Curriculum

Structure of the Program

The Master of Arts in Economics is a full-time program of two years’ rigorous study of the fundamentals of modern economics and a supervised Master’s thesis. Classes are organized in two semesters, with each semester comprising 15 weeks of lectures. Over the course of the two years, students complete courses worth 120 ECTS credits.  Upon completion, students are awarded a title of Master of Arts in economics (Stručni specijalist ekonomije). The structure of our program is as follows.

First year

The first year comprises two semesters. In each semester students will be offered 4 courses that carry 30 ECTS credits each, focusing on core subjects in macroeconomics, microeconomics, econometrics and finance [click on the links below].

First semester

CODECOURSEECTSLECTURERS
MT501Mathematics / Statistics7Kristina Šorić, PhD
Višnja Jurić, PhD
EC502Microeconomics 18Krešimir Žigić, PhD
Maruška Vizek, PhD
EC503Macroeconomics 18Amina Ahec-Šonje, PhD
Gordi Sušić, MSc
MT508Econometrics7Boris Podobnik, PhD
Petra Posedel, PhD
30

Second semester

CODECOURSEECTSLECTURERS
EC504Microeconomics II8Krešimir Žigić, PhD
Maruška Vizek, PhD
EC506 Macroeconomics II8Amina Ahec-Šonje, PhD
Gordi Sušić, MSc
MT511Time Series7Petra Posedel, PhD
FN604Financial Economics7Ante Žigman, PhD
30

*ZŠEM reserves the rights to change courses and lecturers

Second year

The first semester of the second year offers a wide variety of specialization courses to cover the diverse interests of students. Students will take 4 courses in the first semester, up to the total value of 30 ECTS credits. The second semester is reserved for writing the Master’s thesis, which is also worth 30 ECTS credits. The student must write an original research paper in a designated area of interest. Research is done under a faculty mentor, and the output must take the form of a publishable scientific article.

First Semester Elective courses (Chose 4 up to the total value of a minimum 30 ECTS points)

CODECOURSEECTSLECTURERS
EC602Growth Theory8Amina Ahec-Šonje, PhD
Vedrana Pribičević, MA
MT614Applied Microeconometrics8Marin Božić, PhD
EC609Game Theory7Kristina Šorić, PhD
MT604Applied Econometrics7Petra Posedel, PhD
FN613Public Finance7Ante Žigman, PhD
EC608Industrial Organization7Krešimir Žigić, PhD
MT613Panel Econometrics8Michael Brei, PhD
EC612Energy Economics7Jurica Brajković, PhD
EC613Political Economy8Vuk Vuković, MSc
Economics of the Euro7Svend E. Hougaard Jensen, PhD

Second Semester

COURSEECTS
Master Thesis30

Course description

First Year

Mathematics/Statistics  

This course is intended to develop students’ understanding of advanced mathematical and statistical techniques that are important to studying econometrics, macroeconomics, microeconomics and finance. At the end of this course students should be able to demonstrate their understanding of optimization techniques, differential equations and basic concepts of topology. Students should also be able to apply probability theory in studying econometrics.

Microeconomics 1&2

The Microeconomics 1 course introduces students to principles of microeconomic theory at a relatively advanced level. Students attending the course will become familiar with the most important models that economists use trying to explain the behaviour of consumers and firms which are central to the study of all areas of economics (micro foundations). Since microeconomic models are constructed using a wide variety of mathematical tools, students that complete the course will deepen their knowledge of optimization techniques and will become familiar with a special type of functions and their properties that are essential in solving economic problems. Microeconomics 2 (summer semester) focuses on imperfect market structures (monopoly, duopoly, oligopoly, cartels and monopolistic competition), labour supply and labour markets as well as inefficiencies arising from moral hazard and adverse selection.

Macroeconomics 1&2

Macroeconomics will familiarize students with mathematical methods used in modern macroeconomic theory as well as with their applications within few classical topics in macroeconomics. Modern macroeconomic theory is founded on microeconomics-based dynamic macroeconomic models. After introducing the basic two-period model, students will study the theory of dynamic programming applied to a few basic models of economic growth, followed by further analysis of consumption and investment.

Econometrics 

Econometrics introduces students to classical theory of econometrics. Student will become familiar with classical regression theory, estimation using ordinary least square methods as well as theory behind maximum likelihood methods and generalized method of moments. Different methods of hypothesis testing will be introduced, specific for each of the stated estimation methods. Apart from elaboration of theory of each of the mentioned concepts, a computer practicum will be an integral part of this course where students will familiarize themselves with applications of theoretical constructions.

Time Series

This course will be mostly focused on estimation of theoretical models of time series. After studying stationary univariate (ARMA processes) and multivariate (VARMA models) models, students will also be introduced to non-stationary processes and modeling methods. Also, the course addresses estimation of Kalman filters and GMM methods as two most popular methods of dynamic stochastic model estimation in general equilibrium. A computer practicum is also an integral part of this course where students will apply adopted theoretical constructions.

Financial Economics 

Financial economics deals with two principal decisions made by economic agents in the financial market: 1) optimal allocation of financial wealth across financial assets and time, and 2) determining the fair price of financial assets bought or sold. Real-world interaction of agents’ actual actions based on these decisions determines the equilibrium in the financial market under uncertainty. The course will use a multitude of case studies and examples to give the students an applicable working knowledge of some of the main financial institutions, with a particular focus on how big data works in finance.

 


Second Year

Growth Theory

Course on Growth theory will present answers to the question why economies grow. The class will introduce students to the main theoretical frameworks employed in research on economic growth and discuss the empirical evidence on these theories. We will review the Neo-classical growth model, endogenous growth theories including one-sector, two-sector, variety expansion, quality ladder, and Schumpeterian growth models.

