Electives (Spring Term)

The Masters in Political Economy Program offers the following elective courses in the Spring term. Courses are instructed at the Solvay Brussels School.

ECON 574-62 Impact Evaluation

Professor: Philip Verwimp and Tatiana Goetghebeur

Description: 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.

ECON 576-62 International Trade and EU Trade Policy

Professors: Paola Conconi, Tomas Garcia-Azcarate and Mathieu Parenti

Description: The course 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.

ECON 595-62 Industrial and Development Policies: EU, US, and beyond

Professors: Gani Aldashev and André Sapir

Description: The first part of the course discusses food policy. Globally speaking, the US and European food industry are quite similar, the share of food consumption in total household expenditure are close, the employment share and the contribution to GDP are on the same range. Nevertheless, the public opinion and political perceptions are very often quite divergent on the two sides of the Atlantic. The fundamental questions this course will try to answer are how much convergence and divergence can be observed and why, which are the reasons and reasoning behind the answers. The second half of the course will discuss industrial policy in the same context.


Professor: Patrick Legros and Kai-Uwe Kuhn

Description: 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.


Core Courses (Fall Term) Electives (Summer Term)