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CORE COURSES (3 credit hours each)

Microeconomics for Public Policy

 

The course covers the principles and techniques of microeconomic theory most relevant to the economic aspects of public policy. The topics covered in this course include; consumer theory, firm theory, resource allocation, welfare consequences associated with policies such as taxes, subsidies, regulation, and government transfers. Besides competitive models, the course will also cover deviations due to market failures. Case studies of government intervention in the economy will be used to illustrate the concepts and theories examined.

Governance and Public Policy

The course provides an Introduction to Public Policy and introduces participants to the theories of public policy. The political institutions and processes through which public policy is formulated generally in democratic countries and particularly in Pakistan, are studied in this course. The models and tools of policy analysis are applied to study specific policy areas like, economic policy and its various subcomponents, including fiscal, monetary and trade policy, mining and exploration, decentralization, social policy, including health care and education and the policy on environment and climate change.

The second important part of this course contains discussion on the Governance Issues. It will introduce the structure of Public and Civil Service in Pakistan and how these influence policy formulation and implementation. The inter linkages among rent seeking, corruption, patron-client relationship and the structure of public and civil service in Pakistan are discussed in this course. Salient ideas in institutional economics including; the role of institutions in determining the growth performance of a country, evolution of institutions, institutional change, transaction cost and the link between organization in public and private sector are also discussed in this course.

 

Research Methods

This course has two components; the Quantitative Analysis and Qualitative Analysis. The first component focuses on techniques for the analysis of quantitative data. The course covers three main topics: (i) Introduction to statistics and analysis of data using a range of quantitative methods and practical exercises using statistical software packages; (ii) strengths, limitations and applications of specific quantitative techniques, (iii) the interpretation of quantitative data and the manner of dissemination to influence policy and practice.

The second part of the course develops an understanding of qualitative research skills through critical exploration of research techniques, management and analysis of the qualitative data, and the use of relevant software. This course enables students to review literature relevant to the field of study, to collect information (data) and analyse it to transform into knowledge, and then present it in written and oral form. The contents include, Introduction to Social Research Methods, Doing Qualitative Research, Nature of Qualitative Research, Sampling in Qualitative Research, Data Collection in Qualitative Research, Qualitative Data Management & Analysis, and Writing & Presenting Research

Public Policy Analysis

The course introduces participants to the theories of public policy processes; critically reviews the key ‘stages’ of the policy process including agenda setting, policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and policy evaluation. The influence of political power at every stage of the policy process forms a central strand running through the entire course. This course explains preparing, designing and selection of public policy. It is mainly focused on analytical approaches and methods that are intended to guide policy design and structure policy choice: argumentation analysis to understand, evaluate and construct policy arguments, including the consideration of values and other assumptions that are used and method to promote critical and creative thinking.

 

Macroeconomics for Public Policy

This course focuses on the working of the aggregate economy. One of the objectives of the course is to build understanding of the key determinants of business cycle fluctuations and of development and long-run growth. It will draw on the current economic research on the determination of macroeconomic variables such as output, employment, prices, and the interest rate—in the short, medium, and long run. The main emphasis of the course is on the impact of government policies on the macro economy.

Evaluation and Monitoring of Policy Initiatives

This course provides students the background in evaluation and will discuss: The major concepts of program evaluation (PE), Apply the principles of conducting PE, Explore qualitative and quantitative data collection methods for evaluation, Understand the processes of evaluation and best practices for participation of stakeholders

The course will also cover the project planning, implementation and monitoring process in Pakistan especially with reference to public sector projects - Stages of project planning, implementation and monitoring (PC-I to PC-V) – Conceiving a project, financial plan, use of capital budgeting techniques like BCR, NPV and IRR. The course will frequently use cases available with the Planning Commission of Pakistan to study the contents.

