Courses

Actuarial science I: Non-life actuarial mathematics

Professor:
Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»
Credits:
3
The course introduces basics of actuarial analysis of short-run insurance — namely, how to estimate insurance premium and reserves. The students will learn how to model loss distribution accounting for specifics of an insurance product (in particular — how to model individual and collective risks). The students will learn about insurance premium structure, and will master different methods to estimate its components, including multidimensional classification and regression analysis, accounting also for the quality of data. Besides, the students will learn how to use methods of insurance company’s reserves estimations in practice.

Actuarial science II: Life actuarial mathematics

Professor:
Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»
Credits:
3
The course discusses the basics of actuarial analysis of life insurance. The students will learn how risks of mortality and survival are measured, and how the estimates of these risks influence estimates of obligations on life insurance contracts. On the basis of these estimates the students will learn how to calculate insurance premiums on life insurance contracts, and how to account for the specifics of the first year expenses on such contracts. The students will also use different methods of reserves estimations on life insurance contracts: perspective, retrospective, premium difference, pre-paid insurance, recurrent. They will also learn how to forecast and evaluate profit on such contracts.

Additional topics in econometrics

Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»; MA «Исследовательская экономика»; MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
3
During the course the students will learn how to estimate panel data models and models with discrete and bounded dependent variable. The students will understand how to estimate the probability that an individual will choose a specific alternative, how to take into account that the sample might be biased because only economic agents with specific characteristics were selected, or how to estimate importance of various factors influencing the length of some phenomenon. Main topics of the course: maximum likelihood method, logit and probit models; models of ordered selection; Poisson model; negative binomial model; zero-inflated models; tobit models I and II. The students will estimate all these models on real-life data using STATA software package.

Asset pricing

Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»
Credits:
2
The course introduces different approaches towards modeling the process of a financial asset price discovery in financial markets. The students will learn how investors’ characteristics — their risk perception and demand for stable or for exceptionally high return — influence equilibrium price formation, and why many models rely on representative investors. The students will study discrete modeling of financial assets’ prices in one or several periods, and will learn how to use continuous time models based on stochastic processes. The students will master navigation in risk-return dimensions and the art of choosing an optimal portfolio in the basis of assets’ characteristics and investor’s risk aversion. The students will also understand how derivatives’ prices are modeled and realize why one of the reasons of 2008 financial crisis was a wrong estimation of default probabilities on a number of such contracts.

Behavioural and experimental economics

Professor:
Program:
MA «Исследовательская экономика»
Credits:
3
The course provides a theoretical and empirical introduction to basic concepts of modern behavioral economics. Topics covered demonstrate some attempts to integrate various systematic departures from the standard assumptions in economics into formal models. A new class of models inspired by new insights from neuroscience is also discussed.

Causality on non-experimental data

Program:
MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
3
When some changes — in government policy, in social habits or in other phenomena — are analyzed, researchers are often interested to find out causal links, not just correlations. The easiest way to establish causality is to run an experiment. However, in economics in most cases experiments are impossible, and even if they are possible, it is not clear if their results can be extended to other similar situations. During this course the students will learn to use special statistical methods allowing to establish causal links for observational, non-experimental data.

Contingent valuation

Professor:
Program:
MA «Исследовательская экономика»; MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
3
The course discusses main issues arising in the process of economic valuation of those goods that are not traded on any market. The students will discuss the goods that fall into this category (mostly public and quasi-public goods). The students will master main methods of non-tradable goods valuation, including direct (using contingent markets method with either willingness to pay or willingness to accept as a basis) and indirect (cost-benefit analysis or on the basis of indirect costs such as transport costs, time, etc.). the student will also learn about specific features of using surveys for such valuation.

Contract theory

The course discusses various ways of designing the most effective contract under information asymmetry. The students will recall the problems caused by moral hazard and adverse selection and will discuss in details how these problems can be solved on different markets (insurance, financial markets, labour market). A special module of the course is devoted to discussion of auctions and opportunities for signaling and filtration under different auctions schemes. The students will learn the main principles of effective contracts under unobserved efforts on behalf of employees, and will study the problems brought by incomplete contracts in various spheres, including political economy.

