MSE Course Descriptions – College of Business and Economics (CBE)  

MSE Course Descriptions

The following course descriptions give a sense of the scope and the range of the course offerings at the AUA MSE program.

 

ECON300 Quantitative Methods for Economists (Credits: 3)

This course is an introduction to mathematics used in economics. Students learn to apply mathematical tools and methods in order to design models in economic analysis and to be able to read, understand, analyze and apply to economic theories and problems. Topics include integral calculus, multivariate calculus, optimization theory, linear algebra (matrix algebra), implicit function theorem, difference and differential equations. Students are required to complete weekly reading assignments and solve problem sets. Three hours of instructor-led class time per week.

Corequisite: ECON320
Prerequisite:

 

ECON310 Economic Statistics (Credits: 3)

This course provides students with a survey of statistical methodology. Topics include probability and sampling, distribution theory, hypothesis testing, estimation, analysis of variance, confidence intervals, and linear regression. Students are required to complete biweekly problem sets by solving exercises and using statistical software. Three hours of instructor-led class time per week.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite:

 

ECON311 Econometrics (Credits: 3)

Through this course, students learn to apply statistical methods to quantify economic relationships. Topics include econometric models, hypothesis testing, least squares, instrumental variables, panel data methods, and time series. Through lectures and weekly problem sets, students learn to use statistical software to test and estimate economic relationships and evaluate empirical economic research. Students apply what they learn to real data and write an empirical paper on a topic of interest. Three hours of instructor-led class time per week.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON300 AND ECON310

 

ECON315 Financial Econometrics and Time Series Analysis (Credits: 3)

This course is an introduction to data analysis and econometric modeling using applications in finance and time series. The course uses concepts from microeconomics, finance, mathematical optimization, data analysis, probability models, statistical analysis, and econometrics. The course will be 16 weeks long. Each week consists of one 150 minutes lecture. Finance topics include asset return calculations, risk and performance measures, portfolio theory, index models, and applied time series analysis. Quantitative methods involve basic matrix algebra. Statistical topics include probabilities, expectation, joint distributions, covariance, normal distribution, sampling distributions, estimation and hypothesis testing, data analysis, linear regression, time series methods and simulations. There will be weekly frequent homework assignments requiring STATA programming. Students will work independently and periodically in groups to complete problem sets and group projects. Students will be graded on quizzes/problem sets, midterm and final exams. The course qualifies for all MSE tracks.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON310

 

ECON316 Topics in Applied Health Econometrics  (seminar) (Credits: 3)

This course reviews a range of econometric methods (such as Probit, Logit, Tobit, Poisson, Negative Binomial, LAD, Matching, GLM) that have been used for testing economic hypotheses in health outcomes. Starting with an introduction to health outcomes, the course will proceed to advanced econometric methods for addressing specific problems generated by either the nature of the data generation process or the economic relationships being examined. The course will develop your econometric skills in several ways. First, the course will review numerous econometric models and in each case discuss the type of problems the model is suited for, how to test hypotheses, and the shortcomings of various models. Second, you will be asked to prepare two presentations; first presentation will cover a particular method and second presentation will cover health condition related outcomes. Third, to assist in the development of your data management, modeling, computer, and interpretative skills, you will use Stata to analyze data. Students will be graded on quizzes/problem sets, midterm, project/presentation and final exams. The course qualifies for the MSE Applied Economics track.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON310

 

ECON317 Data Scraping (Credits: 3)

This course will introduce the main methods of acquiring data from the web and other digital sources. Students will learn how to scrape, parse, and read web data as well as access data using web APIs (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn etc.). They will work with HTML, JSON and other data formats in Python. They will also learn how to use a set of freely available tools to gather data from the web. The format of the course will be mainly case-based introducing the applications of data scraping in various aspects of business and economics. Student’s work will be evaluated based on class participation, quizzes/problem-sets, midterm and final project. The course qualifies for the MSE Applied Economics track.

