Economic Policy & Implementation
The course aims to provide you with the necessary analytical tools and conceptual framework for understanding, analyzing, and forecasting key macroeconomic variables in a developing market-oriented economy (DME). Specifically, the course will focus on economic growth, inflation and the balance of payments, elaborating on the meaning of each of these concepts, explaining why an understanding of them is essential for business decision makers, and indicating how one can understand and predict the movement of these variables in respect of specific DMEs. As a precursor to the study of the macroeconomic dynamics of a DME in general, the course will look in some depth at the standard aggregate demand and aggregate supply framework conventionally utilized to provide an understanding of these issues. This will be done along with a review of some basic micro-economic concepts and tools.
Public Finance & Budgeting
This course introduces you in problems of government budgeting and finance, i.e., with public revenue and expenditure policies, debt portfolio management issues, and political economy of the budgetary process. You will get acquainted with theories, concepts, and the practice of government budgeting and finance and will become conversant with current debates and issues in this field. By the end of the course, you have a basic understanding of what is public budgeting and what budgets are expected to do, government revenues, spending, and borrowing, the budget cycle and politics of the budgetary process, techniques of budgetary analysis, capital budgeting and debt management, relationship between fiscal policy and the economy, and problems of financial relations between multilevel governments (fiscal federalism).
Public policy decisions are usually very difficult as they involve complicated choices: more public expenditure on public health could imply that the government has to reduce expenditures on education or national defense as resources of the government are limited. It is therefore very important to have a good idea of the benefits and costs of various policies, actions or projects. This course discusses the main elements of cost-benefit analysis, and will introduce you to such issues as valuation of benefits of policies, how to evaluate costs associated with policies and projects, how to assess the relative importance of costs and benefits, and how to address the issue of uncertainty. Policies that pass in review are, among others, environmental policies, health and safety issues, infrastructure projects, and investment in higher education. By the end of the course you should be able to do a cost-benefit analysis or be able to critically review existing cost-benefit analyses.
International Trade & Financial Systems
In this course we look at both nations and firms in the international economy. The central theme of the course is to understand the economic causes and consequences of globalization, both from the perspective of nations and that of firms. In recent years, it became clear that the performance of firms in international trade is among others influenced by the organizational structures of firms. Firm and country performance are of course also determined by the international economic organizations, such as the WTO and the IMF/WB. We discuss the role of these organizations and their impact on such variables as trade volumes, capital markets and exchange rates, as well as their role in financial crises.