M.Sc Economics Course Description

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Core Courses (12 Credits)

ECN 501 Microeconomics (3 Credits)

Students are presented with a set of concepts and mathematical techniques which will enable them to achieve a better understanding of economic activity and outcomes. The course begins with the analysis of individual decision making, which also includes choice under uncertainty. Consumer behavior, production decisions, cost analysis and market structures are discussed. The course also discusses the analysis of multiperson decision making, both in situations of strategic interaction (game theory) and in competitive markets (general equilibrium). The course also includes a general review of welfare economics, game theory and the economics of information. Topics in this area includes: modelling competitive situations, solution concepts, incomplete information, repeated play, bargaining, moral hazard, adverse selection, market signaling, auctions and mechanism design. Some topics in recent microeconomics literature are also discussed.

ECN 502 Macroeconomics (3 Credits)

This course deals with economy-wide phenomena related to determination of national income, its short-run fluctuations and long-run growth and the associated changes in employment and price levels. It analyzes the traditional growth models and uses the models to study the effects of fiscal and monetary policies on macroeconomic variables. It studies endogenous growth models covering human capital development, capital accumulation and technological progress, and the certain of knowledge. To study aggregate fluctuations, it analyzes real business cycle theories as well as Keynesian theories. It also looks at issues of open economy exposure to international trade, aid, and finance in the context of the globalization trends and the evolving international institutions working on development and on finance.

ECN 503 Econometrics (3 Credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with the necessary tools for formalizing a hypothesis of interest and testing it, writing econometric models, estimating it and conducting inference. Topic includes, simple regression analysis, properties of the regression coefficients, multiple regression analysis, transformation of variables, dummy variables, specification of regression variables, heteroscedasticity, stochastic regressors and measurement errors, simultaneous equations estimation, binary choice models and maximum likelihood estimation, models using time series data, autocorrelation. The course starts with a review of the classical linear model. Properties of ordinary least squares, instrumental variables and feasible generalized least squares, under general conditions are analyzed. This course also teaches econometric techniques to investigate macroeconomic relationships. The techniques include both single-equation and multi-equation methods. The course also aims to expose the student to some econometric and latest time series analysis software.

ECN 504 Mathematical Economics (3 Credits)

The foundations of economic theory are based on mathematical models. Thus a thorough understanding of the economic content of such models is not possible without a clear understanding of the mathematical concepts that underpin the modelling. The objective of this course is to prepare students for advanced courses in economic theory, such as the ones required of students enrolled in Honors, Masters and PhD programs, by discussing fundamental tools and concepts of mathematics on which these courses are based. The common thread in our approach will be the analysis of dynamical systems and of dynamic optimization methods. On a more fundamental level, we will attempt to understand the corresponding techniques by analyzing how and why they can be derived from certain basic assumptions using standard mathematical ideas. The main focus will be to provide an introduction to the mathematical techniques used to analyze dynamical systems in economics, including a discussion of dynamic optimization methods. Topics covered are difference equations, markov chains, dynamic programming, differential equations, and optimal control theory.


Fields of Concentration (6 Credits)

ECN 509 Development Economics (3 Credits)

This course covers major ideas in development economics, looking at both theoretical models and empirical issues. Topics include growth models, human capital issues, intra-household economics, migration, land tenancy, rural credit markets, micro credit, natural disasters, risk coping, and other economic issues particularly relevant to developing countries. Gender; labor markets: child labor: child education and health: political economy of reforms: corruption: population growth and demographic transition: agricultural productivity growth: agrarian institutions: famines: multinationals: issues from Asia and other developing countries: LDC debt problem.

ECN 510 Institutions and Development (3 Credits)

The purpose of this course is to analyze the interrelationships between the process of economic development and institutional factors that shape the trend and pattern of development in a society from a very broad perspective. It would thus highlight sociological, cultural, historical, economic and other non-economic institutions that play crucial role in the process of economic development of Bangladesh. It would also deal with policy questions related to monetary and fiscal institutions, health and population sectors, educational institutions and human capital, capital accumulation and capital market, and the role of NGOs.

ECN 511 Economic Policy Issues (3 Credits)

This course will focus on contemporary policy issues in the Bangladesh economy. The lectures will be delivered by experts within Bangladesh and by visitors drawn from government departments and other universities. The more importatnt topics are taken from the following policy areas; the labor market, welfare, health and education and economic growth. A better appreciation of the analysis of economic policy issues from economic, social, political and historical perspectives. The emphasis will be on real examples mainly drawn from the Bangladesh economy and the emphasis will be mainly on economics. The course will also cover macroeconomic policy framework, policy coordination, and macro-micro linkages in policy.