Corequisite:

Prerequisite: ECON310

 

ECON318 Advanced Econometrics I (Credits: 3)

Econometric methods for microeconometric models. Topics include limited dependent variable, qualitative variable, duration, and other models. The course will help you to develop data management, modeling, statistical programing, and interpretative skills. Students will be graded on quizzes/problem sets, midterm, project/presentation and final exams.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON310

 

ECON319 Advanced Econometrics II (Credits: 3)

Econometric methods for empirical research in economics. Topics include matching, quantile regression analysis, CART Trees (Decision Trees, Regression), Neural Networks and other models and their applications in Economics. The course will help you to develop data scraping and management, modeling, visualization, statistical programming, and interpretative skills. Students will be graded on quizzes/problem sets, midterm, project/presentation, and final exams.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON318

 

ECON320 Microeconomic Theory (Credits: 3)

The course covers key topics in the modern microeconomic theory at an advanced graduate level. It focuses on the behavior of individual consumers and firms in making economic decisions and on how these decisions affect market outcomes. Topics include consumer and producer theory, decision making under uncertainty, general equilibrium and welfare properties, market equilibrium and market failure, perfect and imperfect competition. Throughout the course, students analyze various microeconomic problems and policy issues by completing weekly problem sets. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to employ quantitative techniques to model economic phenomena from the perspective of the individual agents.

Corequisite: ECON300
Prerequisite:

 

ECON327 Industrial Organizations (Credits: 3)

The course is designed to equip students with tools necessary to study complex market structures and firm behavior. It starts by covering main topics in game theory that are necessary to analyze strategic interactions of the firms in the markets. In particular students will master concepts of perfect and Bayesian equilibrium: the necessary building blocks of IO models. Theoretical models will address issues of static and dynamic price competitions, repeated interactions and tacit collusions, spatial and monopolistic competition, strategies of entry and accommodation. Students will also be introduced to firms’ competitive behavior under asymmetry of information. Empirical models will mainly deal with complex problem of demand estimation in industries.  Students will be provided with specific reference materials, but will be expected to read more advanced materials on some selected topics. Evaluations will be based on homeworks and exams, as well as they will be asked to read, analyze and present a seminal paper on IO and discuss it with their peers. This is a 3 credit hour course.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON320 AND ECON330

 

ECON330 Macroeconomic Theory (Credits: 3)

The course covers key topics in the modern macroeconomic theory at an advanced graduate level. It focuses on models of medium- and long-run macroeconomic dynamics and their empirical implications. Topics include different models of economic growth, theories of aggregate fluctuations, macroeconomic policy and their implications. Throughout the course, students analyze various macroeconomic problems and policy issues by completing weekly problem sets. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to employ quantitative techniques to model economic phenomena from the macroeconomic perspective.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite:

 

ECON331 Monetary Theory and Policy (Credits: 3)

The course focuses on monetary aspects of the business cycle. Using different theoretical models the course studies the goals of monetary policy, the choice of policy instruments, the rule-versus-discretion debate, central bank credibility and etc. Throughout the course students analyze various problems and policy issues by completing weekly problem sets. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to employ quantitative techniques to model monetary phenomena. Students will be graded on problem sets, midterm and final exams. This is a 3 credit hour course. The course qualifies for the MSE Monetary and Macroeconomic Policy track.

