Master in economics


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Università degli Studi di Udine

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Master in economics

  2. 2. Master Course in Economics (in English) Objective• The master program in Economics is aimed to provide students with the theoretical background and empirical training to develop the necessary analytical skills to become a theoretical as well as an applied economist. Our program ensures that students gain a solid foundation in quantitative methods, economic theory and acquire a good knowledge on policy issues.• By completing this Master students will be able to apply state-of-the-art economics and research techniques to real-world policy issues. Consistently with these objectives, the focus of the program is on:• Advanced microeconomics and macroeconomics;• quantitative methods necessary to analyze and interpret economic patterns, such as math, statistics and econometrics;• study of elective fields such as poltical economy, industrial economics or public economics.;• courses will privilege interdisciplinary approach with particular attention to financial issues.
  3. 3. Master Course in Economics Admission criteria• The application and admission procedure differs for Italian university students and international students. In order to be eligible for admission to our Master programme, international students must have completed at least a relevant Bachelors education before (i.e., bachelor degree with a major in economics, or in mathematics, engeneering) and must have a workable knowledge of economics.• The master course develops over two full academic year (four semesters) with a total of 120 ECTS (60 ECTS each academic year).
  4. 4. Master Course in Economics First year• Mathematics (9 credits)• Public sector economics (9 credits)• Statistics (6 credits)• Financial intermediaries and financial markets (first module) (6 credits)• Microeconomics (6 credits)• International economics (9 credits)• Development and Industrial Policy (6 credits)• Financial intermediaries and financial markets (second module) (6 credits)Credits: degree courses are usually structured in credits (crediti formativi universitari - CFU). A university credit generally corresponds to 25 hours of global work perstudent, time for personal study included. The average workload of a full time student is conventionally fixed at 60 credits/year.
  5. 5. Master Course in Economics Second year• Macroeconomics (9 credits)• Labour market law (6 credits)• Econometrics (6 credits)• History of economic thought (6 credits)• Economic statistics (6 credits)• Rural economics (6 credits)• Choice of subject (2 courses) (12 credits)• Final Exam (21 credits)Credits: degree courses are usually structured in credits (crediti formativi universitari - CFU). A university credit generally corresponds to 25 hours of global work perstudent, time for personal study included. The average workload of a full time student is conventionally fixed at 60 credits/year.
  6. 6. Master Course in Economics Programme MathematicsEuclidean n-dimensional space, topological and metric properties.Function of several variables.Differential calculus for functions of several variables.Vector functionsDifferential calculus for vector functions.Implicit functions and the implicit function theorem.Quadratic forms. Constrained quadratic forms.Convex and concave functions, quasiconvex and quasiconcave, pseudoconvex and pseudoconcave functions.Examples: Cobb-Douglas functions, CES functions.Unconstrained optimization.Otimization with equality constraints.Otimization with inequality constraints and mixed constraints.Comparative statics. The envelope theorem.Concave programming.
  7. 7. Master Course in Economics Programme StatisticsTo introduce students to the techniques of multivariate analysis, studying the relationships between observed variables, or the similarity / dissimilarity between statisticalunits. Theory will be supported by exercises, involving the analysis of real data set and processing the data using Stata statistical package for analysis or with thesoftware opensource R.Aspects of Multivariate Analysis.Applications of Multivariate Techniques. The Organization of Data. Data Displays and Pictorial Representations. Distance. Final Comments.Matrix Algebra and Random Vectors.Some Basics of Matrix and Vector Algebra. Positive Definite Matrices. A Square-Root Matrix. Random Vectors and Matrices. Mean Vectors and Covariance Matrices.Matrix Inequalities and Maximization. Singular value decomposition.Principal Components Analysis.Introduction. Sample Variation by Principal Components Analysis (PCA). First PCA, the linear combination with maximal variance. Mathematical procedure. Graphingthe Principal Components. The scree plot and the loadings plot. PCA in practice.Distance Measures and Dissimilarity Indices.Introduction. Definition of distance, some types of distance: Euclidean, city block, Minkowski and ultrametrics Use and interpretation of statistical distances,Mahalanobis distances, indices of similarity Expressions general index of similarity, the Gower index for qualitative and quantitative variables.Cluster Analysis.Introduction to agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis. Nearest neighbour/Single Linkage, Furthest neighbour/Complete linkage. Alternative methods for hierarchicalcluster analysis. Divisive hierarchical clustering. K-means clustering, K-centroinds. Cluster Analysis in practice.Correspondence Analysis.Introduction. Simple illustration of Correspondence Analysis (CA). Row and column profiles, row and column masses. Decomposition of inertia. Scatter plot in the newdimensions. The quality of representation. Supplementary points. Multiple CA. CA in practice.Introduction to Stata.
