Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy
The centre has the aim of imparting existing knowledge about the magnitude of decisions taken in the public sector and their influence on the economy, society and the environment, while bearing in mind special spatial features (teaching objective); this knowledge is then deepened by theoretical, methodological and empirical research (research objective).
The course revolves around theories on the provision of public assets and regulatory interventions of the state in industry and society, different types of market and state (governance) failure, and the resulting requirements, opportunities, risks and effects of deploying state instruments. Studies also include the analysis of positive and negative external effects and ultimately the macroeconomic costs and benefits of private and public activities.
This merges into scientific work on the
- specification of public tasks, bearing in mind the different types of state responsibility (e.g. responsibility for performance, guarantee and regulation) and the federal structure of commonwealth),
- instruments for fulfilling public tasks (e.g. legal norms, public services, state revenue and expenditure) and their (spatial) effects,
- possibilities – and especially the limits – of privatisation of previous public activities, also of regulation reforms,
- group-specific distribution of the benefits and financial burdens of public assets,
- methods of evaluating and choosing alternative projects and the resulting assets and services (e.g. cost-benefit analysis)
- effects and use of state instruments with regard to economic efficiency, ecological compliancy and social justice and fairness (sustainability)
The focuses of research and study in the discipline are based principally on an economic perspective:
- Economics: public husbandry, federalism, revenue sharing, theory of market and state/governance failure, instruments of regulation and promotion,
- Infrastructure economics: market analysis and regulation, economic evaluation in the sectors of transportation, water, drainage systems, waste disposal, energy, telecommunications, social/health services,
- Resources and ecological economics: economic assessment of the use of natural resources and the ecological dimensions of economic processes,
- Urban and regional economics: regional and communal economic analysis and politics, spatial distribution of economic activities,
- Land resources and real estate economics: economic analysis of real-estate activities with urban, regional and national economy dimensions,
- Software and methodological development: models, software and information systems in the fields of public finance and different infrastructure spheres, e-governance.