MIEPP: The right program for me?


What is meant by international economics?

By INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS we understand the analysis of global goods and asset markets. Our goal is to understand the determinants and effects of international trade flows and to assess the consequences of regulating these flows through various policy measures. Moreover, we want to comprehend the behavior of international financial markets, the conduct of multinational firms, the evolution and structure of countries’ foreign assets and liabilities, the fluctuations of exchange rates, as well as the causes and consequences of international financial crises. In our analysis, we use formal economic models to develop hypotheses, and econometric techniques to estimate parameters and to test hypotheses. Some of the sample course slides convey an idea of how this approach is implemented in our lectures.

Prospective students interested in our program are recommended to have a look at some of the textbooks that we use for teaching international economics:

  • Krugman, Paul, Maurice Obstfeld, and Marc Melitz (2014): International Economics – Theory and Policy, 10th Edition. Prentice Hall.
  • Feenstra, Robert (2015): Advanced International Trade - Theory and Evidence, 2nd Edition. Princeton University Press.
  • Harms, Philipp (2016): International Macroeconomics, 2nd Edition. Mohr Siebeck.
  • Obstfeld, Maurice and Kenneth Rogoff (1996): Foundations of International Macroeconomics. MIT Press

What is meant by public policy?

PUBLIC POLICY, as we teach it in the MIEPP-program, is the study of the role of the government in the economy. To do so, we work both with macroeconomic general equilibrium models as well as with microeconomic models. We focus on teaching a better understanding of current economic policy and we are concerned with asking when and how the government might intervene in the economy, as well as how the government’s intervention affects economic outcomes. We thus take an approach to the study of public policy which is deeply rooted in economic theory and empirics. We work with standard assumptions concerning individual behaviour ('homo oeconomicus'), as well as with models of behavioural economics grounded in psychological thinking. While in the study of public policy we exploit potential interdisciplinary linkages and put an emphasis on practical relevance, our program is deliberately economics-centered, because we believe that a sound and formal understanding of the economic trade-offs involved in government decision-making should be an integral part in the education of future decision-makers.

Prospective students interested in our program should also have a look at some of the textbooks that we use for teaching public policy:

  • Aghion, P., and P. Howitt (1998): Endogenous Growth Theory. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Gayer, Ted and Rosen, Harvey (2013): Public Finance. 10th edition. Irwin: McGraw-Hill.
  • Gruber, Jonathan (2016): Public Finance and Public Policy, 5th Edition. New York: Worth Publishers.
  • Hindriks, Jean and Gareth Myles (2006): Intermediate Public Economics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Pissarides, C. A. (2000): Equilibrium Unemployment Theory. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Romer, D. (2011): Advanced Macroeconomics. Mcgraw-Hill Higher Education, 4th edition

Do I need strong quantitative skills?

MIEPP is essentially a master level economics program. This means we address economic, financial, social, and policy questions mainly from a scientific point of view and by employing quantitative empirical and theoretical methods. We thus highly recommend that students master the quantitative techniques and methods taught in undergraduate business/economics programs. If you apply for our program, we strongly encourage you -- especially in case you haven’t taken any math or statistics course in your undergraduate studies -- to have a look at the excellent textbook by Knut Sydsaeter and Peter Hammond (“Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis”) in order to check whether you meet this requirement. We also recommend you to have a look at the sample course slides to check if you are comfortable with such a quantitative way of course material delivery.