  8. 8. Master Course in Economics Programme Financial intermediaries and financial markets (first module)The course is aimed to provide the basic concepts for understanding the financial intermediation and, in particular, its functions and rationale within the broadereconomic environment. Alongside, the course will explore the relations between financial economy and real economy. In that, the course will focus in more detail on themain channels which help savings to flow to the most favorable investment opportunities.Then, the main types and features of financial intermediaries and financial markets are analyzed.Finally, the course will focus on financial instruments and, mainly, bonds and equity instruments providing the basic concepts for valuation.I part: the financial systemDefinitionSavings and investments. The intermediation channelsFinancial regulationII Part: IntermediariesDefinition. Different types of intermediariesBanksBanking servicesBanking supervisionFinancial intermediaries ex paragraph 107 of the banking lawInsurance companiesInsurance servicesSupervision on insurance companiesIII Part Financial MarketsDefinition. Bond markets, equity markets, derivatives markets and interbank marketFinancial securitiesStock exchangesOTC marketsSupervision
  9. 9. Master Course in Economics Programme MicroeconomicsAn advantage of economics is that it requires the analyst to be explicit about the key elements of the process under consideration. Economic modelsmust carefully identify decision makers, goals, choices and relationship between choices and outcomes. As a result there is a clear linkage betweenthe conclusions one draws from the application of economic reasoning and the assumptions made. This allows one to distinguish betweenunsupported claims and logically derived propositions. Aim of the course is to make students accustomed to this way of thinking.The course will cover the following topics:Consumer Theory: Preferences and Demand; Elasticity; Indirect Utility function, expenditure function; Revealed preferences,; Choice underuncertainty (expected utility function)Theory of the Firm: Profit maximization; Cost minimization; Inputs demands; Costs functions; CES production function; Linear production function;Production under uncertaintyMarket equilibrium: Perfect competition; Short run/ Long run equilibrium; Taxation; Monopoly; Oligopoly: Cournot, Bertrand and Stackelberg, withhomogenous and differentiated products.Game theory: Nash equilibrium; Iterated elimination of dominated strategies; Sub games and Perfect Nash equilibrium; Finitely and infinitely RepeatedgamesInformation Economics: Moral hazard in principal agent models. Moral hazard and insurance; Adverse selection
  10. 10. Master Course in Economics Programme International economicsIntroductionWorld Trade: An OverviewLabor Productivity and Comparative Advantage: The Ricardian ModelSpecific Factors and IncomeResources and Trade: The Heckscher-Ohlin ModelThe Standard Trade ModelExternal Economics of Scale and the International Location of Production?Firms in the Global Economy: Export Decisions, Outsourcing, and Multinational EnterprisesThe Instruments of Trade PolicyThe Political Economy of Trade PolicyTrade Policy in Developing CountriesControversies in Trade Policy
  11. 11. Master Course in Economics Programme Development and Industrial PolicyGrowth and Productivity (Weil 3: physical capital; Weil 4.2: Population; Weil 6: Human Capital; Weil 7: Measuring Productivity )Technology (Weil 8 and 9)Efficiency (Weil 10)Productivity and Globalization (Weil 11)Government: Industrial Policy, Public Enterprise, Protectionism (Weil 12)Inequality (Weil 13)Culture (Weil 14)Geography, Climate, Natural Resources (Weil 15)
  12. 12. Master Course in Economics Programme Financial intermediaries and financial markets (second module)The institutional framework of the E.M.U.;Monetary policy: objectives, instruments and mechanisms of transmission;The ECB: analysis of methods of intervention;The Federal Reserve: analysis of methods of intervention;The monetary policy in times of crisis;The interrelations between monetary policy, payment systems, interbank market and the management of banks.
