Descriptions of Core and Elective Courses

MA in Public Management


Core Required Courses

Microeconomics I
Microeconomics is mainly concerned with how individuals and firms behave in markets with different degrees of competitiveness. This course provides students with the basic concepts, analytical framework and way of thinking of microeconomics. We will first analyze how consumers and firms make decisions when markets are competitive, and how those decisions are aggregated to form market demand and supply. We will next consider imperfectly competitive markets and study how firm behavior changes as degrees of competitiveness vary.

Mathematics for Economics and Management (B)
Mathematics for Economics and Management is an intermediate course in calculus which covers topics such as functions,
limits, derivatives, integration, and optimization. The course will be useful to understand course materials in various subjects in social science such as business, economics, public management and/or political science.

Statistical Methods
This course is an introduction to probability and statistics.
The course covers descriptive statistics, basic probability theory, estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis. The goal of the course is to equip students with these statistical tools, which will form a basis for understanding econometric models in the subsequent courses.

Public Management
As public problems become “wicked,” public managers are asked to actively resolve such problems through various management strategies. As a result, along with other values, public managers give significant attention to outputs or outcomes of public management. In order for Master’s students to be prepared as effective public managers, this course is designed with the emphasis on two objectives: understanding of key concepts in public management theories and application of theories to real-world problems. At the end of the course, students are expected to be strong in both theory and practice. This course encompasses organizational goals and effectiveness, decision-making, organizational structure, and technology, values and motives, work motivation, leadership, teamwork, network & cooperation, and organizational change and development.

Data Analysis for Public Managers
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 and Instrumental Variable Estimations and the Simultaneous Equation Models.

Public Policy Process
This course is designed to acquaint you with the theoretical and practical dimensions of developing and managing effective public policy which includes your role as a policy analyst and as a proactive participant in the broader policy process working for a program or an agency. The overall focus of the class is on understanding the policy process, how to facilitate dialogue in the policy process with citizens and elected officials, how to frame issues and conduct policy analysis, and manage the policy process from agenda setting through implementation. This is the class in the MPA core classes where you learn some basics of the constitutional and policy process. You should gain an understanding and appreciation for the political and administrative environments within which public policy is developed, implemented and evaluated. You will also gain an understanding of how to assess policy environments, and policy options as well as build a case for taking policy actions. We will cover the primary models and approaches used in public policy to explain policy development and change. These models help us focus on important aspects of the policy process and understand systematically how the actors and environment work together.

Second, we will discuss the varied roles of the public manager and policy analyst. Some of these roles include facilitator, expert, policy entrepreneur working with stakeholders inside and outside the agency, policy implementer who takes policy made through statutes or court orders and effectively makes them work, and public trustee. While a public employee is obligated to play certain roles, to some degree, you will also decide what roles you think appropriate and are willing to play as an analyst, lobbyist or manager in the public policy process. Your decisions may vary depending on your view of the role of the public servant in democratic society, your personality, and your views on the flexibility or discretion inherent in following the law as written down. We will cover and try out some key skills of public managers and analysts, such as conflict resolution, policy briefing writing, speaking up in the class through short presentations and in groups, group facilitation and leading productive discussions.

Third, as a participant in the democratic policy process, you need to be a succinct, clear and persuasive writer as well as being able to speak in public forums. You will write a policy research paper using applied and commonly used writing policy formats in this class. You will work through the stages of a policy analysis report. You will work in small groups both in class and on projects. Employers consistently tell us that being good team players is perhaps the most important skill for holding a job and being promoted so we will talk about the skills and ways to manage teams.

Public Administration
This course provides an introduction to the field of public administration. The field studies how governments work—how public administration implements the laws, regulations, and policies provided by legislators and executives. You will not only learn the structures and working of public agencies but also theories that analyze activities in public administration. This course focuses primarily on national administrative systems. Critical and comparative views are emphasized.


Elective Required Courses

Comparative Government and Politics
This course provides a broad overview of the comparative politics subfield.  It focuses on relevant theoretical concepts and their application to empirical issues.  The course addresses a wide range of questions, such as: How can regimes in Latin America, South Africa or Iran be classified? Is Russia a democracy? What are the functions of the President of Germany and how do they differ from those in the USA? Why has Northern Italy developed faster than the South? Has the process of democratization in Myanmar been completed after the elections in 2015? Is there a single best set of institutions? Why do countries fail? What are the causes of current crisis in Venezuela? What electoral systems are best suited for multiethnic divided societies? We will address these and many other questions throughout the course.

