The idea of this course is to give the students a refresher of the basics of mathematics and statistics that they will need for the other courses of their master. Professors Bram De Rock and Marjorie Gassner will guide participants through a fast-paced exploration of:

  • How to write a proof: basic introduction to logical reasoning
  • Calculus
  • Topology
  • Linear algebra
  • Fundamentals of probability theory.

For more detailed information, download the course description.


This course by professor Phillipe Weil develops a coherent framework for analyzing the determination of macroeconomic variables such as national output, unemployment, interest rates, government debt and inflation. The course will also contribute to developing the skills needed for interpreting macroeconomic data and macroeconomic policy. One objective of the course is to provide a link between economic theory and current economic policy. Another objective is to provide students with the tools to analyze current macroeconomic policies.

This course by professors Micael Castanheira and Georg Kirchsteiger covers elements of modern microeconomics. It emphasizes the development of skills needed to evaluate the new generation of economic models, tools, and ideas as they apply to recent changes in our economy. Basic tools of game theory, asymmetric information, and modern general equilibrium price formation are introduced and applied to various topics. These topics include consumer and producer choice, decision under uncertainty, and resource allocation under different market structures such as competition, monopoly, and oligopoly. The course also focuses on some newer innovations to the theory, including the role of politics in the determination of economic policy, the impact of spillovers and network externalities in the information economy, and psychological and behavioral factors in individual decision making.

Skills acquired

  • Ability to analyze markets and price and quantity movements
  • Identify market inefficiencies
  • Understand behavior of different market and non-market agents, as well as their strategic interactions


  • Develop knowledge of microeconomic theory and behavioral economics
  • Understand how to play an active role in various markets
Political economy studies the determinants of public policy both at the macroeconomic and microeconomic levels. The main focus of this introductory course by professor Laurent Bouton is on the behavior of non-market agents such as legislatures, government agencies, judicial institutions, NGOs and activist groups, the media, and their interactions with traditional market agents (firms and consumers). Political economy develops systematic frameworks for understanding such behaviors and interactions. In many situations, non-market agents heavily influence the functioning of the market. For instance, emission standards affect virtually all aspects of automobile design and manufacturing, and thereby the competitive advantages of automakers. Political economy studies how elections, lobbying, information provision, and institutional specificities shape actual emission standards, which may thus differ from the socially optimal outcome.
This course by professors Frank Vella, Franco Peracchi, and John Rust first introduces students to fundamentals methods in Econometrics, which is the study of statistical tools used to estimate economic relationships. This begins with a discussion of the linear regression model. It then proceeds to introduce a number of topics relevant to the analysis of economic data. These include instrumental variables, discrete choice modeling, panel data analysis and program evaluation. Second, it ensures that the students achieve competence with a statistical software package such that they will be able to implement the methods taught in the first part of the course.


The course by Paola Conconi and Mathieu Parenti is divided in four parts. The first part is dedicated to understanding why countries engage in international trade and what determines which goods and services they export/import. The second part focuses on firms, with the goal of understanding the behavior of individual exporters, importers, and multinationals. The third part covers trade policy. This part sheds light on the reasons why, notwithstanding the gains from having an open multilateral trading system, nations often resort to tariffs, quotas, and other non-tariff barriers. The final part of the course covers various topics, including the proliferation of regional trade agreements, the impact of international trade on labor markets and on the environment, the increasing fragmentation of production processes across countries, and the fiscal optimization strategies of multinationals.
Financing Infrastructure, Education, and Development

This course explains the role and limits of government interventions in the delivery and financing of public services. The main emphasis will be on: (i) the identification of most common market failures and the options available for government to address them; (ii) the choice and design of general and sector financing options; (iii) the optimal assignment of expenditure and revenue across government levels. The course also discusses the drivers of government failures in the design of public policies, including those resulting from interactions between economics and politics. By the end of the course, the participants should be able to formulate and evaluate arguments on the case for government intervention and the scope for financing in a wide range of policy issues, taking into account the political constraints of specific contexts.

This is a methods course, it teaches the “How to” of impact evaluation, it is applied and practical, providing students with the tools to evaluate the impact of public policy interventions. The focus is on the design of such interventions, not on the econometric analysis of endline data. Students will learn how to apply and when to apply the theory of change, randomized evaluations, regression discontinuity design and statistical matching. The handbook for the course is “Running Randomized Evaluations” (R.Glennester and K.Takavarasha, Princeton University Press, 2013). The course will feature assignments and include guest lectures by professional evaluators and scholars.
  • This course aims to be an active introduction to the most senior European policy, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and its historical role in the European policy making. It is composed of 2 parts:
    • Descriptive part: Why an agricultural policy? Why a Common agricultural policy? Why this first CAP (from 1958 to 1992)? The different CAP reform and their political economy (from 1992 to 2015)? Special focus on the Uruguay Round negotiation (Why the success?) and the Doha Round (Why the failure?) Which challenges today: from an agricultural policy to a food and territorial policy?
    • Active part: we will simulate am European agricultural negotiation. Students will be divided in several groups and will play the role of the major Member States, the main lobbies and the main European institution. The issue discussed and negotiated would be chosen by the group between the 2 following: the agricultural main elements of a TTIP negotiation or the CAP post 2020.
The Innovation and Science and Technology policies make an in-depth assessment of innovation and science policies. The various tools and their effectiveness are critically analysed, including the funding of basic research, science programmes management, R&D tax credit policies, publicly-funded business R&D, patent policies. The analytical approach is essentially empirical and international.

