Solving societal problems often requires a solid multidisciplinary preparation. The Economics and Governance specialisation, offered jointly by the Department of Economics and the Institute of Public Administration, combines insights from the two disciplines.
The Master of Public Administration prepares students for analysing and addressing societal problems in the overarching framework of public governance. In this specialisation we combine this framework with a strong foundation of economics as well as an applied approach to societal problems. Students develop skills to conduct economic analysis of current policy problems and to identify an appropriate policy response, recognising for example the difficulty of all different public and private stakeholders involved.
The focal point of the programme is on welfare states and markets. Students learn about the role of government in creating, facilitating and controlling markets (e.g. competition policy, regulation). We will also examine the status of the current welfare state, such as the pension system, social security, labour markets, and income distribution in society. We examine the challenges that the welfare state currently confronts and analyse policy responses to address the problems, both from an empirical and theoretical viewpoint. Furthermore, as increasingly recognised by scholars and policy-makers, the institutional framework (standards, procedures, and norms, also non-governmental actors) is an important precondition for well-functioning economies. Understanding markets within such institutional complexity as well as within the global context is an important characteristic of the program. This combination of Public administration and Economics focused on markets, governance and regulation is a unique approach.
The specialisation aims to develop professionals who are able to address policy problems broadly, and in the field of social policy and market regulation specifically; professionals who recognise the assumptions and choices they make in their decisions, and who can stand on strong theoretical and applied knowledge as well as academic and professional skills throughout their career.
“We examine complex issues that require understanding of how policy decisions are made.”
The Economics and Governance specialisation addresses the key challenges that our modern economies face. Many of these challenges lie at the intersection of economics on the one hand and governance on the other hand.
The programme includes courses on economic policy analysis, which are strongly related to our own research. For instance, we examine labour market and pension reform against the background of the ageing of populations. Another example is that we study the effects of globalisation on income inequality. Intriguingly, such complex issues require understanding of how policy decisions are made.
Students of Economics and Governance develop their skills in economic reasoning, conducting economic analysis, and working with data and statistics. We believe that these skills are becoming more and more important on the labour market.