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 welfare economics exclusively. 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. There will be a mid-term examination at the end of the 8th lecture and a final examination at the end of the course. Lecture notes will be distributed. Take home exercises will also be given and the answers will be discussed later in the class.

Cross Sectional and Panel Data Analysis
This course is to provide students with econometric theory and computational skills which are essential for data analysis. The emphasis will be placed on the application of the theory from a practical point. The course mainly builds upon the microeconometric methods including the linear and non-linear regressions, panel data analysis and the limited dependent variable models, and students will learn how to use Stata to conduct model estimations.

Development Economics
One out of every eight people in the world, or some 900 million people, live on less than $1.90 a day. Average per capita incomes in developed countries are ten times as high as those in developing countries. Why is the income gap between developed and developing countries so huge? What promote or inhibit economic growth? What can be done to alleviate poverty? Development economics is a branch of economics that aims to find answers to these questions. After an introduction to how to measure poverty, this course will focus on several important topics such as institutions, health, education, microfinance, and corruption, and study how these factors influence poverty and economic growth. We will also take up major poverty alleviation policies and analyze why those proved effective/ineffective in reducing poverty. The course should prove useful to students who are interested in formulating and implementing poverty alleviation policies in their future careers.

Environmental Policy
This class is designed to expose students to major debates over environmental policy process in the developing as well as developed countries with a focus on the way that different political, economic, institutional, social, and cultural factors play out to shape environmental policy and politics. For this purpose, the class applies theories of the public policy process into environmental policy and politics. Specifically, the class addresses key policy issues conspicuous in each of the stages of the environmental policy process, covering problem definition, policy formulation, decision-making, implementation, and evaluation/learning. While key relevant environmental issues are covered such as clean water and air, toxic and hazardous material, climate change, biodiversity, deforestation, and energy, different policy tools/instruments for dealing with environmental protection and sustainable development will be introduced and debated. 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, which typically go beyond technical rational analysis. To drive the point home, students will read and discuss a variety of case studies from developing and developed countries. They will also write a short case study on an environmental policy issue in their respective countries.

Financial Accounting and Reporting
This is an introductory course in financial accounting. Financial accounting focuses on the rules by which firms (and individuals) report the results of their operations to outsiders such as stockholders, potential investors, creditors, suppliers and regulatory agencies. Course objectives are to understand: 1) the important role accounting plays in society, 2) how to record business transactions and create financial statements according to generally accepted accounting principles, and 3) the important role accounting plays in allowing individuals to make informed decisions.

Health Policy
This course provides students with an economic framework for analyzing a range of health policy issues. The subject covers the key economic concepts that related to various important topics in health policy. In this course, the students will understand how the health system operates in developed and developing countries, and learn how to use economics techniques to analyze the health policy.

Information Policy and Management
This course discusses political, social, economic, and legal issues of using information and communication technologies (ICTs) so that data are properly collected, processed, and delivered to the right person at the right time. This course is required for PMPP-ISM students.

Introduction to Electronic Government
This Introduction to Electronic Government (e-government) discusses fundamental concepts and technological building blocks of information systems with a special focus on the public sectors. This course is required for PMPP-ISM students.

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 demand side and supply 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 and so on. Recently, a number of municipals were integrated and the number of municipal government bodies was decreasing from around 3,200 to 1,800 under the direction of the central government in the context of a reform of the public finance and administration. Many local (municipal) governments have a huge amount of government debt as well and some of the government bodies have a serious fiscal situation to go bankrupt with the severe financial problems; Yubari-city in Hokkaido Prefecture went bankrupt in 2006. As of FY2014, the central government accumulated public debts amounted to around one thousand trillion yen, which was 2.0 times of GDP. On the other hand, Japanese society has a lot of problems such as prolonged economic stagnation (economic deflation) during a couple of decades in the past, facing fewer children and aging society, income gap, etc. Therefore, the role of public services is getting important much more in the geriatric society, but it is expected that the fiscal balance will be worsened. In the course, we examine the role of public finance of both central and local governments in the society. The main theme of this course in Fall-term 2016 is the “possibilities of decentralization in Japan through improving efficiency of welfare and public services”. In the latter half of the term, the course focuses on the local public finance and administration with case studies. In addition, for more understanding of this issue, we are planning to have a fieldtrip visiting local government bodies and discuss some of the issues with municipal government officers in the middle of the term.

