3:00 PM - 5:50 PM
Course ID
Fall 2017

This course is about economic policymaking in practice, with emphasis in Latin America. It is structured around a set of topics with particularly salient challenges in the region in areas widely related to fiscal policy both from the income and from the expenditure side and its implications from the macroeconomic perspective as well as for subnational governments, firms, and households. During the course, students will learn and discuss some of the policy dilemmas in various areas ranging from fiscal rules and tax policy to mining royalties to subsidies for poverty alleviation and access to finance. In addition, one overarching question in the course will be: why policies are often not optimal in spite of a common (or at least widespread) understanding of the desirable course of action? From the policy maker´s perspective, the course examines different types of obstacles: political economy issues (conflicts between interested parties), lack of resources (financial, human), coordination problems within government (between regions, sectors, agencies, branches of government), tradeoffs between economic efficiency and distribution, etc. The instructor will draw extensively from her own first-hand experience in Colombia, but will bring examples from other countries in the region (and occasionally outside of it) as well. Students will prepare and present case studies to be discussed in class.