Core Courses

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, general equilibrium analysis, 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, externalities, asymmetric information, and imperfect rationality. Case studies of government intervention in the economy will be used to illustrate the concepts and theories examined.

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.

Issues in Public Policy

This course provides an introduction to the political institutions and processes through which public policy is made generally made in democratic countries and particularly in Pakistan. The students are also introduced to the tools of policy analysis. The models and tools of policy analysis are applied to study specific policy areas like, economic policy and its various sub-components, 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.

Power, Politics and Policy Process

This course explores the process of public policy-making, from the big picture of the global economy (macro-level analysis) through to the more specific and complex issues of policies and political agendas (meso-level analysis), and the role of individuals in shaping policy design (micro-level analysis). The influence of political power at every stage of the policy process forms a central strand running through the entire course. The course introduces participants to the theories of public policy; critically reviews the key ‘stages’ of the policy process including agenda setting, policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and policy evaluation. Significance of multi-level and multi-actor governance and the role of policy networks will also be explored.

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.

Governance and Institutions

The course introduces the structure of Public and Civil Service in Pakistan and how these in 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.

Quantitative Policy Analysis

This course 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 ‘hands-on’ 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.

Qualitative Policy Analysis

This practical and hands-on 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. The course provides an introduction to the processes of qualitative research methods; an overview of the types of qualitative methods and their applications. This course enables students to review literature relevant to the field of study, to collect information (data) and analyze it to transform into knowledge, and then present it in written and oral form.

Devolution, Regionalism and Local Development

This course focuses on the political, administrative and fiscal devolution in Pakistan in the context of and local development. 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 decentralisation, accountability, risk sharing, problems of multi-jurisdictional taxation, and intergovernmental fiscal transfers.

Political Institutions and Development

The course will cover; the monopoly of the state on violence, social order and violence, Basic Natural State versus Mature Natural State, 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, Democracy versus Civil Rights,

Project, Planning and Monitoring

The course will 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 cost-benefit analysis, NPV  and IRR. Market vs. non-market measures of costing, shadow pricing, social accounting, evaluation of risk, cost effectiveness with work breakdown structure, , planning tools including the Gantt chart, network diagram & RACI chart, the techniques of successful implementation. The course will frequently use cases available with the Planning Commission of Pakistan to study the contents.

Social Policy

Nature/extent of poverty and inequality in Pakistan, causes and consequences of poverty and inequality in the societal setting of Pakistan, impact of remedial government programs and policies. 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.

Urban Development and Public Policy

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.

Public Finance

The topics covered include; The Role of Public Sector in Economics; Size and Scope of Government; Efficiency and Equity; Distribution; Economic Welfare; Politics of Social Choice-Political Economy; Externalities: Problems and Solutions; Public Expenditures program and its Evaluation; Benefit-Cost Analysis of Expenditure Policy; Budget Analysis and Deficit Financing; Budgetary Process in Pakistan; Positive and Normative Analysis of Taxation; Tax Incidence in Different Market Structures; Taxation and Economic Efficiency; Theory of Optimal Taxation; the Tax system in Pakistan (Revenue and taxation. Direct and Indirect Taxes, Borrowing, Public Sector resources, VAT vs. GST, etc.); Tax Evasion; Fiscal Federalism; Political Economy Approach to Public Finance; Informal Sector.

Law and Public Affairs

The course is designed 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, Externalities and 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.

Environment 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.

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  anaylze policies.

Regulatory Policy and Sectoral Development

Stages of policy making, agenda setting, achieving consensus, implementation, role and conduct of political and state institutions including; courts, legislatures, executives, bureaucracies) and the society/citizens, social movements and demand for specific policies, interest groups. This course will revolve around the concepts of political philosophy and how it policies in different sectors.

Conflict and Public Policy

The topics covered include; different types of conflicts, ethnic, racial, sectarian etc. and their consequences and 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 foundations of negotiations including; negotiation strategy; planning and framing; the phases of a negotiation-identification and preparation etc. conflicts resolution with organisation and with the clients; customers, and other stakeholders; the approaches available to resolve conflict.

Media and Public Policy

Difference in the past and present form of public policy, factors of influence for the public policy, lobbying, interest groups, pressure groups, elements of modern world to influence government decisions, different forms of media and information dissemination, role of media in shaping the public sentiments and its effects on framing the public policy, broader agenda determining the role to be played by the media and promise and perils of the role of media in influencing public policy.

Crime and Justice

The course covers topics 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

Pakistan Government, Politics and Foreign Policy

This course focuses on strategic decisions the Pakistan government makes 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.

Political Economy and Public Policy

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, role of 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, as well as an introduction to an alternative approach based on comparative historical analysis.


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