation: 30%.
— General class participation: 20%.
— Final exam or research assignment: 50%.


Examination-based assessment

Final examination covering all the syllabus (100%).



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


STIGLER, G. (1971), The Theory of Economic Regulation. Bell Journal of Economics and Management Science, 2 (1), 1‑21.

Revista en línia  Enllaç

Boycko,.M., Shleifer.A, Vishny.R.W 1996. A theory of privatisation,. Economic Journal, 106 (435), 309-319.

Catàleg UB  Enllaç
Revista en línia  Enllaç

Hart, O, Shleifer,A , Vishny.R. 1997. The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons,. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(4): 1127-1161.

Catàleg UB  Enllaç
Revista en línia  Enllaç