ECN 512 Development Finance and Project Management (3 credits)

This course is about the recent issues and problems of financing capital accumulation and project management in development economies. Topics covered in this course would include theoretical models of financial development; econometric testing of financial development; microeconomic institutions, instruments, and markets, financial institutions and markets in developing countries, and government intervention in the financial sector. It will also include monetary and financial policies in economic development; macroeconomic environment and macroeconomic policies; central banks and deficit finance in developing countries; interest rate and selective credit policies; policies for financial development. There are a variety of reasons for wanting to measure the costs and benefits from policy and other changes in economic activity and project management. Governments want to measure the impact of their policy changes on variety on society as a whole, while private agents focus on the impact they have their own welfare and the welfare of those they care about. In markets subject to tax and other distortions market prices are not normally reliable measures of the social valuation of goods and services. Thus, they cannot be used to evaluate the social impact of policy and other changes. Instead, we derive shadow prices of goods and services to look through market distortions and measure social valuations. When changes in economic activity are evaluated using these shadow prices they provide measures of the social impact of policy and other changes.

(Prerequisite: ECN 502 and ECN 509)

ECN 513 International Trade (3 Credits)

This course will cover the basic economic theory of international trade. It will also cover the primary institutional environment, which provides the setting for international economic relations. After developing the basic theory, topics such as the determinants of trade patterns, trade policy, tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, political economy of protectionism, bilateral and multilateral trade disputes, trade liberalization, trade and development. Topics covered are: Labor productivity and comparative advantage: Ricardian model, specific factors and income distribution, resources and trade, the Heckcher- Ohlin model, standard trade model, economies of scale, imperfect competition, and international trade, international factor movement, instrumensts of trade policy, political economy of trade policy, trade policy in developing countries, strategic trade polices in advanced countries, and recent developments in trade theory.

ECN 514 International Finance (3 Credits)

This course surveys the determination of exchange rates and theories of balance of payments adjustments. It also explores open economy macroeconomics and analyzes some of the institutional details of foreign exchange markets, balance of payments acocunting, and the inetrnational monetary system. The policy issues addressed in the course include the choice of foreign exchange rate regime, regulations over international capital flows, the architecture of international monetary system, and policy cocodination among nations under alternative international monetary systems. With the globalization of the economy, international capital flows are of fundamental importance for the understanding of international interest rate and exchange rate differentials, different exchange rate regimes, speculative attacks on curriencies and so on.

(Prerequisite: ECN 502)

ECN 515 Financial Econometrics (3 Credits)

This course focuses how modern statistical and econometric methods can be applied to financial data to solve problems arising in the financial markets. It is designed to integrate economics, finance and econometrics by showing the way in which each contributes to the other in the exploration of real research topics. The course works through a series of applications, such as capital asset pricing model with volatility and prediction, inter-temporal models of time varying risk premium, management of extreme risk, equity risk premia from derivative prices, test for rationality and market efficiency, time varying volatility models (e.g ARCH, GARCH etc), test for integration and other co-movements in the financial series, VAR modeling, human capital model, wage discrimination, models of investment, capital stock etc. Empirical applications are considered in the financial series such as stock, bond and exchange rate markets. This course also provides a strong foundation to further applied research in economics and finance.

(Prerequisite: ECN 504)

ECN 516 Global Trading System (3 Credits)

This course familiarizes the students with the global trading system, showing a brief history of commerce and its eventual culmination into the World Trade Organization (WTO). It reviews the core ideas of theories of international trade and associated policy issues as a backdrop for the global trading system. It studies the principles, scope, nature and structure of the WTO and its procedures for settlement of trade disputes and review of trade policies. The course examines the effects of WTO agreements including the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services), and TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). The Course also examines the issues of multilateral trading systems, customs and economic unions, preferential trading arrangements, and the issues facing the global trading system.

ECN 517 Time Series Analysis (3 Credits)

 The course aims to provide a foundation in time series analysis. Most part of the course will discuss time series techniques. This course illustrates number of topics in modern time-series econometrics, with special attention to their applications in economics and finance. Topics include: An introduction to time-series models (e.g. AR, MA, ARMA etc.), difference equations, stationary and non-stationary processes, Box-Jenkins methodology, trend and volatility, unit root tests and other movements in the financial series, cointegration, causality testing, error correction models, impulse response functions, variance decomposition and others. The econometric techniques are illustrated through the analysis of economic time series data.