Corequisite:

Prerequisite: ECON320 AND ECON330

 

ECON335 Monetary Policy and Financial Markets (Credits: 3)

The course covers topics in monetary policy and financial markets. It consists of two parts. The first part focuses on monetary aspects of the business cycle and covers different theoretical models of monetary policy, as well as relevant empirical evidence. The second part focuses on pricing of bonds, forward and futures contracts, risk measures, portfolio analysis and asset pricing models. During the course MatLab is used to simulate models and implement different methods. Throughout the course, students analyze various problems and policy issues by completing the weekly problem sets. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to employ quantitative techniques to model monetary and financial phenomena, as well as to study the impacts of implemented monetary policy. The course requires a solid background in mathematics. The course qualifies for the MSE Monetary and Macroeconomic Policy track.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON320 AND ECON330 AND ECON300

 

ECON336 Macroeconomic Policy Seminar (Credits: 3)

The course explores 3 major areas of modern macro–economic policies including basic policy goals, instruments, policy design, applications and their consequences. First the most prominent types of monetary policy regimes will be discussed, such as Inflation Targeting under flexible exchange rate, which will be followed by discussion on various forms of monetary systems and exchange rate regimes. Second macro prudential and regulatory policies for maintaining financial stability will be investigated. The third topic of the course will be de devoted to fiscal policy. Finally the course will touch such topics as international policy coordination, supervision and coordination or tradeoffs among monetary and fiscal/macro prudential policies.BREAKThe primary focus will be both on advanced economies and emerging markets including Armenia. The prevention and management of various types of economic crises will be discussed. In particular the 2008 US crisis, ongoing Eurozone crisis, their spillovers onto emerging markets and recent CIS region crisis and currency depreciations will be analyzed. Students will be graded on class participation, midterm and final exams. This is a 3 credit hour course. The course qualifies for the MSE Monetary and Macroeconomic Policy track.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON320 AND ECON330 AND ECON331

 

ECON340 International Trade (Credits: 3)

In this course we will study the main topics in the area of international trade and trade policy. Firstly, we refresh our knowledge in micro-foundations, intensively used throughout the course. Then we study the traditional trade theories and review the relevant empirical literature. In the second part of the course, we discuss trade policies such as tariffs, quotas and non-tariff barriers, as well as the key role of foreign direct investments and multinational firms in economic growth. Throughout the course, much time will be devoted to analyze empirical challenges in the discipline.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON300 AND ECON310 AND ECON320

 

ECON350 Financial Economics (Credits: 3)

Much of modern financial economics works with models in which agents are rational and arbitrageurs can fix any mis-pricing. Behavioral Financial Economics is the area of finance which relaxes both of these assumptions. Behavioral models usually have two building blocks: limits to arbitrage, which make it difficult for rational traders to undo the dislocations caused by less rational traders; and psychology, which catalogues the kinds of deviations from full rationality we might expect to see. We discuss these two topics, and then consider a number of applications such as asset pricing (the aggregate stock market and the cross-section of average returns) or individual investor portfolio choice and trading behavior.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON300 AND ECON320

 

ECON351 Finance Theory (Credits: 3)

This course covers modern finance theory and practice. The topics of the course include: 1) functions of financial markets and intermediaries; 2) analysis and valuation of traded securities; 3) portfolio management theory, tools for portfolio performance measurement and asset pricing models; 4) fixed-income securities; 5) introduction to derivatives and alternative investments; 6) SAA models and risk management tools; and 7) applications of economic analysis to portfolio management. Students will be graded on quizzes/problem sets, midterm and final exams. The course qualifies for the MSE Finance track.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite:

 

ECON353 Economics of Corporate Finance (Credits: 3)

The objective of this course is to learn the economics behind financial tools that are used in financial decision making process. The course presents the economic insights of corporate finance theory and emphasizes the application of theory to real-life financial decisions. Several real business cases will be discussed during the course.  Student’s work will be evaluated based on class participation, quizzes/problem sets, midterm and final project. The course qualifies for the MSE Finance track

Corequisite:
Prerequisite:

 

ECON354 Asset Allocation and Multi-asset Investing (Credits: 3)

The course examines asset allocation and multi-asset investing from a practitioner’s perspective. It is intended to explore the strategies, themes, and formal building blocks that practicing asset allocators need to be proficient in. In addition to becoming familiar with the substance of a range of investment topics, students will be taught how to present research and investment results in a professional setting. Student’s work will be evaluated based on class participation, in-class quizzes/problem sets, midterm and final project. The course qualifies for the MSE Finance track.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON315 AND ECON351

