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Fall 2023 Call for Participation: Live-Streamed Courses in Economics

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 from Central Asian institutions to participate in a live-streamed economics course starting in September 2023. Courses will be delivered online from CERGE-EI’s Digital Media Center in Prague and coordinated by UCA 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 offered free of charge to course participants.

The language of instruction for all courses offered by the CERGE-EI Foundation is English. However, we allow for flexibility in using native language when delivering exercise sessions by local instructors.

Course Schedule
In Spring 2023, courses will be offered on Econometrics in a Nutshell, Economics of Energy, and Public Economics. All courses will be conducted in 6-week modules, with the final exam scheduled for Week 7 and the make-up exam scheduled for Week 8. Participants who successfully complete courses will be awarded CERGE-EI Foundation certificates.

Admission Requirements
The program 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 utilize modern technology to engage students, encourage their active involvement in the course work and class discussions.

The number of places is limited. To register for a course, please fill in the registration form until September 1, 2023, following the link below:


Part 1: Econometrics in a Nutshell and Economics of Energy

Classes: September 11 – October 20, 2023
Final exam week: October 23 – 27, 2023
Make-up exam week: October 30 – November 3, 2023

Econometrics in a Nutshell

The course will introduce regression analysis and cover some of the most recent econometric techniques central to modern econometric practice. Successful students will gain a deeper understanding of the material discussed in other Distance Learning Program courses. They will be up to speed with Western European students at the same education level, making them more competitive in their further studies and on the labor market. At the end of this course students will understand basic econometric concepts, basic estimation methods, and methods for testing statistical hypotheses. They will be able to apply standard methods of constructing econometric models, process statistical information, obtain statistically sound conclusions, and give meaningful interpretation to the results of the estimated econometric models. In addition, students will gain real data processing skills, using econometric packages for building and estimating econometric models in R.

Prerequisites: Introduction to Statistics.

Main Instructor: Ella Sargsyan

Ella Sargsyan is a Junior Researcher and Ph.D. candidate at CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute). She holds an M.A. in Economics from CERGE-EI and ISET. Her research interests are mainly in the field of Development Economics with her current research focused on the impact of violent conflicts on various economic, social, and political factors in developing countries. She particularly enjoys working with spatial data. Since 2016, Ella has been involved in teaching, both as a graduate teaching assistant and as an instructor of courses including Statistics, Econometrics, Development Economics, and Microeconomics. She also works with the pedagogical team of CERGE-EI’s Academic Skills Center and serves as an instructor for several pedagogical training courses for economists.

Local teaching support: Saniya Soltybayeva

Saniya Soltybayeva holds a Master’s degree in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Specialist degree in Public Administration from Lomonosov Moscow State University. Her research interests include regional and local economic development, decentralisation, human capital development, and regional innovation systems.

Economics of Energy

Energy is a necessity of daily life and vital input to industry around the world. Energy also plays a central role in climate policy and geopolitics. The course, including the viewpoints of economic markets and economic regulation, aims to inform about various energy system topics. The focus will be on the supply side of the market, targeting the main properties of fossil and renewable energy sources. While the economics (supply, demand, and pricing) is the focus, special attention is also given to the security and strategic value of the different energy sources. Part of the course gives a broad background of knowledge on energy topics and issues. The other part uses economic tools and mathematical models to better understand the economic logic of energy. Such economic tools provide a way to systemize the abundance of information available on energy. This also helps to understand and appraise present policies regarding energy. Though our scope is general, attention is paid to some of the local settings for the EU, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Central Asia, and Russia.

Prerequisites: Microeconomics: consumption, production, supply and demand, at least at the level of any of the following or equivalent books (any editions):

Besanko, D., & Braeutigam, R. (2020). Microeconomics. Wiley Global Education.

Krugman, P., Wells, R., Ray, M., & Anderson, D. A. (2013). Microeconomics in Modules. Macmillan Higher Education.

Perloff, J. M. (2018). Microeconomics, Global Edition. Pearson Education Canada.

Pindyck, R. S., Rubinfeld, D. L., & F. E., Microeconomics, (2001). by Prentice-Hall. Madrid. Varian, H. R. (2014). Intermediate microeconomics with calculus: a modern approach. WW Norton & Company.

Main instructor: Silvester van Koten, Ph.D.

Silvester is an economist specializing in Economics Experiments and Energy Economics with a special interest in the economics of regulation, market design and energy markets. He holds a Ph.D. in economics (from CERGE-EI) and a MA in Psychology (Utrecht University). Presently, Silvester is a senior researcher at the Department of Economics at the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University, and a research associate at CERGE-EI in Prague. Silvester’s current research appraises the effect of the structure of spot market prices on the forward premium in electricity markets and the effectiveness of self-regulating organizations using theory, computer simulations and economics experiments. In previous research, Silvester analyzed the effects of more transparent financial markets on competition and prices in the EU electricity markets. His work was published in journals such as Energy Economics, Energy Policy, European Economic Review and the Journal of Regulatory Economics.

Local teaching support: Madina Junussova, Ph.D.

Madina Junussova is a Senior Research Fellow at UCA's Institute of Public Policy and Administration and a CERGE-EI Foundation Teaching Fellow. She is a member of the International Public Policy Association and the International Society of City and Regional Planners (Isocarp). Dr. Junussova holds a PhD 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.

Part 2: Public Economic

Classes: October 30 – December 8, 2023
Final exam week: December 11 – 15, 2023
Make-up exam week: December 18 – 22, 2023

Public Economics

Brief description: This course covers the key concepts in public economics, a field of economics that studies the role of government in the economy. The course is designed to introduce seminal theoretical concepts and discuss the most recent empirical developments in public economics with the aim to understand: (i) why and how governments intervene in an economy, (ii) how individuals and firms react to these interventions, and (iii) what are the implications of those interventions for the overall welfare and economic development.

Prerequisites: Microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics at the introductory level.

Main Instructor: Olga Popova, Ph.D.

Olga is a senior researcher with tenure at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS), Regensburg, Germany; a research associate at CERGE-EI; and a research fellow at IZA-Institute of Labor Economics and Global Labor Organization (GLO). She holds a Ph.D. in economics from CERGE-EI (2012). Her research interests include health and environmental economics, economic history, development economics, and public economics. She is an associate editor at the Journal of Population Economics, Journal of Happiness Studies, and Comparative Southeast European Studies, served as a consultant for the World Bank, and was Second Prize winner of the 2014 Young Economist Award from the Czech Economic Society. Her research has been published in the Journal of Public Economics, Economic Inquiry, Journal of Comparative Economics, and Small Business Economics, among others, and was featured by the leading research policy portal VoxEU.

Local teaching support: Madina Junussova, Ph.D.

Madina Junussova is a Senior Research Fellow at UCA's Institute of Public Policy and Administration and a CERGE-EI Foundation Teaching Fellow. She is a member of the International Public Policy Association and the International Society of City and Regional Planners (Isocarp). Dr. Junussova holds a PhD 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.

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 GraduateSchool 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 programs: 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 recognized in the EU and in the US. The CERGE-EI Foundation is a major financial supporter of CERGE-EI and, through its Teaching Fellows Program, supports western-trained economists teaching at universities across the region.

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