The Department of Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy aims to broaden scientific knowledge about determinants of decisions in the public sector and their influence on the economy, society and environment taking into account spatial characteristics (teaching objective) and to deepen this knowledge through theoretical, methodological and empirical research (research objective).
The focus is on theories of the provision of public goods and regulatory interventions of the state in the economy and society, on different types of market and state failure and the resulting requirements, opportunities, risks and effects of the use of public policy instruments, as well as on the analysis of positive and negative external effects and ultimately the macroeconomic costs and benefits of private and public activities.
Therefore, economic research perspective are on the
- definition of public tasks, taking into account the different types of state responsibility (e.g. performance, guarantee and regulatory responsibility) and the federal structure of the community,
- instruments for the fulfilment of public tasks (e.g. legal norms, public services, state revenue and expenditure) and their (spatial) effects,
- possibilities and, above all, limits of privatisation of hitherto public activities and regulatory reforms, group-specific distribution of the benefits and financing burdens of public goods,
- methods of evaluating and selecting alternative projects and the resulting goods and services (e.g. cost-benefit and utility analysis), and
- effects of the use of public policy instruments in terms of economic efficiency, ecological carrying capacity, social justice and fairness (sustainability).
Focal points of research and teaching
public budgets, federalism, fiscal equalization, theory of market and state failure, regulatory and public finance instruments,
market analysis and regulation, economic evaluation in the fields of transport, water, sewage, waste, energy, telecommunications, social/health services,
Resource and environmental economics
Economic assessment of the use of natural resources and the ecological dimensions of economic development,
Urban and regional economics
Regional and municipal economic analysis and policy, spatial distribution of economic activities,
Analysis of political, institutional and technological dynamics of change in housing systems
Software and method development
models, software and information systems in the field of public finance and various infrastructure sectors, e-government.