Workshops for Proposal Development

The series of seminars will mainly include, Introduction to Social Research Methods, Published Research as Case Studies, Sampling, Data Collection techniques, Data Management & Analysis via NVivo, EViews and Stata, and Workshops for Writing & Presenting Research

 

Optional Courses

Field of Specialization- I

TITLE

Course Description (3 credit hours each)

Public Finance and Devolution

This course will comprise of two components. The first part will discuss topics from Public Finance including; The Role of Public Sector in Economics; Size and Scope of Government; Efficiency and Equity; Distribution; Economic Welfare; Externalities; Analysis of Expenditure Policy; Budget Analysis; Budgetary Process in Pakistan; Taxation; the Tax system in Pakistan; Tax Evasion;

The second component consists of topics from devolution and local development. Here the course focuses on the political, administrative and fiscal devolution in Pakistan. The course will cover the history of devolution in Pakistan, its consequences for governance and public sector efficacy, and empirical evidence on the effects of devolution on economic growth and public policy. Students will learn about the principles of fiscal federalism, multi-level government, political economy of fiscal decentralization, accountability, risk sharing, problems of multi-jurisdictional taxation, and intergovernmental fiscal transfers.

Public Financial and Tax Management

This course deals with the accounting aspects of public finance. Public Financial Management discusses the fiscal sustainability and appropriateness of various fiscal allocations. This course will discuss the operational management of public finance focusing on value for money, outcome of spending and strategic financial planning and management. The transparency and accountability aspects as well as the controls, compliance and oversight mechanisms in place are discussed with special reference to Pakistan hence topics like deficit financing, debt and debt management, PRSP, MTDF, MTBF would be discussed. 

This course also discusses the recourse mobilization aspects and the matters related to taxation. The core will be to discuss the elasticities, incidence, impact and coping strategies. In addition, students will also be familiarized with the loopholes in the process. The course will discuss the experience from Pakistan and an international comparison.

 

International Finance and Development

This course focuses on the role of development partners in international development. The course will cover the history of international development finance, emergence and role of the multilateral institutions, the role of private sector and NGOs, and the transformation of international aid architecture and aid delivery system. This course will enable the participants to understand and evaluate issues related to aid including; modalities, policy networks, fragmentation, proliferation, volatility, fungibility, conditionality, transaction costs, visibility, and donor-donor coordination, etc. Pakistan, as a case, will be used to elaborate concepts and analyze policies.

Private Sector and Regulatory Policy

This course is based on the role of the private sector and the settings conducive to make private sector efficient. This course introduces the students to the role of private sector in the development of economy. In addition, it will explain the role and conduct of political and state institutions including; courts, legislatures, executives, bureaucracies and social movements. It will also highlight the demands for specific policies and interest groups. The role of different regulatory authorities in Pakistan like ORGA, NEPRA, PEMRA, PPRA, PTA etc. will be discussed.

 

Field of Specialization- II

Social Policy

This course will also introduce student to the economic concepts and analysis relevant to social policy especially health, education and social security. Topics will touch upon: the role of health/education in the production models; socio-economic effects of under-provision of health and education; the economic rationale of investing in human capital, the behaviour and influence of various participants (social service providers and users) on social service utilization and provision, the role of NGOs in the social sector services.

Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development

This course will examine the nature and extent of poverty in the Pakistan, its causes and consequences, and the antipoverty effects of existing and proposed government programs and policies. Course content will include both qualitative and quantitative aspects of poverty-related research. The topics to be discussed include: poverty and its persistence; the interrelationships among poverty, family structure, inner city neighbourhoods, crime, labour market conditions and public policies; policies/approaches adopted to address poverty.

The course will also discuss the issue of food security and the situation around the world; malnutrition and its effects in the economy. Measures taken in the context of global response like MDGS and its progression to SDGs

 

Environmental and Natural Resource Management

Market failures and externalities, under and over-provision of goods with externalities, Environment and Issues related to its sustainability, the availability and quality of natural resources and services derived from it, issues concerning the availability and sustainability of land, water, air quality, energy, and minerals for basic human needs and sustained economic growth, pollution control, management of ecosystem, biodiversity, climate change, potential technologies of resource exploitation and maintaining environmental balance, the political, legal, and social dimensions of the management of resources and the environment.

