International Economic Policy

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Remote students
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Code: 
Course Description: 

The course is student centred. It will explore a wide range of contemporary issues regarding economic policies and institutions.

Students will be expected to address real-life economic policy problems, drawing on theoretical analysis they have already been exposed to, empirical evidence and practical experience (e.g. as reported in the financial press). Unlike many economics courses, the primary focus of this course will not be on the United States, but rather on Europe and a wide range emerging market economies. After the three introductory lectures, the course will consist of class presentations by the students (including power point slides, to be distributed a week in advance to the class), in which they first describe and then analyse a real world economic policy problem and present clear recommendations.

The main themes the course will address this year are:

I. Current issues in international economic policy and conflict.

II. The COVID pandemic and economic policy.

III. The Economic Impact of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine and Sanctions against Russia and by Russia

IV. Monetary and financial policy.

V. Fiscal and tax policy.

VI. Social and labour market policy

VII. Long term fiscal and economic sustainability.

Learning Outcomes: 

The students will learn how to apply the analytical tools they have been exposed to on other courses on the MA Economic Policy Program to real-world economic issues facing policy makers, over a wide range of policy blocks. 2 The lectures, class presentations and discussion, the readings for and preparation of a policy memorandum, should enable students to understand what is required to contribute to real world economic policy making and discussion. In a world of rapid internet searches, students will be expected to identify relevant factual and theoretical material for themselves and on their own. This is one of the key skills they will need as economic policy professionals and will be expected to develop during the course. The course is intended to provide real insight into the practice of policymaking, thus helping to prepare them for a career in public service at home or in international or European bureaucracies or NGOs, or for employment in the more regulated parts df the private sector, such as financial institutions. It also offers insights for identifying topics for master's or doctoral theses, or for the pursuit of further graduate studies or research in policy oriented areas and disciplines (not necessarily in economics).


Assessment (The requirements are designed to ensure maximum active student participation during the course). 1. Assessment type 1 (30% of final grade): Class presentation. The student must choose a topic from the list below or agree a different topic with the Instructor (students are encouraged to propose their own topics). The grade is determined by the clarity of the presentation, the ability to combine analysis and factual material, and the amount (and quality) of the discussion generated. 2. Assessment type 2 (20% of final grade): Written policy memorandum. The memorandum is on the same subject as one of the students’ class presentations. It should take into account the discussion during the presentation, and may require some additional reading and research. The memorandum should be addressed to an appropriate high-level official (government, agency, central bank, European Commission, etc.). The grade is determined not only by the analysis of the issue and supporting evidence, but also by the choice of issue. Judgement needs to be exercised by the student, not to choose a topic where the choice of recommendation is too straightforward or on the other hand practically impossible. One way to deal with this problem, is to write the memorandum for an agency which will have a clear (if partial) mandate on the issue. 3. 3. Assessment type 3 (10% of final grade): Formal class participation. Students will be required to be Discussants on at least 1 Class Presentation by other students. They should take the role of representatives of government ministries or agencies, other national governments (in an EU context) or private sector industry groups, which are likely to have a different view of the issue. They will be expected to do some factual research to support their arguments and to identify analytical weaknesses in the Presentation. 4. Assessment type 4 (maximum 10% bonus on final grade): for active participation when not a Discussant. You can still have 100% without this part. 5. Assessment type 5 (40% of final grade): A 3 hour examination. This will consist of writing two memoranda on the topics that were presented in class by students and discussed. Topics will be arranged in at least two blocks, and students will be able to write on only one topic in each block. Students will also not be able to write on a topic they presented, and only on one topic for which they were Discussant.


No special pre-requisites, except compulsory courses on the MA Economic Policy.