Corporate finance

Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»
Credits:
3
An important feature of this course is its combination of theory and practice. The students will learn about a wide range of issues within the scope of financial departments of a company. First of all, they will learn about corporate management and adaptation of best practices to specific needs to achieve company’s goals. The students will be able to determine minimal required rate of return on an investment project and a company as a whole, and master different tools for evaluating efficiency of investment projects. The students will study the theory of optimal capital structure and learn to use the theory in practical situations, as well as study main principles of the dividend policy and their influence on operational, investment and financial activities of a company. After this course the students will acquire skills to solve a broad range of problems related to financial side of company’s activities.

Demographic problems of modern Russia

Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»; MA «Исследовательская экономика»; MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
3
The course covers the basics of analysis and forecasting applied to the issue of population dynamics within a country. The students will learn about the main demographic processes (fertility, mortality, migration), including their indicators, factors influencing their dynamics, as well as gender differences. The students will also learn in details about the ageing process that is a part of a global long-term process of population changes that influences all parts of the society, including the economy. The students will discuss in details modern state of demography in Russia and forecasts of its development. After the course the students will understand the prospects of demographic processes development in Russia in comparison with developed European countries.

Derivatives

Professor:
Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»
Credits:
3
The course introduces basic principles of mathematical modeling of specific financial assets (derivatives) whose prices are related to another (underlying) asset. The students will learn the specifics of the main types of derivatives and their use in hedging operations. The students will master adaptation of mathematical models of underlying assets price dynamics to determine fair (rational) value of derivatives and study sensitivity of these value estimates to changes in the parameters of the underlying model. The students will also learn to recognize arbitrage opportunities when parities are broken.

Dynamic macroeconomics

Professor:
Program:
MA «Исследовательская экономика»
Credits:
3
This course is devoted to dynamic modeling of macroeconomic processes. The students will recall basic macroeconomic models of representative economic agents (consumers and producers) and will place them into dynamic context. They will master main macroeconomic dynamic models — overlapping generations model and Ramsey model. The students will learn to use these models to discuss fiscal policy issues and pension systems. The students will also master main models of endogenous economic growth (AK-model, Romer model, Barro models) and will grasp the general approach of economists to explaining the source of economic growth. Besides, the students will learn main models of business cycles — real business cycle models, models of political business cycle, new-Keynesian models — and will be able to use them in analyzing current economic situation.

Econometric training

Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»; MA «Исследовательская экономика»; MA «Экономика человека»
This is a second in the series of trainings (practices) in the MA programme, during which students complete a small independent research project. Like in statistical training, in econometric training the project has to be applied and related to empirical data work. But within econometric training the students should pay special attention to hypotheses setting and their careful testing with appropriate econometric methods. Of course, the students remember that data collection, their statistical description and analysis of their metadata are important. The students are welcome to choose any topic — from relation between society’s value and economic growth of the country to revealing monetary policy rules in different countries. The most important in the final product the students should demonstrate all their skills of empirical analysis they mastered during the first year of MA programme.

Econometrics

The course aims to help students in systematizing and deepening their knowledge of various aspects of econometrics with the view to produce their own empirical research based on modern econometric methods. The students will recall the basics of probabilities theory and mathematical statistics, and perfect their skills of using multiple linear regression. In particular, they will discuss the choice of the model's functional form and model misspecification detection. Separate modules of the course are devoted to times series and special topics in econometrics, including models with discrete dependent variable and dynamic panel models. The course has a strong practical focus and involves extensive use of applied software. As a result of this course the students will be prepared for a substantial part of their candidate minimum examination and will be able to choose suitable methods for their own empirical work.

Econometrics (advanced level)

Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»; MA «Исследовательская экономика»; MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
5
The main objectives of this course are to introduce students to basic econometrics techniques and to prepare them for their own applied work. It deals with applications of statistical methods to estimate economically meaningful relationships and testing various hypotheses about the data. In the first part of the course the students learn in details multiple regression analysis of cross section data (single-equation linear models and OLS Estimation, heteroscedasticity, GLS, system estimation by instrumental variables). In the second part of the course students learn time series analysis (unit root tests, ARIMA models, vector autoregression, cointegration (Engle-Granger procedure and Johansen methodology)) and basic panel data models. While studying different statistical methods, students apply them to real data in EViews and Stata software packages.

