Financial Programming and Policies, Part 1: Macroeconomic Accounts & Analysis
School: International Monetary Fund
Start Date: August 5, 2015 (6 Weeks Long)
Workload: 8-10 Hours Per Week
Instructors: Paolo Dudine, Adolfo Barajas, Eric Verrydt, Luisa Zanforlin, Nan Li
Credentials: All five instructors are economists with the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development. An Italian national with a Ph.D. from New York University, Dudine has worked extensively with Honduras, Bulgaria and African nations. Barajas, a Columbian national with a Ph.D. from Stanford, has focused on the Middle East and Central Asia. Verreydt has spent over two decades with the IMF, where he has served as an economist, resident representative, or mission chief for nations in Africa and the Western Hemisphere. Zanforlin has worked for the IMF since 1995, where she has helped nations like Greece, Mexico, Portugal, and her native Italy. Li is also a Stanford Ph.D. Before joining the IMF, she taught at Ohio State University and served as a research associate with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Graded: Students can either audit the course or pursue a verified certificate of achievement.
Description: This course exposes students to the theories and tools needed to conduct macroeconomic analysis. It includes introductions to the real, fiscal, external, and monetary sectors of the macroeconomy, along with examining how these sectors are interconnected and how to “read, interpret, and analyze the accounts for these sectors.” In doing so, students will be able to evaluate “the current state of the economy, forecast where the economy is headed, and identify economic policies that can help change the course of the economy.” Taught through lecture videos, the course also features exercises, where students will dissect data from both their home nation and a hypothetical one.
Review: “Course is well organized and requires very little background in macroeconomics. Pulls together theoretical and applied concepts nicely and in very accessible steps. Questions are challenging but not difficult. Well worth the time and effort is you are considering a career in central banking, macroeconomic analysis or financial journalism.” For additional reviews, click here.
Additional Note: Coursera notes that a basic knowledge of economics “would be helpful, but is not required. In addition, there are graded assignments that require spreadsheet usage. A second part to this course, which explores forecasting and policy design in greater depth, will also be offered in the future.