This course focuses on applying empirical and theoretical techniques used in international economics and macroeconomics to current academic and policy issues. The course is geared toward sharpening the skills of students who wish to proceed from the master’s program to economic analyst employment in either the private or public sectors.  In this course, we read academic journal articles and other materials, primarily studies from central banks such as the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.  The primary objectives are assisting students in developing a facility with economic data; becoming knowledgeable about current issues in international economic policy; and providing them with actual research training befitting a high-quality economics professional.

Elective courses are generally taught by economists who work in government, international organizations, think tanks, consulting firms or other research positions in the Washington, D.C. area. These faculty members are highly experienced professionals who have deep expertise in the substantive areas in which they offer courses.

The elective courses typically entail textbook readings, readings from professional and academic journals, review of policy papers, and significant empirical work.

This course is an introduction to the field of health economics, covering both theory and empirical research. It begins with a discussion of the importance of health care to the economy and how health care differs from other goods and services. It will cover the human capital model of health, the determinants of health, health insurance and its associated market failures, comparisons of international health-care systems, the US system, recent health-care reform attempts such as the Affordable Care Act, provider (physician and hospital) behavior and industries, the pharmaceutical industry, and concludes with a discussion of how to measure the return to health-care spending.
This course focuses on the application of economic concepts and methods to environmental issues, both in theory and in practice. The environment is strongly connected to the economy both as a source of inputs to the production of manufactured goods and as a sink for pollution from economic activities. Many environmental resources also serve as inputs to the “production” of human health and other aspects of overall well-being. However, most environmental resources are not privately owned and are typically not exchanged in traditional markets. This can lead to an over-production of pollution, over-extraction of nonrenewable resources, such as fossil fuels, and over-exploitation of renewable resources, such as fish or other wildlife species. In this course, students will learn how to design policies that can correct such market failures and improve environmental quality, human health, and economic efficiency.
The energy industry is inextricably linked to political and regulatory systems that collectively identify and implement the government objectives for the energy industry, including economic incentives for investment and regulatory oversight and compliance. This course aims to develop an understanding of the economic fundamentals of traditional fossil fuels, power and renewables and emerging technologies, which are all going through substantial transformations. The course will develop an understanding of the influence of energy policies on the energy industry and detail the recent changes in policies and implications. It will also provide an overview of regulatory systems that implement the energy policies and address the significance of geopolitical and energy security.

This course will demonstrate the importance of the energy industry to the economy, energy infrastructure developments and energy and the environment considerations. The course will provide the U.S. perspective as well as selected discussions from other countries, Asia, Europe and others, to understand the global nature of the energy industry. The course will equip the students with the necessary skillset to critically think about our current and prospective energy industry, the economy and the environment.

This course is a survey of modern economic analysis of industrial organization with emphasis on both theory and empirical applications. Topics that will be covered include theory of the firm, transaction cost economics, contract theory, static analysis of imperfect competition, dynamic competition and collusion, antitrust, entry and entry deterrence, product differentiation, price discrimination, incomplete information, bargaining and auctions. This is a hands-on course, and students will critically review the theoretical and empirical literature for in- class presentation and active discussion.

In the last decades the financial world has seen a tremendous evolution in investments and trading strategies. Finance is the backbone of our everyday life and still answers to basic principles despite newly designed elaborate securities and trading strategies: interest rates and rates of return when considering a loan or investing in the stock or bond markets, riskiness of assets such as stocks, bonds and loans and most profitable portfolio allocation, as well as valuation of corporations.

This course explores issues that multinational firms face and how they make domestic and international financial decisions.   It will focus on investment decision rules, with the different types of rates, risk and cost of capital, and market efficiency among other topics. Given the importance of international finance, key topics will be foreign exchange exposure, foreign direct investment decisions, multinational capital budgeting and cash management, and international banking and alternatives for international financing.

This course focuses mainly on public sector taxation and expenditures. It encompasses normative and positive theories of public economics and a broad range of empirical work. The course uses a well-known textbook in public economics. In addition, optional readings from the economics literature will be assigned every week. A series of problem sets using publicly available data and a major econometric software package will be assigned. A major empirical project will constitute a large portion of the grade.
Back to Political Economy

Practical information: Summary

  • Starting date: 21 August 2017
  • Location: Brussels & Washington, D.C.
  • Format: Full-time
  • Language: English
  • Tuition: $50,000
  • Length: 12 months
  • Application deadline: 15 January 2018

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