Urban Development

This course concerns the policy-making and governance with reference to urban areas to understand the opportunities for the economy and challenges to sustainability and social inclusion. The course covers economic analyses of issues related to urbanization including; health, education, labour, poverty, crime, housing, slums, land-use planning, well-being of the members of society, mega cities and vulnerability of children, elderly and families living at society’s margin. The opportunities that urbanization provides for prosperity through vertical expansion, networking, scale and clusters etc. will be the special focus of the course.

Transport and Infrastructure Development

This course will provide basics introduction to the concepts and tools used in transports economics. It will discuss the role of transport in improving connectivity, better access to services and its relationship with economic performance and efficiency of agents. Elasticises, optimal speed, congestion and capacity utilization will be discussed. Informal and modern innovations (like Careem and Uber) will be analysed. Techniques for analysis will also be discussed. 

Similarly, analysing the role of infrastructure will also be a part of this course. The part played by government, private sector and the Public-Private partnership will be discussed. The theories, tools and techniques to explain the importance of infrastructure for development will be discussed

 

Field of Specialization- III

TITLE

Course Description (3 credit hours each)

Network Governance

This course considers a network approach to problem solving and decision-making in the public sector. The concept of policy networks and meta-governance forms a central strand of the course. The course introduces participants to the theories of network governance; network management strategies; steering and managing networks; complex decision-making processes; and measuring the effectiveness of network governance.

Law and Public Affairs

The course is designed to convey how laws should be used to correct market failures, protect property and encourage economic development. The contents include laws and institutions to Correct Market Failures; Contracts; Property Rights, Regulation of Externalities, The Coase Theorem, the Economics of Litigation, Motive to Commit Crimes, and the Optimal Governmental Response to Crime, the Trade-off between the Certainty and Severity of Punishment; the Choice between Ex-ante and Ex-post Sanctions; Negligence versus Strict Liability.

The course will also cover topics on the applied side like; Crime, insecurity, violence and terrorism; Justice as deterrence against crime, the use of force versus the threat of force. The economic, social and psychological effects of different types of insecurity and their intensity; historical trends in violence; the rationale and effects of punishment; what is the role of society, courts, law enforcing agencies, the government and the international community in taking care of injustices; how justice facilitates peaceful coexistence

 

Political Economy and Institutions

This course provides an introduction to public policy making, its characteristics and consequences in the context of political economy of developing countries. The course will provide the theoretical foundations from economics of different approaches to looking at the growing literature on topics such as governance, corruption and rent seeking, role of the state, and different strategies for catching up. New institutional approaches to these issues and the mainstream policy agenda will be covered in this course. The course will also cover; Private Predation versus Public Predation, Limited Access Order versus Open Access Order, Parliament, Political Process and Policy Making, Constitutional Rules versus Operating Rules, Political Institutions as a Cause of Economic Institutions, Dictatorship versus Democracy, Democracy and Economic Incentives, Incentives and Economic Development, Civil Rights

Conflict Management and Peace Building

The topics covered include; different types of conflicts (ethnic, racial, sectarian etc.) and their consequences; public policy used or required to handle conflicts. Terrorism; use of violence to achieve political goals, history, transformation of conflicts into terrorism; public interaction of terrorism and public policy.

The course will then discuss polices adopted for peace building. The foundations of negotiations including; negotiation strategy; planning and framing; the phases of a negotiation-identification and preparation etc. similarly, mechanisms in place for minor conflicts resolution like within organisations and with the clients; customers, and other stakeholders; hence the approaches available to resolve minor conflict.

Government and Foreign Policy

This course focuses on strategic decisions made by Pakistan government in the field of politics and international relations. Led by course convenor and policy experts from relevant fields, participants of this course will explore the foreign policy related events, analyse the context and evaluate the socio-economic consequences.

Note: Any deviation from the given Fields of Specialization may be allowed on special demand from the students with approval from the Department Council

 

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