Teaching

The following page contains the course syllabi and important links for each course. For course materials, refer to Canvas or the emailed Google Drive.

Term 2 A.Y. 2020 – 2021

Advanced Microeconomics 1 (ECO503M – G01, G02)

ECO503M is a formal introduction to Microeconomics for the Master in Applied Economics program. It concentrates on the theories of consumer decision-making, production and costs, and the partial equilibrium competitive model. At the advanced level, the course will provide a more theoretical and mathematical approach to understanding cornerstone economic principles such as the underpinnings of utility maximization, cost minimization, profit maximization, and partial equilibrium.

Learning Microeconomic Theory requires systematic study in order to master its logic and structure. The analysis will necessarily be mathematical, involving calculus, optimization, and solution of simultaneous equations. While this formalism is essential for a modern treatment of Microeconomics, the presentations in class will also emphasize graphical techniques, especially for the building of intuition. In summary, our analytic approach to Microeconomics is one that uses three modes of inquiry: rigorous use of verbal reasoning and mathematical and graphical modeling.

Calculus is used extensively in this course since the modern approach to economics is indisputably mathematical. There is no fundamental difference between the mathematical approach and non-mathematical approaches. However, the mathematical approach is clearer and more precise inasmuch as we need to state clearly our assumptions before using the language of mathematics and building economic models. The lectures will assume, in particular, familiarity with the material on differentiation of functions of any form, both constrained and unconstrained optimization, and the methodology of comparative statics using calculus. Chapter 2 of Nicholson and Snyder (2012), the Calculus Appendix of Perloff (2014) and the Mathematical Appendix of Besanko and Braeutigam (2010) sufficiently provide the mathematical tools and techniques required for this course.

Applied Econometrics (ECO601M G01, ACT616M G01)

This course is a rigorous introduction to the applications of econometrics in economic analysis, business, finance, and development policy. In particular, this course aims to introduce students the main theoretical and empirical underpinnings of econometrics starting from the classical linear regression model. We will discuss how the CLRM is derived, is formulated, and is used to model basic relationships. We will then proceed to understand a few deficiencies and biases which may arise when violations to its properties and incurred and the corresponding consequences to these violations. We will then explore other models which address the deficiencies of the CLRM starting with the binary outcomes model such as the Logit and Probit. From there, we will move on to panel data models which are the fixed effects, random effects, within and between regressions, SURE, and GMM. Next, we will explore versatile estimation methods such as the quantile regression, the least absolute deviations, and the LOESS regression. Lastly, we will undertake discussions on frontier econometric tools such as the regression discontinuity design, difference in differences, and causal impact analysis.

The course relies heavily on concepts that have been introduced in the introductory statistics course such as probability distributions, the theory of inference, and the theory of estimation. Therefore, students enrolled in the course are expected to review their basic mathematics and calculus, especially for the first half of the term. Additionally, students are entrusted to study the R Programming language and STATA asthese tools will be used extensively and interchangeably throughout the course.

Term 1 A.Y. 2020 – 2021

Mathematical Economics (ECO501M – G02, GX1)

This course serves as an introductory course in mathematics for economic analysis at the graduate level. The course focuses on the mathematical foundations used in economic theory, and the objective is for students to learn how to use the necessary mathematical tools in studying and understanding economics. The course discusses concepts on the applications of differential calculus and integral calculus, linear and non-linear optimization, and matrix algebra. At this level, it is important that students should be able to successfully complete all of the calculations needed with consistency and accuracy, and consequently, develop the ability to interpret and understand mathematical equations and calculations. After building on students’ mathematical foundations, the course shifts over to economic applications and analyses. At this point, mathematical theories with economic applications will be covered in class to help students use the language of mathematics to describe and analyze economic models and solve economic problems.

Financial Economics (ECO703M – G01)

This course is a rigorous introduction to the fundamentals of the economics of financial markets. In particular this course aims to introduce students to the main theoretical models used by financial economists and their applications to investment and financing decisions and basic security analysis and investment management. It will focus on risk attitudes, financial portfolio theory, and static equilibrium in capital markets. The course is a blend of theory and technique. The material in this course is arranged to commence at the utility theoretic foundations of individual financial decisions under conditions of certainty and uncertainty and proceed to the theories of asset pricing and issues of capital market equilibrium. The course will also tackle the application of financial concepts and techniques. The course will also tackle the macrofinancial constructs such as macroprudential policy, vulnerabilities, and systemic risk. 

The course relies heavily on concepts that have been introduced in the intermediate microeconomics course such as utility maximization, individual demand, and perfectly competitive market equilibrium. In addition, the course will utilize mathematics and mathematical statistics in building the conceptual models of the financial markets. Therefore, students enrolled in this course are also expected to review the materials from their calculus, statistics, and econometrics courses. Also, knowledge of elementary concepts of probability theory would be very helpful for understanding some of the ideas developed in this course. Excellent resources to review these prerequisite knowledge are Copeland, Weston, and Shastri (2005), Buchanan (2006), and Rachev, Hochstotter, Fabozzi, and Kao (2010).

