Political Economy of Development in the Middle East and North Africa

ENS, Spring 2019

SIPA, Columbia University, Spring 2017, 2018

The course aims to provide graduate students with an introduction to the key debates in social science research that can guide policy-making in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. The MENA region faces unprecedented challenges. The lack of progress in political and economic governance, conflicts, and unresolved development challenges underlie slow economic growth, high unemployment – especially among youth and women – and a system of crony capitalism that is increasingly narrower and less performing. This course aims to provide students with a good understanding of the development challenges of the region and its complex political economy, with the aim of supporting policy-making at all levels – national, local, and among civil society groups, and along several socio-economic domains.

Corporate Finance and Policies for Emerging Countries

ENS, Fall 2019

SIPA, Columbia University, Fall 2017

The class focuses on the working of the Firm, and on the public policies to enhance its development, with a focus on financial markets. In the first part of the course, we will explore the concepts needed to understand the workings of the corporation – how its various stakeholders connect, how the agency costs that affect these relations are minimized, and the resulting determinants of a firm’s financing and investment decisions Second, we will focus on how public policy, and a changing world, affect firms’ performance. Here we will focus principally on the effects of the development of the financial market, but we will also explore how financial markets interact with the legal framework, the investment climate, competition policy, industrial policy, and the international trade and FDI regimes to determine productivity and growth of various types of firms. Finally, we will look at broader influences, from society, and politics, on the workings of corporations.

Applications and Cases in International Development

Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Fall 2012

This course has two objectives: first, to systematically explore the nature of change in the development process, and of the associated role of policy and institutional design; and second, to illustrate the use of the range of concepts and techniques learned in other Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) core courses in the diagnosis of development change. This will include the normative analysis of change (applying various concepts of well-being, efficiency, social justice and poverty), the application of economic concepts (to the interpretation of household and firm behavior, strategic interactions and economy-wide patterns), and the role of political, governmental and social behavior in shaping the possibilities for, drivers of and resistance to change. This will be undertaken through a mixture of discussion of overall patterns backed by a strong focus on case studies in particular country settings. Examples of topics are education, health, economic growth, the management of financial crises, pension reform, managing common property resources, international migration, community development, the design of decentralization and corporate structure. The core teaching will be complemented by a visiting speaker series, from the worlds of ideas and practice, to both expose students to a variety of perspectives and actual experience; this will be drawn both from faculty and outside the school.

Policy Analysis Seminar

Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Fall 2012, 2013, 2014

The purpose of the seminar is to support, through presentations, group and individual discussion, students in writing the capstone product of their MPA/ID program degree. The class experience is tailored to provide an environment for building and expanding a number of critical professional competencies. The seminar is delivered through a combination of seminars, relationships with adviser and section leader, and interaction with other students all meant to build these competencies.