Local Government and Public Services
Local governments provide a wide range of services today. The actions that elected and unelected officials take at the local levels of government have far-reaching consequences for our lives. In this course, we will discuss topics concerning local governments such as decentralization, democratic accountability, the size of local governments, and the impacts of broader structural changes. We will also examine local government in Japan in order to relate theories and findings in the academic literature with local governments in the real world context.
By completing this course, you will:
– Become familiar with theoretical and empirical works on local governments.
– Understand the roles local governments play in providing public services.
– Be able to critically evaluate scholarly works on local governments.
– Be able to conduct independent research on local governments.

Macroeconomics Ⅰ
For government officials of modern societies, knowledge of Macroeconomics is indispensable for providing any constructive policy recommendations, which in a large extent affect people’s welfare. Even for an ordinary citizen, knowledge of Macroeconomics also plays an important role in understanding complicated (and sometimes confusing) economic phenomena in his/her daily life. Due to this importance, this course is designed to provide students a solid foundation in Macroeconomics.
Broadly speaking, the topics to be covered consist of (i) a brief introduction of national income, (ii) the meaning of inflation and its relation to the monetary system, (iii) the models of exchange rates, (iv) the determination of unemployment, and (v) basic economic growth theories. Since this course is introductory, the requirement for mathematics is NOT that high. The college-level calculus knowledge will be sufficient to understand the course materials. Actually, students will only use differential calculus but not integral calculus.

Microeconomics II
The first part of the course reviews the consumer and producer theory and deals with the general equilibrium and welfare theorem. The decision making under uncertainty shall also be discussed. The second part of the course deals with game theory and strategic behavior. Fundamental topics covered include static games, dynamic games, and their applications. We also provide an introduction to problems raised by asymmetric information, externality and public goods. There is substantial emphasis on the use of analytical and mathematical tools. These tools and the subject material underpin much of the current research in microeconomics.

Monetary Economics and Policy Analysis
This course provides students with the necessary knowledge and quantitative analysis skills of the modern business cycle theory and the stabilizing monetary policy. Our analysis is based upon the dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) framework. This framework, built on the micro-foundations, has been increasingly adopted to study business cycle fluctuations by not only academia but also policymakers (research institution). It is important to have both broad and deep understanding of this approach.
We start by building the basic concept through a standard real business cycle (RBC) model. That is, how the productivity shocks generate persistent economic fluctuations by influencing firms and consumers’ decision-making. The quantitatively effects will be examined through calibration. Next, we introduce the nominal rigidities and market frictions into the baseline model to illustrate the effect of monetary policy, and to explain how the economy can be corrected from inefficient to efficient fluctuations through the stabilizing monetary policy. We also demonstrate the level of welfare improvement achieved by various kinds of (realistic) monetary policy (the Taylor style rules).
Lastly, we illustrate some recent developments in this filed: (1) the new open economy model (NOEM), by which researchers study the policy implications for those counties largely influenced by global economy. (2) the Bayesian estimation of the DSGE model, by which researchers examine the influences of various structure shocks and the role of markets frictions in a economy.

Policy Evaluation & Management
The “Policy Evaluation & Management” is an introductory course of public policy evaluation in the context of public management. In the course, basic theories of policy evaluation will be discussed within the framework of public management. Also in the course, various policy evaluation practices as well as major practical evaluation methodologies will be discussed.

Project Cycle Management
Project Cycle Management Course is designed to provide students with a practical and academic knowledge of the management method, skill and tool for development projects including ODA(Official Development Assistance) and NGO’s projects.
We will start with the role of foreign aid on international development, and concepts of development project and project management. We will focus on Project Cycle Management that is one of management methods widely used at the participatory planning, implementing and monitoring, and evaluating stages of development projects.
The course introduces visual and written cases and lectures’ experience, which enables students to understand how projects are planned, monitored and evaluated in the local context. Some important concepts in terms of project management such as participatory development, ownership by stakeholders, institutional development, gender, Human rights and environmental aspects, appropriate technologies and refugee issue will be discussed. Importance of Monitoring and Evaluation at public sectors is explained. In terms of evaluation, not only Project-level, but Policy-level and Program-level evaluation will be covered. How to evaluate SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) will be discussed. In order to improve human and institutional evaluation capacity of developing countries, several measures are discussed including establishing network such as Asia Pacific Evaluation Association (APEA).
It is expected that students would contributed on discussion based on your knowledge and experiences in terms of development in your own country.

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. Although the first one or two classes will be devoted to cover the conventional macroeconomic fiscal policies within the IS=LM framework (static model), models used in this course are mainly dynamic: An intertemporal optimization concept will be introduced. In the first half of the course, the overlapping generations model will be examined in detail with several applications to public finance, in which the effects of government debts, public pension scheme, and a demographic change will be discussed. The other half of the course will cover the infinitely lived agent model, in which the mathematical technique for dynamic optimization will be introduced. The infinitely lived agent model (Ramsey model) will be examined with several applications to public finance such as the effects of fiscal policies on economic growth, and human capital. The endogenous growth model will also be introduced in the other half of the course. One of the aims of this course is to give students powerful and sufficient techniques to evaluate/analyze actual public finance policies ongoing in their home countries with
rigorous economics tools.