Advanced Microeconomics I (ECO503M – GX1)

ECO503M is a formal introduction to Microeconomics for the Master in Applied Economics program. It concentrates on the theories of consumer decision-making, production and costs, and the partial equilibrium competitive model. At the advanced level, the course will provide a more theoretical and mathematical approach to understanding cornerstone economic principles such as the underpinnings of utility maximization, cost minimization, profit maximization, and partial equilibrium.

Learning Microeconomic Theory requires systematic study in order to master its logic and structure. The analysis will necessarily be mathematical, involving calculus, optimization, and solution of simultaneous equations. While this formalism is essential for a modern treatment of Microeconomics, the presentations in class will also emphasize graphical techniques, especially for the building of intuition. In summary, our analytic approach to Microeconomics is one that uses three modes of inquiry: rigorous use of verbal reasoning and mathematical and graphical modeling.

Calculus is used extensively in this course since the modern approach to economics is indisputably mathematical. There is no fundamental difference between the mathematical approach and non-mathematical approaches. However, the mathematical approach is clearer and more precise inasmuch as we need to state clearly our assumptions before using the language of mathematics and building economic models. The lectures will assume, in particular, familiarity with the material on differentiation of functions of any form, both constrained and unconstrained optimization, and the methodology of comparative statics using calculus. Chapter 2 of Nicholson and Snyder (2012), the Calculus Appendix of Perloff (2014) and the Mathematical Appendix of Besanko and Braeutigam (2010) sufficiently provide the mathematical tools and techniques required for this course.

Term 3 A.Y. 2019 – 2020

Applied Time Series Econometrics (ECO602M – G01)

This course is a rigorous introduction to the fundamentals of time series econometrics. In particular, this course aims to introduce students to the theoretical and empirical underpinnings behind the classical and modern forecasting methodologies with various applications to microeconomics and macroeconomics. This course starts with an introduction to the stochastic processes and the notion of a time series, differentiating non-stationary and stationary data and discussing the different classes of univariate stationary forecasting models such as the Autoregressive, Moving Average, and Autoregressive Moving Average. After which, the course shall generalize these constructs to the multivariate forecasting models such as the Vector Autoregression, Structural Vector Autoregression, and Vector Error Correction Models. Other topics such as advanced panel data models, non-parametric forecasting techniques, and other forecasting methods may also be dabbled into from time to time, depending on the progression of the class. These fall into the Brown Bag sessions outlined in the course timeline.

Advanced Microeconomics II (ECO603M – G02)

ECO603M is the second of a two-course Intermediate Microeconomic Theory sequence. This course is designed to formalize and extend the basic concepts of Microeconomic analysis that students were introduced to in their basic Microeconomics course. It concentrates on partial equilibrium analysis of price determination in the market for goods under perfectly competitive markets and imperfectly competitive markets (monopoly, oligopoly and monopolistic competition) and their welfare implications, the process by which a competitive market reaches general equilibrium, the efficiency and welfare implications of a competitive model of market interdependence at general equilibrium, and the limits to optimal market allocation (market failures) due to externalities and public goods. At the intermediate level, the course will provide a more theoretical treatment of these topics that the students have been exposed to in previous basic principles of economics courses.

Differential and Integral Calculus (ECOCAL2 – VS1)

This course serves as the second introductory course in mathematics for economic analysis at the undergraduate level. The course focuses on the mathematical foundations used in economic theory, and the objective is for students to learn how to use the necessary mathematical tools in studying and understanding economics. The course discusses concepts on the applications of differential calculus and integral calculus and introduces differential equations and phase diagrams. At this level, it is important that students should be able to successfully complete all of the calculations needed with consistency and accuracy, and consequently, develop the ability to interpret and understand mathematical equations and calculations. After building on students’ mathematical foundations, the course shifts over to economic applications and analyses. At this point, mathematical theories with economic applications will be covered in class to help students use the language of mathematics to describe and analyze economic models and solve economic problems.

Economic Calculus Laboratory (LBYCALC – VS1)

The course aims to discuss how to solve mathematical problems in economics using software packages. Students will be introduced to software packages that are convenient, powerful, and practical to mathematical economic analysis such as Mathematica and/or R. Moreover, the course will serve as a catalyst for mastery in basic mathematical economics and an introductory course to more advanced mathematical economic constructs. In addition, a formal introduction to the rudiments of data science and its applications to Economics shall be discussed. In addition, the course shall introduce students with programming in R and communicating economic theories using the software through simple data visualization techniques. It is in this course that we build a student’s understanding of economic variables and how to communicate economic results. The course serves to complement lecture-based classes on mathematical economics through the application and use of such software packages.

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