Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Robert W. Wassmer, Ph.D.

Title: PPA Chairperson and Professor

Office Location: Campus: Tahoe Hall, Room 3037; Downtown Center, Room 226

Email: rwassme@csus.edu

Office Phone: Campus 916.278.6304; Downtown 916.278.4556

Mailing Address: Department of Public Policy and Administration, 6000 J Street, mailstop 6081, Sacramento, CA 95819

Office Hours: By Appointment

Recent Publication (2021) : “Higher Land Costs for New Housing Does Inhibit Economic Activity in a United States Metropolitan Area,” 2021, Economic Development Quarterly

Recent Publication (2021) : “The Influence of Regulation on Residential Land Prices in United States Metropolitan Areas,” Symposium on Reducing Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing, 2021, Cityscape

Recent Publication (2020) : “The Effects of Property Tax Abatements on School District Property Tax Bases and Rates,” 2020, Economic Development Quarterly

Vitae and Videos




Course Information and Syllabi

  • PPA 207 - Quantitative Methods in Public Policy and AdministrationThis course concentrates on multiple regression analysis and the determination of its relevance and applicability within the larger scheme of public policy decision making. Students are required to complete their own regression study using the SPSS statistical package (see examples below). Offered spring of every year. Prerequisites: PPA220A (required) and STAT1 (recommended).

  • PPA 220A - Applied Economic Analysis IPresents the basic concepts, tools, and models of microeconomics in the context of public sector choices. The market demand and supply model, and models of perfect competition and monopoly are introduced and used to study the effects of public choices (particularly those made at the state and local government level). The principles of welfare economics, or benefit/cost analysis, are also described and used to analyze various subnational government projects. Students are required to review and comprehend a real-world benefit/cost study (examples are given below). Offered fall of every year. Prerequisite: ECON1B

  • PPA 220B - Applied Economic Analysis IIA continuation of PPA220A. Focuses specifically on the role of government in a market-oriented economy with emphasis on market failures including: public goods, externalities, and monopoly production. Corrective taxes and expenditure programs are discussed with particular focus on the intergovernmental situation in post-Proposition 13 California. Offered spring of every year. Prerequisite: PPA220A.

  • PPA 251 - Urban Problems, Economics, and Public PolicyHistorical development, economics, and possible policy solutions regarding the most pressing problems facing central cities and urban areas in the United States and California. Problems discussed include poverty, crime, urban abandonment/suburban sprawl, edge cities, deteriorating infrastructure, and fiscal stress. Cross listed as ECON251. Offered in the fall of some years. Prerequisite: PPA220A.

  • EDD 602 - Policy and Practice for Educational Leaders IDevelops in students the skills for informed analysis of educational policy in order to positively influence the educational policy in the K-12 or community college setting. In addition to studying the historical perspectives pertaining to educational policy, practice, and reform, students will investigate the mission of public education. Students will also study governance and inter-governmental relations through contemporary policy development with particular reference to current law, local board policy, shared governance, and working with a variety of constituencies.

  • PPA 500 - Culminating Experience
    The first of two capstone courses in the PPA Program. Designed to assist students in the development of a topic for their Master's thesis and the completion of two chapters of the thesis (Introduction and Overview, and Literature Review). Offered spring and fall of every year. Prerequisite: Completion of all PPA core courses during or before the semester taken.

    Most Recent Versions of Syllabi Available Here

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