Course Components

While the program is subject to modification to reflect changing needs, it normally consists of the components outlined below. More details can be found by downloading the 2017 program.

Introduction and Course Overview
This session provides an overview of the goals and contents of the course and establishes the context for each of the segments to follow.

Austrian and European Political and Economic Issues
Austrian Authorities (1 WEEK)
Participants are introduced to the JVI’s host country, Austria—its historical, constitutional, cultural, economic, political, and European dimensions—and learn about the functioning of the European Economic and Monetary Union. During this segment, participants typically visit the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and a research institute that specializes in the study of transition economies.

Macroeconomic Management Issues
This segment introduces participants to the economic analysis underlying the design of macroeconomic policies, with special attention devoted to how financial sector issues interact with macroeconomic management. It also explores the interrelations between the different sectors of an economy and lays the conceptual foundations for the subsequent Workshop on Financial Programming. Key topics that are covered include macroeconomic stabilization, structural policies and economic growth, public debt sustainability and fiscal rules, frameworks for monetary and exchange rate policies, and international capital flows. The segment also examines the global financial crisis and the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, macro-financial linkages, and financial stability more generally. In workshops, participants analyze macroeconomic issues based on illustrative country cases, and debate policy issues relevant for the region.

Financial Programming
This segment reviews the analytical framework, techniques, and policy issues that arise when preparing a macroeconomic adjustment program, building on the concepts presented in the course segment on Macroeconomic Management Issues. The content and design of financial programming is covered in depth. Participants learn to make projections of the real, fiscal, external, and monetary sectors of an economy. They are divided into small workshop groups and, working under the direction of a counselor, construct macroeconomic forecasts for a country case study. On the basis of their forecasts, participants prepare an adjustment program for the country case study in which policy proposals are identified and quantified within the framework of a coordinated financial program.

Financial Sector Issues
This segment provides a comprehensive introduction to financial stability issues. It covers a wide selection of interrelated topics and complements the Macroeconomic Management Issues segment. As a starting point, it reviews the costs of financial instability and discusses the economic rationale for financial regulation. It then goes on to discuss the emergence of the current financial crisis and its implications for financial regulation, especially in the banking sector. The presentations review the changes to the institutional framework and substance of new financial regulation in Europe with special emphasis on macroprudential policy. The course includes an illustration of macroprudential instruments and tools and their implementation in selected countries. A part of the segment is devoted to assessing methods of liquidity risk and credit risk and their usage in a banking stress test environment. Finally, the segment embeds the debate in a broader international discussion on financial stability issues with special focus on the financial development of emerging markets.

Trade Policy and International Trade Regimes
The aim of this course segment is to provide participants with the foundations of the theory of international trade and trade policy and the international trading system. The first part combines insights from the economics of trade and trade policy with practical applications that focus on specific conditions of transition countries. The part dealing with the multilateral trading system addresses issues related to WTO Agreements and negotiations.

The course gives participants (i) the basic framework to understand the determinants of trade, the linkages between trade and macroeconomic policy, the welfare and distributional implications of different trade policy instruments, and the role of openness and international trade agreements in economic performance and development; and (ii) a deeper understanding of the institutions, rules and processes shaping trade policy and their underlying economic rationales, with special emphasis on the role of WTO Agreements and their disciplines, and on the negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda.

Course Evaluation and Concluding Session
After each course segment, participants complete evaluation questionnaires to assess the particular segment and provide suggestions for improvements. At the end of the course, participants are asked to fill in an extensive online evaluation form and to give feedback for the entire AEP course.

In the concluding session, participants meet with the Course Director to evaluate the effectiveness of the course, in particular the contents of each segment and how each segment contributed to the overall course. Participants are asked to provide specific suggestions for improvements and to assess how they have benefited from the course. They are also asked to comment on how they will apply the knowledge they have obtained to their jobs when they return to their home countries. Following the discussion, participants complete a written evaluation form. At the end of the course, each participant receives a certificate for the successful completion of the course.

Throughout the course, participants are evaluated by the segment directors based on the participants’ comprehension of the material, their contributions to the discussions, their written and oral presentation skills, and their teamwork skills. The scores for the various segments are aggregated, and the most active and best-performing participants in the course are awarded a letter of excellence.

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