Fall 2020 Call for Participation: Live-Streamed Courses in Economics

Date: 09 September 2020
The University of Central Asia's (UCA) Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA), in cooperation with the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education's Economics Institute (CERGE-EI) Foundation, invites all master level students, faculty members, applied researchers, and other interested individuals to participate in a live-streamed economics course starting in September and November 2020. Courses will be delivered online from CERGE-EI’s Digital Media Center in Prague, and coordinated by UCA from Kyrgyzstan to allow live streaming to multiple locations. Teaching Assistants from UCA will also provide basic assistance in course delivery.
 
Costs and Tuition Fees
Courses are free of charge for course participants.

Language 
The language of instruction for all courses offered by the CERGE-EI Foundation is English.

Course Schedule
In Fall 2020, courses will be offered on International Trade, Energy Economics, Labor Economics, Comparative Economic Systems (Transition Economics), Innovation Economics. All courses will be conducted in 6-week modules, with exams scheduled in the seventh week. Each week, there will be two 90-minute sessions (20 contact hours per course). All participants who successfully complete courses will be awarded CERGE-EI Foundation certificates.

Admission Requirements
The programme is intensive and rigorous, advanced BA/introductory MA level of Economics knowledge is required. Participants should expect to be challenged and should be able to demonstrate self-motivation. UCA reserves the right to select only those applicants that it believes to have the necessary qualifications and experience to succeed. All courses will require the active participation of all students. Teachers will utilise modern technology to engage students, encourage their active involvement in the course work and class discussions.

Registration
To register for a course, please send your resume and Cover Letter to ippa@ucentralasia.org with indication of the selected course name. One person can apply multiple courses.

The deadlines to register are:
  • Wednesday September 9th 2020: International Trade, Energy Economics, and Labor Economics 
  • Wednesday October 28th 2020: Comparative Economic Systems (Transition Economics), Innovation Economics
Courses

1. International Trade
Course dates: September 14-October 23, 2020 (Exam week – October 26-30) 
Time: Monday & Wednesday, 11:30-13:00 Prague time (15:30-17:00 Bishkek time)

This course covers international trade, its determinants and its consequences. It studies the ways that the patterns of international trade might be shaped by (and might in turn re-shape) a country’s available resource endowments, its technology, the income distribution, economic growth and politics. The course starts with the concept of comparative advantage and the gains from trade and the determinants of the patterns of trade. It will further explore the costs, benefits, and impact on income distribution of different instruments of trade protection; the effects of free trade areas (trade creation and trade diversion), and of factor mobility. Students will learn to apply the analytical toolbox of trade theory to real world situations in order to make qualitative predictions of the effects of measures such as tariffs or export subsidies.

Lecturers: Vilém Semerák, Ph.D., in cooperation with Kresimir Zigic, Ph.D.
Vilém Semerák is a Researcher at the Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences. He graduated from the University of Economics, Prague (VŠE) and the Institute of Economic Studies of Charles University (IES FSV UK), studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and at CERGE, Charles University. He has worked on research projects in China (Shandong Economic University in Jinan, 2004-2005; East China Normal University in Shanghai, 2006).

Teaching Assistant: Zalina Enikeeva, MA
Zalina Enikeeva is a Research Fellow at UCA's Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA). She holds MA in Economic Governance and Development from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. Her expertise includes integration of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), international trade, food security, agricultural policies, tourism etc.

2. Energy Economics
Course Dates: September 14-October 23, 2020 (Exam week – October 26-30)
Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 9:45-11:15 Prague time (13:45-15:15 Bishkek time)

Energy is a basic necessity of daily life and a vital input to industry in any society around the world. Energy also plays an important role in the climate policies that are aimed at the global warming problem. The course, taking mostly the viewpoint of economic markets and economic regulation, aims at providing students with knowledge about various topics related to the fossil fuels that are, still now and in the near future, the backbone of the present energy system. A special focus is given to electricity and electricity markets, as electricity is expected to play a special role in the decarbonalization effort of energy systems. Students will learn to appraise the effects (the challenges and opportunities) climate policy will have on the electricity industry. Particular attention is paid to the results of the energy policies in the energy change front runners such as California, Denmark and Germany. The course introduces also the economic theory for climate policy and applies it on the various policies used in the past decades in US and Europe.

Lecturer: Silvester van Koten, Ph.D. 
Silvester is an Associate Professor of Economics specializing in energy economics and economic experiments with a special interest in the economics of electricity markets, renewables and regulation.  Silvester received his Ph.D. from CERGE-EI in 2009, and also holds an MA in Psychology from Utrecht University. Currently, he is a Senior Researcher and Associate Professor at the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czechia, and a Visiting Professor at the New Economic School in Moscow.

Teaching Assistant: Madina Junussova, Ph.D.
Madina Junussova is a Research Fellow at UCA's IPPA. She has developed and taught Policy Processes, Methods of Policy Analysis, Policy Monitoring and Evaluation courses of UCA’s Executive Master in Economic Policy programme, which engaged civil servants from the Ministry of Finance, Afghanistan. Her research interests include policy analysis, policy monitoring and evaluation, efficacy of public investment, local and regional development, and sustainability. Madina holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Carleton University and degrees in architecture, urban and regional planning awarded by the Ministry of Education and Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 

3. Labor Economics
Course Dates: September 14-October 23, 2020 (Exam week – October 26-30)
Time: Monday & Wednesday, 9:45-11:15 Prague time (13:45-15:15 Bishkek time)

This course provides a standard introduction to the analysis of labor markets in market economies. The main topics covered include: an analysis of the demand for labor and market elasticity, an analysis of the supply of the labor to the market: how people decide whether to work, the role of family and life cycle, wage differentials compensation, human capital development: role of education and training, the role of unions, unemployment, and earning inequalities.  