Public Finance and Budgeting
Public budget is the most distilled statement of what government does with its price tag attached. It is a policy document as well as a financial plan that serves control, management and planning purposes, linking considerations of raising resources from the economy and spending priorities setting. And, public budgeting is how the government decides on and executes its budgets, which not only is essentially a political process, but also requires substantial understandings and skills in financial management. This course aims to improve students’ understanding of how government at different levels manages its purse, money from taxpayers and citizens, for better results, equipping students with both theoretical perspectives and practical analytical skills. The topics covered include, but are not limited to, budgetary institutions and process, roles of key budget actors and decision-makers, budgetary constraints, budget systems and reform, key revenue sources and forecasting, capital budgeting, debt management, intergovernmental fiscal relations, and a diverse set of skills and tools in preparing and implementing budgets. Students will be given practical opportunities to evaluate a government’s budget in reference to budgeting and financial management principles learned from the class.

Public Human Resource Management
This course is designed for Master’s students to be prepared as effective public managers to deal with workforces. This course encompasses the personnel functions of recruitment, selection, training and development, motivation and compensation, performance appraisal, affirmative action, ethics and corruption. The emphasis of this class is on improving understanding of the historical context and current conditions of public human resource management and developing skills necessary to be effective public managers. From this course, students will learn knowledge as well as insight on public human resource management. For the knowledge part, students will learn theories of public human resource management with various issues. For the insight part, students will apply theories to real world problems through case analyses.

Public Management Information Systems
This course discusses system analysis and design, Web standards, and various management issues such as acquisition of hardware and software, financing, education and training, and evaluation. This course is required for PMPP-ISM students who will manage information systems in the public and nonprofit sectors.

Public Organization Theory
This master-level course is designed to provide knowledge, insights, and skills to manage and lead public organizations for students who manage public organizations in the near future. To meet the purpose, this course emphasizes two objectives: understanding of key concepts in public organization theories and applications of theories to real-world problems. This course will examine major topics, perspectives, theories, and cases in the field of public organization. At the end of the course, students are expected to have strength to understand public organizations on both theory and practice.

Public Policy Modeling
This policy analysis course introduces the cost benefit analysis (CBA) concept and then explores mathematical and statistical methods such as linear programming (LP), decision analysis, Markov model, queueing theory, and systems thinking. This course is required for PMPP students.

Public Private Partnership
The course is composed of (1) lectures on the theories, the practices and cases in PPP, (2) student presentations and (3) discussions. For (2), students are required to provide a 15-minite presentation on an actual PPP example as a part of government reform in his/her own country.

Quantitative Methods for Decision Making
This course provides students with a board understanding of both the normative and descriptive decision theory, and their applications. We will start from the decision theory regarding how to make decision and how the existing/irrational behavior can be explained. After introducing the basic analytical too in the decision-making theory, we will discuss papers that test the theory predictions either in the laboratory or in the fields. The gap between the existing theory and empirical results will also be addressed.

Research Methodology
This course is to help students design their thesis projects by addressing the fundamentals of research designs and methods in political science and policy studies. The course covers a variety of issues?the selection of research topic, the articulation of research questions, the development of theory, the derivation of empirically testable hypotheses, and the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. The course exposes the students to various research approaches in political science and policy studies.

Time Series Analysis
The aim of the course is to provide students standard time series analysis tools for any empirical studies with the time dimension. The course will start with an overview of basic notions of time series analysis, and continues with univariate time series models. Then, this course steps into the territory of non-stationary time series and unit root tests. Moreover, to examine the potential relation between several economic variables over time, we will also discuss the vector autoregressive (VAR) models. The differences between reduce-form and structural VAR models and their implementation will be explained thoroughly. In dealing with the analysis of relations among non-stationary variables, this course introduces the co-integration analysis and error correction models. Upon completion of the course, students will have obtained the basic knowledge for conducting empirical research on related economics issues.

Urban and Regional Planning
Aims: To raise students of international view points and to introduce the framework of planning process.
Outline of the Course: This course aims to raise students of international view by introducing basic concept and frameworks for urban and regional planning as well as introducing issues for urban and regional development. The course will be done through examples of the lecturer’s experiences and class discussion.