Applied Microeconometrics 

Applied Microeconometrics course is a 2ndyear elective course targeted to students interested in learning and applying econometric tools in microeconomic analysis. Central question of interest will be how to analyze behavior and identify causality in agent-level data to obtain results that are relevant for policy makers. Focus in lectures will be on model specification, estimation and interpretation. In PC labs we will open the “black box” of model estimation, and learn in detail how to use MATLAB as a matrix programming language for data management and statistical inference. In the first part of the course, we analyze observational data that include discrete choice models, censored and truncated data models, count data and duration analysis. In the later part of the course we focus on evaluation of outcomes of policy interventions, or what is better known under phrase “treatment effects”. As central objectives of this course are to enable student to engage in empirical research and to critically evaluate empirical studies done by others, students will be asked to write a critical literature review on a topic of their choice and write original code to replicate empirical results of a leading paper in that area. These tasks will serve as a gateway towards the master thesis.

Game Theory

This course surveys the main ideas and techniques of game theoretic analysis related to strategic behaviour among parties having opposed, mixed or similar interests. Students will learn how to recognize and model strategic situations, to predict when and how their actions will influence the decisions of others and to exploit strategic situations for their own benefit. The course will focus mainly on non-cooperative game theory and its applications. The major topics covered are decision theory, strategic form games, extensive form games, Bayesian games, mechanism design, infinite horizon games and repeated games.

Applied Econometrics

An overview of the most important statistical tests. Numerical generation of statistical distributions. Linear regression models (the assumptions of the classical model). Maximum likelihood method. Predictions. Durbin-Watson statistic. Singular Value Decomposition. Multiple regression models. Multiple determination coefficients. Akaike`s and Schwarz`s criterion. Classical assumptions and their empirical foundation. Multiple regression with qualitative data (dummy variables). F-test application. Predictions. Violation of classical assumptions (heteroscedasticity). Normality and heteroscedasticity testing. Jarque-Bera test. Goldfeld-Quandt test. White test. Linear restrictions on regressive parameters.: chi2 test, LR test, LM test and Wald test. F-test application. The adding and subtracting of explanatory variables. Parametric stability testing: Chow test, Durbin-Watson test. Ljung Box test. Violation of classical assumptions II (stochastic explanatory variable). Simultaneous equations. Non-ionospheric disturbances. Generalized least squares method. Autocorrelation testing. Durbin-Watson test. Dynamic distributed lag models. ADL models. Monte Carlo simulations. Heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation in the models of time sequences. Estimation with the instrumental variable method. Estimation with the maximum likelihood method. Simultaneous equation models. Estimation methods for panel data.

Public Finance 

Public finance course deals with fiscal policy issues. The course examines policy options, with their strategic trade-offs and operational implications, for the design and implementation of public finance. The course reviews rationales for government intervention in the market place, analyzes methods of resolving conflicts over the size of the public sector budget, analyzes the rationales and issues of various sources of public revenue, and reviews the effects of public sector spending and taxes on the aggregate economy.

Industrial Organization  

This course surveys major topics in Industrial Organization. It serves as a foundation course for further studies in this area. This course forms one of the elective second year courses. The entire subject area of industrial organization is too big to be covered in one semester class. For this year we chose five subject areas: contract theories, theories of the firm, monopoly, theories of oligopoly behavior, and contractual relations between firms. Frequent examples and references will be given to agro-industrial complex because these industries are the focus of most of my recent research.

Panel Econometrics

The primary purpose of the course is to introduce students to the theory of modern panel econometrics and its applications. Approximately half of the course will be devoted to study the theoretical underpinnings of the estimation and inference techniques, which include the Fixed Effects Estimator, Instrumental Variables and Generalized Methods of Moments Estimators. The theoretical section will also include a section on Panel Vector Autoregressions and the analysis of Impulse Response Functions. The second half of the course will be devoted to empirical applications in which participants will be required to apply various of the techniques discussed in class to cross-country macroeconomic or financial series as well as to bank-level data on financial statements. Most of these applications will be performed using STATA. Some applications might involve programming of estimation and inference routines in either MATLAB or OX (DPD-package).

Energy Econometrics

This course aims at introducing students to major aspects of electricity sector. Students will learn about: fossil and renewable energy sources, transmission network, economic regulation, regulative framework, risk management, and investment tools including DCF and real options. Upon completion of the course students are expected to possess working knowledge of the functioning of electricity markets and to be able to critically assess key developments in the sector. The course will be based upon lectures, recitations and student projects. Through assigned projects which will be based on real world problems students are expected to deepen their understanding of the material.

Political Economy

The course is based on a microeconomic analysis of public policy formation and public choice theory, with an emphasis on an institutional approach in political economy. The first part will place an emphasis on how electoral competition determines the optimal size of taxation, redistribution and government spending. After that the course moves on to address the findings of public choice theory and the issues that can distort optimal outcomes in an economy. The final part looks at the effects of economic and political institutions on market outcomes. The aim of the course is to have students understand the big picture behind public policy formation, the political process and their effect on the real economy.

Economics of the Euro

The course offers a detailed account of the process towards economic and monetary union in Europe. After a short introduction into the history and an overview of the major institutions of the European Union, we will discuss the theoretical foundations of an economic and monetary union. Then we study the key monetary and fiscal policy arrangements in the euro area, including the European Central Bank and the Stability and Growth Pact. In the final part, we will evaluate the performance of the euro area in light of accumulated evidence over the past decade, and we will look ahead in order to provide an assessment of the risks and opportunities of the euro area.

1st accredited institution in Croatia

4 Palms of excellence

ZSEM became a leader in educating HR specialists