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Maestría en Economía de las Políticas Públicas

First Semester

In this course, we seek to understand the nature of the public sector and how government decisions affect the economy. To that effect, we will first discuss the main theories of the public sector to understand its nature, scope and limitations. Then, we analyze the State’s role as regulator of the market’s main efficiency faults. To do so, we will observe the role the government plays in providing public goods, its relationship with positive and negative externalities and its responsibility in light of markets with imperfect competition. The final part of the course studies the government’s role in improving the equity of allocations. As such, we will study the social choice theory, the problem of redistribution and will end with an analysis of taxation.

The approach to macroeconomics in this course is not based on the various macroeconomic theories, but on the large problems faced by agents that design a country’s economic and social policies, such as the tension between the demand for social public spending and the legal, financial and monetary balances. Or, for example, the arbitration between employment protection policies and long-term growth policies during times of recession.

This introductory course to studying public policies has two core objectives, and, as such, is divided in two: the nature of public policies and its applications. In the first part, we will study the essential aspects of public policies, defining this type of interventions and describing the process through which they are designed, developed, implemented and evaluated. To that effect, it is important to understand how agents, institutions and processes that give rise to public policy interact. In the second part, we analyze concrete cases in specific branches, such as: education, health, environment, security and defense, among others.

Applied regression methods: Econometrics is a conflation of economic theory, mathematical theory, economic statistics and mathematical statistics. Economic theory makes statements or formulates mostly qualitative hypotheses. The main concern of mathematical economics is to express an economic theory in a mathematical form (equations) while disregarding the theory’s experimental measurement or verification. An econometrician is interested in experimentally verifying the economic theory. An econometrician uses the equations proposed by the mathematical economist, but does so in such a way that they are subject to experimental testing or corroboration. The means to raise the issue of estimating and inferring uses tools that are generic to all economists, particularly optimization. The course’s methodology emphasizes this kind of approach to econometrics and statistical inference.

Advanced Econometrics: Econometrics takes care of analyzing data that describe economic phenomenon. To do so, it combines Economic Theory, Economic Mathematics and Statistics. Economic theory formulates mostly qualitative hypotheses, questions and models. Mathematical Economics expresses an economic theory in a mathematical form (equations) while disregarding the theory’s experimental measurement or verification. Statistics provides the models and methods that facilitate said experimental verification. An econometrician seeks to experimentally measure and test hypotheses proposed by economic theory using the equations proposed by mathematical economics. This course is comprised of the basic topics of Econometrics at a level for advanced education students.

This course's main objective is for professionals who enter Universidad del Rosario to carry out their postgraduate studies to reflect on the basic learning tools and skills that they use every day in their professional lives. To do so, this institutional course will provide the fundamental tools for postgraduate students to be capable of detecting strengths and weaknesses in order to build their personal academic project from the Universidad del Rosario (Rosarista) project.

In the framework of this course, the activities are carried out on and transferred to the virtual institutional learning platform, for which reason this course will be completely virtual. In this space, students will be able to navigate the web for content such as multimedia products, registries and evaluation activities freely, without restrictions and accompanied by a virtual professor or tutor. The course is divided into the following study or learning modules: Historical Trajectory, Academic Support Tools and History and Institutional Project.

Second Semester

¿What is the State’s role in a market economy? ¿What kind of optimal decisions and allocations are achieved through governments? ¿How is the collective decision-making process carried out and what are the intentional and unintentional consequences of this process? The purpose of this course is to understand public policy decisions as a result of equilibrium generated by strategic interactions between politicians and citizens, whose decisions are molded by their preferences, incentives and institutions.

In the first part of the course, we will study how this process occurs when we discuss why citizens vote, how candidates compete and how these two kinds of actors relate, focusing on the issues of agency and accountability. In the second part, we will analyze some consequences of the collective decision-making process and their direct impact on redistribution. However, it would be naive to regard the State merely as a benevolent planner whose primary interest is to maximize social well-being. The public sector is made up of rational agents with individual interests that may go against collective benefits. Consequently, we will study the State’s faults in the third part of the course, analyzing the political economy of rent-seeking, clientelism, corruption and war.

*Prerequisite: Advanced Econometrics or Applied Regression Methods.

**The first semester of the year is taught in Spanish and the second semester in English.

Impact evaluation has been consolidated as one of the most important tools for developing, implementing and analyzing public policies. In essence, impact evaluation uses quantitative tools in order to solve the fundamental problem of causal inference: our inability to simultaneously observe a unit of analysis being treated and not being treated. Therefore, in this course we will study the main experimental and non-experimental techniques of causal inference. These tools, when implemented well, allow answering the question of what would have happened to an individual that received treatment or intervention if that individual had not received it. The course will be theoretical and empirical, since we will present the theoretical foundations of each technique and subsequently implement them in Stata with real examples and databases.

These are courses the student is free to choose.
These are courses the student is free to choose.

Third Semester

In most cases, the thesis will correspond to a research document in which the students address an economic phenomenon with public policy implications. Methodologically, students are given the freedom to use theoretical or experiential approaches, using quantitative, formal, experimental, qualitative or historical methods.

To support students in preparing their thesis, the Faculty has created a space coordinated by tenure-track professors in which registered students will have the opportunity to present their proposals and develop them, as well as receive feedback from said professor and classmates. This course will have meeting spaces defined by the professor(s) in charge from the beginning of the semester, on Fridays from 7:30 to 9 AM and a numerical score given by the respective professors according to the students' performances and progress. Of the 5 credits that correspond to the Master's thesis, 2 of them are derived from this thesis seminar and the other 3 from the grade for the thesis defense. In addition, a discussion board with a policy maker will be offered once a month, which will be obligatory to attend for students registered in the Thesis Seminar course.

*Note: The Faculty reserves the right to modify the curriculum.

The curriculum is based on a conceptual and methodological framework associated to microeconomics and quantitative tools, as well as understanding the issues of public policies and their design, implementation and evaluation. This is achieved by studying issues regarding the national and international actuality, and is implemented by carrying out projects applied in most courses and interacting in discussion forums with public policy actors

In this way, during the first semester, we seek to give students the technical tools and basic knowledge necessary to be able to address public policy issues rigorously. During the second semester, we aim for students to further delve into certain core subjects of the Master’s Program and in the fields they themselves have chosen.


This Master’s Degree can be attended full or part-time in day-time classes from Monday to Saturday. We will make sure to offer classes at times that are compatible with work hours. However, some flexibility is required for attending to related activities.

  • Total program credits: 37
  • Mandatory credits 24
  • Thesis course credits 5
  • Elective credits 8
  • Basic coursework (subject to evaluation upon entry) 2
  • Class hours per week 1:3