Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl, Ph.D.

Courses

EC306: International Economics 

The study of international trade focuses on transactions that “involve a physical movement of goods or a tangible commitment of economic resources” (Krugman and Obstfeld, p. 8). International trade uses the standard tools of economic analysis. It deals with interaction between sovereign states, and as such, it also focuses on government policies and examines their effect on international trade patterns.The objective of the course is, therefore, to familiarize you with some of the key economic tools that can be used to analyze international trade-related issues. We will examine various theories of trade, welfare implications of different trade policies; the political economy of trade policies; global trading arrangements, including GATT and WTO; the relationship between trade and various social and political issues. Some questions that we will seek to answer are: Why do countries trade? Why do countries use or abuse trade policy? Is trade always beneficial? 

EC202: Principles of Macroeconomics 

 This course provides an introduction to the field of macroeconomics, i.e. the study of the economy as a whole. Since macroeconomic conditions affect everyone in the economy, macroeconomics plays a key role in political debates and has particular relevance to public policy. The course will introduce the basic concepts and tools of macroeconomics and illustrate their applications to real world policy. It is designed to provide students with a framework that can be used to analyze aggregate (economy-wide) issues such as unemployment, growth rate, inflation, and monetary and fiscal policy.

  EC435XW: Institutions and Economic Development - C&C course 

 Institutions are “humanly devised constraints that structure political, economic and social interactions” (North 1991, p. 97). They consist of formal rules (constitutions, laws, political systems) and informal constraints (social norms, customs, religious beliefs, trust). While formal rules can be changed quickly, informal constraints possess significant inertia and evolve over long periods of time. Moreover, a successful institutional arrangement requires a fit between formal rules and informal constraints.   This course's objective is to explore what the determinants of institutions are, how institutions evolve, and how institutions affect economic development. Some specific questions the course will address are: How do differences between the common law and the civil law systems affect patterns of economic development? What is the significance of a country’s colonial origin for present-day economic performance? Do religious beliefs matter for economic growth? How does trust in political institutions or in people in general affect economic development? Does transplantation of formal institutions work or should countries develop indigenous institutions? Does international aid help or harm economic and institutional development?  What are the origins of corruption and why is it more prevalent in some cultures than in others?