Descriptions of Core and Elective Courses

MA in Public Management

Core Required Courses

Microeconomics I
Microeconomics is the study of the interaction of consumers and firms within specific markets, under the premise that these individual agents are maximizing their benefit -whatever it may be. We will start the course discussing the interaction of supply and demand in a competitive market, which are two commonly known economic concepts.
Then we will devote the most significant part of the semester to see how these two simple and powerful concepts are related to the problem of benefit maximization by individual agents. We will then devote the last part of the course to complicate the basic model so that it is more realistic or that it answers specific questions.
The course assumes that students have no previous knowledge of economics and requires only basic mathematics. Students are encouraged now to refresh their knowledge of basic linear algebra -specifically, linear equations. We will compensate the lack of mathematical complexity by using a lot of graphics.

Mathematics for Economics and Management (B)
(First 5 weeks of Mathematics for Economics and Management (A))
This course introduces a variety of fundamental mathematical tools that are useful in analyzing economic and social issues.

Statistics for Economics and Management
This course introduces students to basic theories of probability. The objective of the course is to understand the assumptions (requirements) of statistical decision making and to get used to the idea of probability. This process lays the groundwork for a sequence of econometrics courses. As you may know, econometrics is the most widely used tool for analyzing data in economics. You are expected to use econometrics in your thesis if you are interested in empirical research.

Public Management
This course, maybe called as public administration, provides students in PMPP with an introduction to research and theory in public management. Public management is to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in public organizations, more specifically government. We explore administrative environments, individual public managers, their functional roles (e.g., service delivery), public organizations (bureaucracy), and their relationships to improve the outcome of government.

Applied Econometrics
The course introduces basic econometric techniques including advanced linear regression, discrete dependent variables, truncated models, simultaneous equations, and time series models. Emphasis is placed on applied methods rather than econometric theory.

Public Policy Process
As a dialogue between society and government, public policy is understood as a stated/unstated course of action by government to achieve a desirable status of society. This class will equip students with an advanced understanding of theoretical and practical issues of the policy process at the different levels of government. The focus will be both on the dynamic interface between society and government and on the political nature of the process. The students will read and discuss different theories and models proposed to explain the complexity and dynamics of the process whose key components are agenda setting, legitimization, implementation, and evaluation. Recognizing diversities across countries, student will also develop skills to apply such theories and models to analyze specific aspects of the policy process in particular countries.

Public Policy Modeling and Management Science
This policy modeling course, maybe called as management science or operations research, introduces modeling methods that are commonly used by public managers encountering a variety of policy problems. We concentrate on major methods (e.g., linear programming) and key ideas that can be applied to other methods and situations. This course briefly touches upon optimizations and algorithms but does not go deeply. Then we will solve actual policy problems by applying methods. The ultimate goal of this course is to provide students with abilities to formulate policy problems properly and interpret results correctly.

Public Administration
This course examines the role of the government bureaucracy in democracy. The course is divided into two parts. The first part explores tensions between bureaucracy and democracy. Modern democratic governance heavily relies on bureaucracy, but there is a concern that powerful bureaucracies may limit the capacity of democratic political systems due to the lack of accountability mechanism to the public. We will study the issues of delegation and accountability in democracies as well as the institutional characteristics of modern democracies. The second part examines the balance between bureaucratic elements and democratic elements in the Japanese polity. We will particularly focus on the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats during the period of high economic growth after the 1960s.

Public Finance and Budgeting
Public budget is the most distilled statement of what government does with its price tag attached, and budgeting is how it decides on that, essentially a political process. This course addresses how government at different levels manages its purse, money, equipping students with both theoretical understanding and practical analytical skills. The topics covered include, but are not limited to, budgetary institutional arrangements and process, roles of key budget actors and decision-making, budgetary constraints, performance, privatization and contracting, a diverse set of skills and tools in preparing and implementing budgets, and comparative differences across countries.

Elective Required Courses

Comparative Analysis of Public Policy
This course introduces students to the basic framework and key concepts of policy research that provide foundations for understanding the political environment of public policy-how and why political actors reach particular policy decisions. We will focus on the incentives of political actors and the process of policy-making to identify patterns of behavior and outcomes. This class will also offer an opportunity to meet with a policy expert (such as a Japanese government official or think-tank researcher) to learn more about issues we do not cover in the course.