 (Prerequisite: ECN 504)

 ECN 518 Macro econometrics (3 Credits)

This course is designed to provide advanced Masters’ level students in economics with the analytical tools necessary for model building. More specifically, the course will deal with the construction of Univariate and Multivariate Time Series models suitable for the empirical analyses of various macroeconomic issues. Students are required to have completed a Masters’ level course in “Time Series Analysis” before getting enrolled in this course. Upon completing this course, the students will be able to develop appropriate time series models, apply these for the empirical analyses in macroeconomics and test their validity. Course contents: Forecasting the GDP growth, measuring the persistence of GDP shocks, International Transmission of GDP Shocks, Real Effects of Monetary Policy, and Modelling Exchange Rate Dynamics.

ECN 519 Panel Data Analysis (3 Credits)

The objective of this course is to provide training on specialized Econometric methods that deal with panel data analysis. Many policy oriented studies in the fields of macro, micro and finance require analyses of such nature. Emphasis will be placed on practical case studies drawn from Bangladesh and other countries particularly of this region.

ECN 520 Financial Economics (3 credits)

 This course introduces students to the area of finance. It covers the following topics: present value, valuation of common stocks, market making, trading systems, term structure of interest rates, bond valuation and duration, bond convexity and immunization, hedging and butterfly trades in the treasury bond market, measures of risk, portfolio analysis and two fund separation theorem, capital asset pricing models, and arbitrage pricing theory models. The aim of this course is to provide students with the analytical tools of advanced finance theory. The course will give an introduction to stochastic calculus, optimal control and martingale methods and will cover dynamic asset pricing models, optimal consumption and portfolio theory, equilibrium models of the term structure of interest rates.

 (Prerequisites: ECN 502)

 ECN 521 Financial Institutions (3 Credits)

 This course will analyze the role and efficacy of financial institutions in economic and business developments of Bangladesh. It would make a comprehensive analysis of banks, insurance companies, leasing companies, savings/loans associations, micro credit institutions, stock market, commodity market, futures/options market, and international financial institutions.\

ECN 522 Environmental and Resource Economics (3 Credits)

 This course deals with the exploitation of exhaustible, renewable and environmental resources and the public policy issues that arise in seeking their efficient use. It examines the effects of different market and mineral leasing arrangements and of alternative taxation regimes on the efficient exploitation of mineral and energy resources. It also examines problems of environmental degradation and natural area conservation, with a focus on alternative policy tools and evaluation procedures available to governments to moderate pollution and other forms of environmental damage. Students learn the economics of exhaustible, renewable, and environmental resources and the public policy issues that arise in the in seeking their efficient use. By the end of the course, students will be able to appreciate: (1) the importance of ill-defined property rights in the market allocation of these resources and (2) comparing costs and benefits across different periods of time in determining their optimal use.

ECN 523 Environmental Governance (3 Credits)

 This course will deal with fundamental questions of environmental governance. What are the principles of good environmental governance? How are the stakeholders involved in governance? What are the instruments available? How can good environmental governance be designed implemented? To address these questions, the course will examine processes and instruments of environmental governance by considering theories and empirical studies. We focus on theories and issues relating to national and international governance, public policy formation, common property management, market and non-market incentives for resource management, decentralization, civil society organizations and corporate environmental behavior.

ECN 524 Environmental Policy Instruments (3 credits)

 This course is intended to give an overview of applied environmental economics with particular emphasis on the design of policies in the area of environmental and natural resource management. The course will give an overview of why economics policies are needed in the area of pollution and resource management as well as a survey of the policy instruments that are available. Finally it will explain how policies should be selected and designed so as to meet not only the criteria of efficiency but also of equity, political feasibility and other criteria.

 ECN 525 Environmental Valuation (3 credits)

This course provides a detailed introduction to the valuation of environmental goods. The course is based on the idea that valuation is often a part of a more general welfare assessment, e.g as a part of a cost-benefit analysis. The course will mainly cover the theory and practical implementation of stated preference methods. In addition experimental methods such as field experiments may be covered.

Electives (6 credits)

ECN 541 Monetary Economics (3 credits)

This course covers topics in monetary economics, monetary policy and central banking. It provides discussions on the main issues in monetary theory and policy with particular emphasis on the experience and performance of monetary policy practiced in relatively small and open economies. In particular, the role and functions of money in the economy, the formulation of monetary policy in relatively open economies in comparison with closed economies, the demand and supply of money and various issues related to inflation and optimal monetary policy will be discussed. Students are assumed to have been exposed to basic calculus and linear algebra during their 200 level courses. Course contents: Money (Functions and definitions), money and output, monetary transmission mechanism, target and instruments of the central bank, formulation of the monetary policy in the relatively small and open economies since inflation targeting, Quantity theory of money, Keynesian tradition and Baumol-Tobin Model, Empirical issues of money demand analysis, Supply of money, money in utility model, Cagan model of hyperinflation, rational expectations revolution, Lucas critique and the role of expectations in monetary policy, inflation-output trade –off, costs of inflation, optimal choice of monetary policy instruments, Taylor rule and Taylor principle, models of stock market valuation, monetary policy and assert prices.