Econometrics for financial modeling

Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»
Credits:
2
The course covers main econometric models applicable to financial data and accounting for the specificity of such data. The students will learn specific characteristics of financial data and the reasons for this specifics. The students will master ARCH/GARCH models and their modifications, and will be able to use different methods to estimate these models in application to various financial time series. The students will study stochastic volatility models and will learn how to estimate them with Monte-Carlo method. The course is very applied, and students will learn how to use software (most notably, Matlab) for econometric analysis of financial data.

Economic demography

Program:
MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
3
The course offers an introduction into a wide range of topics when population dynamics was accounted for in various economic models. The students will recall basic models of population growth and its influence on the societal well-being starting from Malthusian models and up to basic economic growth models. On the basis of endogenous growth models the students will discuss natural resource depletion and sustainability of modern economic growth in a long-term perspective accounting for population growth. The students will consider economic results of such issues as the demographic transition, population ageing, changes in fertility and family size, as well as main economic factors reducing mortality. Upon completion of the course the students will be able to account for demographic indicators in various economic problems.

Economic history of Russia in the XIX — early XX centuries

Professor:
Program:
MA «Исследовательская экономика»
Credits:
3
The course introduces students to the most topical present themes in economic history. Using as an example Russia’s economic development in late 19th — early 20th centuries, the students will learn about development of entrepreneurship, about the processes of economic integration, and how the latter were influenced by foreign investments and international trade. The students will learn also about financial history and banking system development, and the role of the government in these processes. A special attention is paid to the transfer of the European models through the economic reforms — their adaptation to the legal, economic and social realities of the Russian Empire. As a result of studying this course the students will fully realize the importance of historical context for understanding development of economic theories and models, as well as get an idea about the role of institutions in the process of socio-economic development of countries.

Economic theory

This course is one of the most important in the whole programme and is devoted to systematization and deepening of students' knowledge and understanding of the two major parts of economic theory — microeconomics and macroeconomics. The students will start with systematization of their knowledge about economic agents' behaviour in non-strategic situations (consumer behaviour and theory of the firm), about perfect markets and Walras concept of equilibrium. The course then proceeds to discuss modeling on imperfect markets and corresponding strategic behaviour of the economic agents. A separate part of the course discusses modeling of microeconomic market failures. In the macroeconomic part the students will first recall basic models of closed and open economy, and then will study in details the new Keynesian model and its use in macroeconomic policy. Then a detailed analysis of fiscal and monetary policy will follow with pros and cons of different approaches to modeling various policies, including possibilities for forecasting. A separate module of the course is devoted to the growth theory, including the discussion of modern models of exogenous and endogenous growth applied to urgent economic problems. As a result of studying this course the students should be ready for a substantial part of their candidate minimum exam as well as be ready to place their own research into a wider context of economic theory.

Economics of energy and environment

The course presents a number of issues related to economics of natural resources and environment, discusses sustainable development and rational usage of natural resources. The students will learn about mathematical methods used in this sphere of economic research and will study the main models. They will learn how to model different natural resources and will pay a special attention to modeling exhaustible natural resources (including optimal distribution of mining in time). The students will also learn main mathematical models for analyzing externalities (in the example of environmental pollution). As a result of the course the students will be able to develop dynamic mathematical models for various kinds of natural resources, to analyze them critically and to suggest policy advice based on these models.

Economics of human capital

Program:
MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
3
The course discusses a variety of aspects related to human capital. The students will discuss the definition of human capital, how it differs from a more conventional notion of labour, and what constitutes human capital (education, skills and health). The students will learn how demand for various components of human capital is formed, and how economists model household decision-making process of human capital acquisition (including such issues as migration, education enrollment, quantity of children, or investments into health). The students will learn how to estimate effectiveness of various economic policy measures aimed at increasing human capital, and factors that determine effectiveness.

Economics of migration

Program:
MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
3
The course introduces a wide range of migration-related economic issues to the students. The students will discuss migration from a historical perspective and how motives for migration were changing throughout the years. The students will learn about the ways to model migration decisions as economic decisions — both for the migrants and for the accepting countries. The students will learn how to estimate migration effects on wages and employment as well as on industrial structure and technological development. The students will discuss economic and cultural assimilation of migrants and how migration influences children of migrants (migrants in the second generation) as well as migration consequences for the countries that are migrant sources.