Comparative Government and Politics
This is a course on comparative politics?one of the major disciplines in political science, along with international relations and political theory. The course is especially intended to provide an overview of internal political structures and various political actors involved in policy-making processes. To examine similarities and differences across political systems, we will focus on the analysis of domestic politics (we will conduct the analysis in a comparative manner).

Cost Benefit Analysis
This course is intended to provide a clear understanding and guidance in the use of benefit-cost analysis while evaluating development projects that bear major resource and policy implications. This course requires a basic knowledge of microeconomics. Wherever possible, examples are used to aid the exposition. Certainly, this is not a course on pure microeconomics or welfare economics exclusively. Microeconomic and welfare concepts that are relevant in benefit-cost analysis will be discussed. Particular attention will be given to practical analysis with emphasis on the use of shadow prices, the use of consumers’ surplus and the problems of valuing goods that do not have market prices. Students are encouraged to participate effectively in class discussions. Take home problems will be given during the course. There will be a final examination at the end of the course. Power point presentation of lecture notes will be distributed to students.

Cross Sectional and Panel Data Analysis
This course is a continuation of the Research Methodology which was offered in the Spring term. This course and Research Methodology constitute a sequence of two courses that teach cross sectional and panel data econometric techniques. Research methodology focused on the linear regression model. This course’s main focus is on limited dependent and qualitative variable models, such as probit and logit models, tobit models, Heckman sample selection bias correction and duration models. These models are used, for example, to analyze the labor force participation decisions or the unemployment duration. However, we also cover linear regression models that were not covered in Research methodology, such as the instrumental variable estimation.

Development Economics
This course introduces students to typical topics in development economics. Both micro and macro issues in development economics will be covered. For example, we will discuss rural credit issues. Informal money lenders, such as landlords and shopkeepers, offer loans with high interest rates in rural credit markets. What prevents formal lenders, such as government and commercial banks, from participating in rural credit markets in spite of the prevalent high interest rates? For another example, we will study agricultural land tenancy. In Latin American countries, land tenancy is largely in the form of fixed rent, whereas Asian tenancy is characterized by a high incidence of sharecropping. Where does the difference come from? My hope is that students find one or more topics particularly interesting, so you can work on the chosen topic as your thesis project or even as your research project after graduating from IUJ.

Environmental Policy
This class is designed to expose students to major debates over environmental policy in the developed as well as developing countries. The class will focus on the way that different organizational, economic, institutional, social, and cultural factors play out to shape environmental policy and politics in a comparative perspective. While all relevant environmental issues are covered such as global warming, clean water and air, biodiversity, deforestation, economic development, energy, and transportation, alternatives for better environmental policy governance will be explored to engage actors at different levels from the grass-roots to the international organizations. At the same time, different policy tools for dealing with environmental protection and sustainable development will be introduced. A major theme of the class will be that environmental policy is at the crossroad of differing/conflicting values and interests both of society and across countries. To drive the point home, the class will use a mix of different theories of the policy process with case studies in the United States and other countries.

Foundations of Web Technologies
Main domain providing all kinds of information and services. As organizations try to expand their reach to citizens and wide geographical areas, Internet has become the cheapest and main mode of reach, in many countries. From plain information sharing to cost cutting to full-blown e-Government, managing global supply chains and managing employees to all kinds of dealings with customers or citizens, Internet has become the norm at present. New tools as well had come up that would enable developers to comfortably integrate various applications from third parties into their own websites. Thus knowing the fundamentals of the technologies, what we call “Foundations of Web Technologies”, is vital for any professional who needs to think broadly on the using them or making various project planning and policy decisions on using Internet or e-Government technologies.

International Organizations
This course explores theoretical perspectives on the formation, processes, functions, and effects of international organizations in contemporary world politics. Questions include how ideas about cooperation among sovereign states in the anarchical international system have emerged, been put into practice, and influenced state behavior. Since the study of international organizations is that of state cooperation, the course necessarily covers theories of international relations. Students who do not have a background in international relations will be provided with some supplementary catch-up readings.