(Prerequisite: ECN 502)

ECN 542 Public Finance (3 Credits)

This course will introduce students to basic concepts of public finance, particularly in the context of macroeconomic policies by referring to advanced macroeconomics with microeconomics foundations. This course will explain the relevant principles and the relationships between public expenditure, taxation and the behavior of economic agents such as individuals, households and firms. Basic macroeconomic models commonly applied in public finance such as the infinitely lived agent model and the overlapping generations model will be taught. In addition the course will cover applications of the basic models in several fields related to public finance: Economic Growth, human capital and education, and population economics. One of the aims of this course is to give students powerful and sufficient techniques to evaluate or analyze actual public finance policies ongoing in Bangladesh.

ECN 543 Labor Economics (3 Credits)

This course provides a theoretical and empirical discussion of labor markets. Topics include: Labor supply and the determinants of hours of work, migration, investments in human capital, labor demand, wage determination, discrimination, internal labor markets, trade unions, and macroeconomic issued related to wages and unemployment. The purpose of the course is to give an introduction to the basic theoretical models and a taste of the empirical analysis that characterizes labor economics.

ECN 544 Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness (3 credits)

This course introduces the major contemporary questions, concepts, and policy issues of agricultural economics and agribusiness. This course focuses on economic forces which influence agricultural commodity movements and behavior. This involves study into the theoretical basis of price determination as well as empirical estimation of economic models to identify forces that determine prices. In this course, significant attention is given to international trade and the effect of exchange rates, tariffs and quota on trade. Public policies and programs affecting agriculture and agribusiness; development of policies and programs, identifying relevant issues, reviewing means to attain desired goals, and development of methods to evaluate the consequences of alternative agricultural policies on Bangladesh agriculture, agribusinesses, trade and resources.

ECN 545 Political Economy of Development (3 Credits)

This course examines the political economy of developing countries. The significant focus of this course is to gain an understanding of the role of political institutions in the process of economic development. It investigates how the theories shaped public polices and studies the real world and academic challenges that emerged in the process of development. In addition the course also examines recent development issues including: military regimes and civil conflicts over the world, democratization, economic growth, poverty, rural economies, famine, and globalization. Topics include; what is development, modernization theory, critiques of modernization theory; political economy and development economics, dependency theory, review of theories and practice over last fifty years, neo-liberal economics and the Washington consensus, critiques of neo-liberal, new institutionalism, review of theories of political economy, democracy and development, poverty, globalization, food and famine.

(Prerequisite: 503)

ECN 546 Game Theory and Industrial Organization (3 credits)

One of the objectives of this course is to provide the necessary tools so that the students would be able to comprehend most applications of game theory. Normal form and extensive form, including a basic understanding of the following concepts: Strategy (pure, mixed, behavioral), payoff, information sets, knowledge, common knowledge, perfect recall, perfect information, complete information. The course looks at theories of the firm: and moves on to investigate the determinants of market power, which in turn shape the structure of industries. Following the analysis of the pricing strategies in monopolies, the most concentrated type of industry, oligopolistic markets are considered, so as to be able to study the varied strategies that firms employ to compete more effectively, from mergers to product differentiation, advertising and entry deterrence. In addition, in this course, we will analyze the behavior of firms under different industry structure and evaluate antitrust policies and other government regulations of business. Topics include static competition in oligopolies, cartels and other forms of collusive behaviors, competition between firms producing differentiated products, entry behavior, R& D behavior, merger analysis, price discrimination, natural monopoly regulation, environmental regulation, patents and other government interventions in the markets, antitrust laws for example.

ECN 547 History of Economic Thought (3 credits)

 This course examines the history of economic ideas. It is not a history of what actually happened in the past but rather a history of theories about how the economy works. Nonetheless, we will pay a little attention to economic history, since understanding what was going on in the economy in past times and places helps us to understand how people conceptualized the economy.

Among others it will include the works of the Mercantilists and the Physiocrats, Adam Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, Say, Bentham, Senior, Mill, Marz and his Critique of Classical Economics, Jevons, Menger and Marginalists, Edgeworth, Clark, Marshall and the Neoclassical School, Walras and Geberal Equilibrium, John Maynard Keynes, and more recent developments.

ECN 548 Urban and Regional Economics (3 Credits)

 The main objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive analysis of urbanization and development with special reference to regional development in Bangladesh. The role of urban planning and such closely related issues like infrastructure development, roads and modern amenities, and the role of local government will be carefully examined in this course. The role of various democratic institutions in this respect will be highlighted.

ECN 599 Thesis/Research Paper (6 Credits)