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Public Policy Stream

Learning outcomes

  • Rigorous understanding of the principles of public economics
  • Ability to frame public policy problems in a theoretically sound manner
  • Appreciating the roles of institutions and governance
  • Ability to analyze public policy problems in India, and critically evaluate proposed solutions
  • Ability to critically assess the impact of public policy initiatives in India and abroad
  • Knowledge of the international dimension of public policy
  • Ability to write short- and long-form policy briefs
  • Preparedness for jobs in NGOs, think tanks, foundations, policy institutions, policy consulting, regulatory bodies, governmental organizations, etc.

The course descriptions of each elective are given below.


Theory of Public Policy

Instructor: TBA

Students interested in how public policy is formulated and implemented are first and foremost required to develop a rigorous understanding of the basic principles of public economics. In this course students will learn:

  • How public economics applies theoretical insights from other fields of economics such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, development economics and labor economics
  • Why markets can often fail to deliver desired outcomes
  • Real-world examples of externalities and public goods
  • How a second-best market equilibrium can sometimes be corrected by government intervention
  • Real-world examples of second-best equilibria and government policies aimed at correcting them
  • How taxes and subsidies work
  • Why sometimes governments can also fail to correct second-best equilibria
  • How public and private institutions play a critical role in the interplay between the public and private sectors
  • How to design effective institutions and public policy programs
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis to evaluate various public policy programs
  • Introduce the cutting-edge research in behavioral economics and its implications for public policy


Public Policy of Development

Instructor: TBA

This course will provide an understanding of how economics can be used to understand development policies in the real world. Students will learn to analyze complex public policy issues in development as well as evaluate the impact of different policy approaches to a particular problem. In this course students will learn:

  • What determines the decisions of poor households in developing countries?
  • What are the different types of risks faced by poor households and how can we mitigate them?
  • How do we make schools work better for poor citizens?
  • How do we make poor citizens healthy?
  • How do we analyze the effectiveness of microfinance on economic and social development?
  • What is the scope for policy interventions in India and what policies have been tried out?
  • How to evaluate the impact of public programs using modern empirical methods in economics, such as Randomized Control Trials (RCTs).


International Political Economy

Instructor: Indradeep Ghosh, Associate Professor, MDAE

International Political Economy studies the intricate relationships between markets and states, between money and power, and between economics and politics, and is essential for students hoping to find employment in public policy roles in today’s global context. In this course students will learn:

  • Why policymakers must pay attention to the interplay between economics and politics in designing effective policy
  • What the main economic theories of trade are, and why these theories prescribe that countries should liberalize trade
  • Why countries often choose not to liberalize trade, and what forms trade cooperation has in fact taken in the last 100 years
  • What the main economic theories of FDI are
  • How countries compete to attract multinational corporations
  • Why China’s accession to the WTO in 2001 is a significant event in the history of multilateral trade liberalization
  • What the Trans-Pacific Partnership means for its signatories and for those who have chosen not to sign the TPP
  • The fundamental principles of exchange rate economics, and why global financial stability requires the intervention and oversight of multilateral institutions such as the IMF
  • What the political-economic considerations for liberalizing international finance are (with particular reference to the Euro project and its apparent failure)


Workshops/Econ Labs

The Workshops/Econ Labs in this stream will cover topics such as the design, implementation and impact of monetary and fiscal policies in India.

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