Japanese Public Finance and Administration
The course analyzes the system of the Japanese public finance and administration. Japan has employed a centralized system introducing Western countries’ various social mechanisms since Meiji Restoration and succeeded in catching up with the Western countries. After World War II, the Japanese government introduced Keynesian policy to strengthen social infrastructures that stimulated both supply side and demand side of the economy with a large amount of government debts. In the course, the role of central and local government is examined elucidating the public money flows through taxation system, local allocation tax system, etc.

Microeconomics II
This course extends and generalizes the basic framework of microeconomic theory. Assumptions on no market failure will be released to consider asymmetric information, externalities, public goods, and strategic interaction among agents, in which markets themselves do not work well. This course also extends an equilibrium in a single market into a general equilibrium in multiple markets.

Policy Evaluation and Management
The major objectives of the course “Policy Evaluation & Management” is to learn theories and practices of policy evaluation and management, including challenges, both at national and local levels of governments. In the course, various evaluation practices as well as some practical methodologies will be discussed.

Project Cycle Management
Project Cycle Management Course is designed to provide students with a practical knowledge of the management method, skill and tool for development projects including ODA projects and NGO’s projects. We will start with the concept of development project and project management. We will focus on Project Cycle Management that is one of management methods widely used at the planning, implementing and evaluating stages of development projects. The course introduces some relevant cases and lectures’ experience, which enables students to understand how projects are planned, monitored and evaluated in the real context. Some important concepts for project formulation such as participatory development, ownership by stakeholders, institutional development, gender issue, environmental aspects and appropriate technology will be discussed. Also, MDGs, Aid coordination, and harmonization will be covered.

Public Finance
The aims of this course are to introduce students basic concepts of public finance, particularly in the context of macroeconomic policies. The course will also provide students relevant theoretical methods to analyze government public finance policies. The course will emphasize on applications of advanced macroeconomics to public finance, where microeconomics assumptions such as the optimal behavior of each agent over time are introduced. Thus the course will include the review of introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Public Human Resource Management
Human resource management is becoming more important for the organization’s effectiveness of public sectors. The primary objective of this course is to assist students in acquiring knowledge and developing skills necessary to effectively manage human resources in public organizations as HR professionals, HR managers, or functional managers who need to control their section or department from a standpoint of HRM. Students will be introduced to conceptual frameworks and diagnostic tools that can be used to understand and analyze the various inter-related activities and functions that are the foundation of an effective human resource management system in public sectors.

Public International Law
Law plays an indispensable, if not necessarily central, role in society. Not only does law curb the harmful behaviour of its addressees; it also promotes and facilitates interaction between them. In addition, law provides for the protection of basic social values. Indeed, any socially responsible conduct involves a degree of familiarity with the law applicable to it. The same is increasingly true in today’s international society. Modern international law concerns itself with a broad spectrum of matters between, across and even within states. For both scholars and practitioners of international affairs, general proficiency in international law is now a prerequisite. In this course, participants critically explore international law’s fundamental structures; salient issues it deals with, such as force, terrorism, human rights and the environment; and the consequences of its breaches. Designed for students with or without prior legal training, the course will prepare them for their future endeavours in politics, diplomacy, international civil service, peace and security, human rights, development and environmental protection.

Public Management Information Systems
Pubic management information systems (PMIS) studies the ways that government can use information systems or electronic government (e-government) effectively to improve productivity, transparency, and accountability in the public sector.
Information systems consist of not only technologies but also people and organizations. The objective of this course is to help future public managers understand fundamental concepts and technological building blocks of information systems; recognize managerial issues and politics associated with the government information systems; understand the importance of technology standard and accessibility/usability of Web sites, and develop an ability to manage information systems in the public and nonprofit sectors. The course emphasizes both theoretical and practical aspects of information systems.

Research Methodology
Knowledge of regression model and its extension is essential for doing empirical work in economics and other social sciences. The purpose of this course is to teach student econometric and computational skills which are necessary for data analysis. The emphasis will be placed on application of the theory from a practical point. Topics include Simple and Multiple Linear Regressions, Panel Data Models (fixed and random effects models), Instrumental Variable Approach, Two Stages Least Squares and the sampling procedure.