Weekly Quizzes: Time management and allocation of scarce studying time.
Keeping up with current events requires punctuality and inability to procrastinate as you must keep up with current events. Constant, small assignments imply that students who do well are diligent and focused.
Gruber Textbook: The textbook used in public finance, by Jonathan Gruber, is a relatively rigorous treatment of public policy and finance, and a thorough understanding of economic theory is required to keep up with the course both through lecture and the textbook.
Paper: The tax policy paper allows the student to demonstrate the ability to convert math-heavy tax policy concepts into a conversation about equity and efficiency. Students who succeed in this course need to be able to quickly and easily recognize the policy meaning and implications behind the mathematical foundation of tax policy being taught in the course.
Public finance: requires microeconomic theory as a prerequisite and students must apply it regularly, implying a strong understanding. However, discussions of tax policy and its fairness, and the societal implications of such policies, are woven into the course constantly. So the best students can go back and forth between more objective mathematical concepts and more-subjective policy discussions, which requires a deeper understanding of the material.
Resume Skill Descriptions: Time management, strong grasp of theoretical concepts, quantitative literacy, clear and concise writing.