Lecturer: Barbara Pertold-Gebická, Ph.D.
Barbara is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Institute of Economic Studies (Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University). She received her Ph.D. from CERGE-EI in 2011 and holds also an M.Sc. in Management from the Technical University in Lodz, Poland. Barbara won a Young Economist of the Year in 2009 and Prof. Vencovsky prize for young economists in 2013. Barbara’s research is focused on labor economics and applied microeconomics, specializing in women labor participation and the impact of parental leave policies.

Teaching Assistant: Kanykei Asanalieva
Kanykei is Research Assistant at UCA's IPPA. She holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Economics received from the Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University. 

4. Comparative Economic Systems (Transition Economics)
Course Dates: November 2-December 11, 2020 (Exam week: December 14-18) 
Time: Monday & Wednesday, 9:45-11:15 Prague time (14:45-16:15 Bishkek time)

The course will introduce students to the economic functioning of centrally planned economies and the reasons behind their collapse. It will cover the main challenges the countries faced when transforming to market economies and analyze policies that were available and applied through the transition, such as privatization, macrostabilization, approaches to sectoral reallocation, etc. We will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the policies and assess how well they fitted the specific conditions of various countries. We will evaluate to what extent was the transition successful in achieving its goal to establish market economies and to what extent is it still a work in progress.

Lecturer: Vilém Semerák, Ph.D.
Vilém Semerák is a Researcher at the Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences. He graduated from the University of Economics, Prague (VŠE) and the Institute of Economic Studies of Charles University (IES FSV UK), studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and at CERGE, Charles University. He has worked on research projects in China (Shandong Economic University in Jinan, 2004-2005; East China Normal University in Shanghai, 2006).

Teaching Assistant: Elita Bakirova
Elita Bakirova is a Research Assistant at UCA's IPPA. Prior to joining UCA, Elita worked for PeaceNexus Foundation in Central Asia, where she was responsible for projects that supported government and civil society actors in their development efforts. She was also engaged in gold mining and water management research projects in southern Kyrgyzstan. She holds a BA degree in International and Comparative Politics from the American University of Central Asia.

5. Innovation Economics
Course Dates: November 2-December 11, 2020 (Exam week: December 14-18)
Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 11:30-13:00 Prague time (16:30-18:00 Bishkek time)

This course will cover selected topics on Economics of Innovation. It will help students to answer the most common questions about economic aspects of innovations: Why do firms innovate and why do they strive to be first in a race of research and development? How can employees be motivated to produce innovative outputs? How innovative ideas spread and foster creation of a new knowledge? How intellectual property of innovators is protected and what are the costs and scope of such protection? Where can innovative start-up firms get money to finance their projects?

The contents of this course are based on insights from macro and microeconomics, contract theory and corporate finance. Previous knowledge in these subjects will be beneficial, but is not required. Along with the theoretical part of this course, which will be taught online, practical case studies related to each topic will be offered for in-group discussions. Local TAs will moderate the discussion at each participating university and, afterwards, the groups will be able to present their findings in a broader discussion hosted online.

Course outline:
  • Week 1: Competition and innovation
  • Week 2: Intellectual property rights protection + Case study on two previous topics
  • Week 3: Incentives for innovators
  • Week 4: Knowledge spillovers + Case study on two previous topics
  • Week 5: Financing constraints
  • Week 6: Markets for technology + Case study on two previous topics

Lecturer: Taras Hrendash, M.A., Ph.D. cand.  
Taras Hrendash received a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in Finance from the Black Sea State University (BSSU) in 2011 and M.A. in Economics from CERGE-EI in 2015. He is a Ph.D. Candidate at CERGE-EI (Ph.D. expected in 2020) and Junior Researcher in economics of science, technology change and innovation at IDEA Think Tank. Taras has taught several economics courses, including Innovations and Entrepreneurship at CERGE-EI. His research interest include: geography of collaboration networks, clustering of innovation, accelerated examination of patents, aging of scientists, scientometrics, and gender homophily in science.

Teaching Assistant: Mariia Iamshchikova
Mariia Iamshchikova, Junior Research Fellow at UCA's IPPA. She holds a BA in Economics from the American University of Central Asia. Her research field includes but not limited to the socio-economic development, food security and nutrition, and development economics.

About the University of Central Asia (UCA) and UCA's IPPA
The University of Central Asia (UCA) was founded in 2000 as a private, not for profit, secular university through an International Treaty signed by the Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan, and His Highness the Aga Khan; ratified by their respective parliaments, and registered with the United Nations. As a university focused on the development of mountain societies, UCA's undergraduate programmes are located at its purpose-built world class residential campuses in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan, and Khorog, Tajikistan near the Tien Shan and Pamir mountains respectively. Established in 2011, UCA's Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA) strengthens public policy making in Central Asia. It provides in-depth analysis of current and emerging policy issues facing the region, and works on improving the analytical capacity of governments and civil society to use evidence-based decision-making through professional development. IPPA is part of University of Central Asia’s Graduate School of Development.

About CERGE-EI and the CERGE-EI Foundation
The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education (CERGE) was established in 1991 in the Czech Republic to offer a western-style PhD in Economics to students from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It subsequently formed a joint workplace with the Economics Institute (EI) of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Today, CERGE-EI offers two additional master level programmes: one-year long Masters in Applied Economics and two-years long Masters in Economic Research. All faculty are western-trained and CERGE-EI graduates receive degrees that are recognised in the EU and in the US. The CERGE-EI Foundation is a major financial supporter of CERGE-EI and, through its Teaching Fellows Programme, supports western-trained economists teaching at universities across the region.
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