Financial management

Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»
Credits:
2
The course introduces students to issues of company’s valuation and analysis of its financial reports. The students will learn how internal financial relations within the firm are organized, what are firm’s main financial reporting documents, how assets and liabilities are structured, how the profit is formed, as well as where money comes from and goes to. The students will master different tools for quantitative comparison of financial flows, including discounting, comparison of cash flows at different points in time, estimation of financial operations’ risks. The students will also study how the company’s environment affects its activities. The most important that students will take out of this course is that consistent and careful analysis of the seemingly dull accounting documents can tell a lot about the company – how it evolves in time and in comparison with other companies from the same industry.

Financial markets: Institutions and instruments

Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»; MA «Исследовательская экономика»; MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
2
The course aims to introduce basic notions related to modern financial system. The students will learn the differences between financial markets, financial institutions and financial instruments and how they jointly form the financial system. During the course the students will learn basic financial instruments and their specific features, will master basic financial calculations and understand the basics of forming investment portfolios. The students will learn about formal and shadow parts of the financial markets, about banking and non-banking institutions, and how regulators have to find the midway between regulation and freedom.

Financial risk management and financial regulation

Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»
Credits:
2
The course discusses the notion of risk and its use in finance. The students will learn the difference between risk and uncertainty, and will master the main methods of risk estimation. The students will understand the sources of such risk types as market risk, credit risk, and operational risk, and will learn main ways to manage these risks. The students will study main principles of modern financial regulation and will understand why Central banks of almost all countries became recently megaregulators responsible not only for the banking system, but also for insurance and — wider — financial markets. The students will also discuss main principles of financial supervision systems in relation to banking and insurance segments of financial system.

Game theory

Program:
МА «Финансовая экономика»; MA «Исследовательская экономика»; MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
3
The course in game theory introduces modeling principles for situations when agents influence each other through their actions. During the course the students will understand why leading mobile operators are unlikely to get monopolistic profits, why OPEC+ is not able to influence oil price for a lengthy period of time, and how to make good decisions in a war situation or in a family circle. The students will learn to make their choices accounting for the actions of people around them, and will understand why often the best choice is a random one, and why the majority choice is not necessarily the best one. The students will also learn why it is so difficult for people to come to an agreement, and how to create correctly working mechanisms for allocation of scarce resources in different spheres — from allocating government contracts to donor organs.

Health economics I: Economic analysis of health care systems

Professor:
Program:
MA «Исследовательская экономика»; MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
3
The course introduces students to the art of economic analysis of healthcare systems as an economic industry. The students will discuss how major agents in the field — the government, insurance companies, health care providers and patients — interact between themselves in their respective capacities. The students will learn about global tendencies of the population health accounting for changes in demographic structure, income and life style. The students will understand main issues of medical/life insurance — adverse selection and moral hazard — and will realize why some programmes of medical insurance come into force after a substantial lag. The students will master the art of economic evaluation of medical programmes and will understand main models of organization and financing of healthcare systems.

Health economics II: Social and behavioural aspects

Professor:
Program:
MA «Исследовательская экономика»; MA «Экономика человека»
Credits:
3
The course discusses issues of demand for health and healthcare services formation. The students will discuss how people’s behaviour influences their health and their readiness/willingness to keep it in good shape. The students will also learn how socio-economic profile influences person’s lifetime health and if it’s true that more educated people lead healthier lifestyle. The students will consider communication of people with healthcare system as a separate economic industry (the issue of patient-oriented behaviour of doctors we’ll leave to appropriate branches of science). The students will learn to model «health production» and demand for health (and, accordingly, for healthcare services). The students will master the use of available sources of information to measure health status and to identify socio-economic factors that influence health status. As a result of this course the students will be informed about inequality in health and healthcare access and about ways to decrease this inequality.

Industrial organization

Professor:
Program:
MA «Исследовательская экономика»
Credits:
5
The course combines the modern theories with empirical evidence about the organization of firms and industries. In this course, we discuss the strategic behavior of firms creating and maintaining market power, imperfectly competitive markets, industries' contributions to economic welfare and government regulatory policy.

Institutional economics

The course covers a number of issues related to the notion of «institutions» that are loosely defined as «rules of the game» and include both formal and informal rules and practices. The students will learn how modeling of institutions and their specifics allows to explain difference in income between countries and «poverty trap», why no country can easily help everyone during an epidemic, but some countries are better at containing the disease, or when and what for to increase retirement age. The students will discuss how the choice of institutions define the trajectory of their development and which mechanisms are possible in different institutional systems, and how all of these issues in the end influence economic development of a country.