Public economics theory is about the efficient and welfare-enhancing provision of various types of collective goods, from the local to the supranational scale. In practice, public good provision goes through public policies that involve practical implementation, programs and often equipment and facilities. The specificities of public goods usually prevent competitive market pricing from optimally allocating resources. Nevertheless, non-competitive mechanisms for resource allocation can be welfare-improving, providing that public interventions are properly evaluated. Hence the need for program evaluation.
This course links theoretical insights in public good provision to the appraisal of investment projects. It provides a self-contained introduction to the main methods required for conducting evaluations of public programs, which are advocated by the World Bank, the European Union, the OECD, as well as many governments.