 

ECON355 Financial Markets and Modeling (Credits: 3)

The course examines the composition of financial markets, the analysis and valuation of traded securities, portfolio management theory and tools for portfolio performance measurement. To increase the practical skills of the students, relevant software is used to develop different methods and financial models. Throughout the course students analyze various problems and policy issues by completing weekly problem sets. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to understand financial relationships, how financial markets operate and employ quantitative techniques to analyze and evaluate investment decisions. Students will be graded on problem sets, midterm and final exams. This is a 3 credit hour course.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON320 AND ECON330

 

ECON360 Public Economics (Credits: 3)

This course examines the role of government in the economy, and how the market may fail to produce efficient or equitable outcomes. We consider policies that may correct for market failures, and challenges posed by politics and incomplete information. The course will have a strong theoretical angle. It also includes an overview of the federal, state, and local budgets, and takes both a contemporary and historical look at the role of government in providing defense, infrastructure, education, pensions, health care, unemployment insurance, and other services.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON300 AND ECON320

 

ECON361 Sustainable Development (Credits: 1)

The purpose of this course is to develop general understanding of sustainable development (SD) and the way this paradigm is translated into policy-making. Three basic blocks of the concept are presented step by step: economic development, social change and conservation of environment. The course will begin with reviewing the current state of the planet, exploring the inception of the SD concept, and international efforts undertaken in the mainstream of this concept since early 70s. Then the focus will shift to economic policy and discuss economic growth vs. economic development. The course will then move to the issues of social change, particularly addressing poverty and hunger, income inequality, education and human capital as factors of SD. Next the instructor will turn to the issues of overpopulation, urbanization, scarcity of natural resources and impact of these factors on SD.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite:

 

ECON380 Professional Internship (Credits: 3)

During Professional Internship the student is expected to gain experience and improve skills through appropriate developmental work assignments in a real business environment. Students must discuss specific learning objectives with the MSE program chair and internship coordinator at the beginning of the semester and receive approval of their plans in order to register and receive credits for the internship. The internship must be related to economics and finance, and require knowledge suitable for a master’s degree level. The total work load requirement is 8-10 hours per week for 15 weeks, which includes both hours at the workplace and hours needed to compete the research or analysis related to the work. At semester end, each student prepares a written paper reflecting on the work experience. Student performance is evaluated by the internship coordinator and program chair based on written report and report presentation. Depending on the internship type the course may qualify for MSE track credit, upon program chair approval.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON300 AND ECON310 AND ECON320 AND ECON330 AND Instructor’s Permission

 

ECON385 Economic Research Seminar (Credits: 3)

This course introduces students to economic research methods, prepares them to conduct independent research, and is essential for students’ capstone writing course.  Students will be exposed to an array of research designs and reports, which they analyze and critique as well as use to inform the development of their own research.  By mid-term, students prepare a formal proposal and presentation for their capstone research project, with the following components: 1) research question, 2) literature review, and 3) description of research methods. After receiving feedback from instructor and peers, students begin to collect and analyze their data.  By the end of the course, students will complete a written report and present their findings from the research collected and analyzed. This report and presentation will serve as the basis for students’ capstone projects.

Corequisite:
Prerequisite: ECON300 AND ECON320 AND ECON310 AND ECON311 AND ECON330

 

ECON386 Capstone (Credits: 3)

As the culminating experience for the MS in Economics degree, the capstone course is a 6 credit writing course during which students write a report and deliver a presentation based on the research they began in the Economic Research Seminar course. Due to the individualized nature of capstone projects, students meet with their advisor to review the progress of their research and writing and receive guidance. At the end of the course students are required to produce and present to faculty and peers a research report (thesis) of publishable quality.

Corequisite: ECON385
Prerequisite: