This course (PhD and Masters level) introduces students to the statistics of causal inference. The objective is to learn how to make and evaluate causal claims. It starts with randomized experiments and then discusses techniques for learning about effects from observational data. In addition to experiments, the focus is on four main techniques of causal inference: - Covariate adjustment via regression and matching - Instrumental variables - Difference-in-differences - Regression discontinuity design By the end of the course, students should be able to apply each of these methods and critically evaluate research based on them. Students apply the techniques in lab sessions, and the main software package we use for teaching is R.
Political Economy (ZSEM)
In this masters level course I cover advanced concepts of public choice theory and positive political economy. The course is focused on helping the students understand the big picture behind policy formation, the political process and their effect on the real economy. Topics include voting, models of electoral competition, the principal agent problem in politics, electoral accountability, optimal size of taxation, redistribution and government spending, interest groups and lobbying, the logic of collective action, and the role of institutions in economic development and policy-making. In addition to the technically advanced master level module, there is a light option of the course available for fourth year undergraduates and summer school students. The course is fully taught in English.
Principles of Economics (ZSEM)
The Principles course I teach are seminars in English where I cover a variety of topics outside the standard curriculum aimed at better equipping the students with some elementary knowledge of economics. Topics tend to vary from introductory game theory simulations, supply and demand in action, inequality, alternative monetary policy, the crisis and the recovery, and even economics of football. It is a good way of introducing first year undergraduates to applications of some basic economic concepts.
International Economics (ZSEM)
A standard fourth year undergraduate level course covering the issues of international trade and international finance. From the concepts of comparative advantage to tariffs and quotas, the international trade part explains why trade is important, and how it drives economic growth and economic imbalances between nations. The international finance part explains the role of global financial flows in macroeconomic outcomes whilst providing the students a deeper understanding of the connection between exchange rates, interest rates and money.
Public Finance (ZSEM)
This second year undergraduate course introduces the students to the basic concepts behind market and government inefficiencies. Why and how markets fail and more importantly why and how governments fail in correcting for inefficient market outcomes? It explains the three basic roles of public finance: allocation, stabilization and redistribution, through which it touches upon the theories of optimal taxation and the tax system, government spending and redistribution, and the ever hot topic of debts and deficits.