  13. 13. Master Course in Economics Programme MacroeconomicsThe course provides an in-depth presentation of the fundamental macroeconomic models, and it is divided into two main pats. During the first part ofthe course we will focus on growth theory and we will discuss the main macroeconomics models for the long-run: Solow, human capital, overlappinggenerations, endogenous growth models. The second part of the course will be devoted to the macroeconomics for the short-run, with a particularemphasis on the economic crisis of 2008. After presenting the building blocks of the AD-AS short-run model, we will focus on more specificarguments: stabilization policies, unemployment, monetary policy during an economic crises.The detailed syllabus will be available online ( at the end of the course. The main arguments that are going to becovered include:exogenous growth;endogenous growth;unemployment;AD-AS model;stabilization policies
  14. 14. Master Course in Economics Programme Labour market lawThe course aims to give students a deeper knowledge of labor law with particular reference to issues of legal regulation of the labormarket and industrial relations. The course aims to deepen and complete knowledge of the Italian labor law and the EU law in theperspective of the Fornero reform of the labor market with a view to private and public companies.Labor market/markets: the legal and institutional framework. Public and private labor markets: employment, interposition, procurement,decentralization of production. Contracts, flexibility and training. Remuneration, employee benefits and income support. Structure andcontent of collective bargaining. The collective agreement in private employment. Working and collective bargaining in the public sector.The guarantees of the rights of workers, waivers and transactions, safeguarding of assets, conciliation and arbitration.
  15. 15. Master Course in Economics Programme EconometricsThis course is devoted to the description of econometric and statistical tools which allow complex contexts modelling. The course structure may be described by theexpression “GLM + LMM = GLM”, because lessons will start treating generalized linear models (GLM) and linear mixed models (LMM), then linear generalized mixedmodels will be described (GLMM).Linear generalized models (GLM) represent a flexible generalization of linear regression as they allow the analysis of whichever response variable with distributionbelonging to the exponential family. The GLM approach represents a unified context for different statistical models, the linear model included.Linear mixed models (LMM) represent an extension of linear models which allows to describe complex data with jerarchical structures affecting the observationsindependence, through the inclusion of mixed effects inside the model formulation. Many fields of analysis, in fact, present data with jerarchical structures, longitudinaldimension or repeated measures which make observations not independent.Finally, if mixed effects have to be considered in generalized linear models formulation, the statistical econometric tools useful in this situations relate to the generalizedlinear mixed models context: GLMM.This course requires a good knowledge of base econometric methods and statistical inference, together with a good level of English language comprehension.GLM - generalized linear models;a. Continue responsesb. Binary and categorical responsesc. Count responsesd. Inference and estimationLMM – Linear mixed modelsa. Jerarchical data structuresb. Longitudinal datac. Mixed effects treatmentGLMM – generalized linear mixed modelsa. GLMM with continuous responseb. GLMM with binary responsec. GLMM with categorical responsed. GLMM with count response
  16. 16. Master Course in Economics Programme History of economic thoughtKnowing the origin, the characteristic and the historical-critical evolution of the main economic theories, in relation with the scientific andcultural context in which they were formulated; understanding the complexity of existing relations between doctrines, economic systemsand economic politics.The Legacy of the Middle Ages economic thought. The Mercantilism. The Physiocracy. A. Smith and the birth of economy as a science.The population malthusian principle. Formalization of classic analysis in D. Ricardo. Re-interpretation of the economic law concept andexplanation of the stationary state by J. S. Mill. Marxian economics: labour market and creation of the surplus-value, its accumulationand law of potential decrease of the profit rate. Social Christian economics, with particular reference to Giuseppe Toniolo. A. Marshalland neo-classical economics basis. The marginalism. The Keynes turning-point. Some contemporary economic thought trends.
  17. 17. Master Course in Economics Programme Economic statisticsThe course is the logical continuation of Economic Statistics. If the first course illustrates the elements to understand and measureeconomic values and their time variations, the advanced course focalizes on several methods of space analysis of economicphenomenon.Introduction to Analysis of economic values in spaceIntroduction of analysis and characteristics of spatial data. Analysis for points, lines and areas. Regular and irregular grids. Contiguityand connection matrices. Definition and construction of spatial neighborhood. Spatial autocorrelation and its measures. Spatial shift-share analysis.Price and quantity spatial indicesIntroduction to axiomatic approach. Axioms and properties. Inconsistency problem and characterization of Fishers price index.Purchasing Power Parity. Bilateral and multilateral comparisons. Martini’s mixed system.
  18. 18. Master Course in Economics Programme Rural economicsThe course aims to provide a comprehensive knowledge about the multifunctional role of agriculture in favour of the development oflocal socio-economic system. It analyzes the structure and evolution of the components of the agri-food system. It provides also anoverview of the institutional interventions in favor of rural and local development.Description of the structural features of agriculture. Analisys of the agri-food system structure and its evolution in the socio-economicsystem are discussed. Some historical perspective is provided on the institutional intervention in favour of rural and local sustainabledevelopment and problems are considered. Public intervention will be examined both at the international (European Union) and local(national and regional) level. Other topics include the analysis of different case studies of rural development.