Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Applied Microeconomics

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course



DESCRIPTION This unit provides students with a contemporary overview of both the theoretical and empirical developments relating to a number of key areas of economic research within the context of their possible application to the Maltese economy. This unit will present students with a series of workshops aimed at providing an insight into current areas of economic research which should allow students to further develop the scope of their empirical work.

The unit will commence with a workshop focused on understanding the role of the European Central Bank within the Eurozone. The workshop will present an overview of the current developments pertaining to the roles and functions of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the Eurosystem. The workshop aims to provide students with the necessary background required to comprehend the complexities surrounding the formulation and implementation of monetary policy within the Eurozone.

The workshops will progress with two sessions on transport economics. The objective of this workshop is give an overview of the author and lecturer's research findings on transport economics in the Maltese Islands, and in particular it will describe the current situation with regard to road transport external costs using secondary data sources and knowledge of the author's regarding the performance of transport policy
implementation in the islands of Malta.

The next two workshops shall be focused in the area of Ecological Economics which is an interdisciplinary field of academic research that aims to address the interdependence and co-evolution of human economies and natural ecosystems over time and space. It is distinguished from environmental economics, which is the mainstream economic analysis of the environment, by its treatment of the economy as a subsystem of the ecosystem and its emphasis upon preserving natural capital.

The workshops will progress with two sessions on tourism industry analysis. These sessions aim to introduce students to the main statistics relating to the tourism sector, including tourism satellite accounts, as well as illustrate an application of input-output analysis to the area of tourism industry analysis. The input-output methodologies assessed will be aimed at demonstrating how it is possible to derive estimates of the overall contribution of the tourism sector to the Maltese economy.

The final workshop will present a description of the array of health statistics which are produced in Malta by various agencies. The workshop aims to expose students to issues relating to the construction of health statistics and discuss a number of key findings relating to the health sector in Malta.

The workshop shall include the following topics:
1. The roles of the ECB, ESCB and the Eurosystem;
2. Transport economics;
3. Ecological economics;
4. Tourism industry analysis;
5. The analysis of health statistics.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to introduce students to key concepts, tools and techniques which will enable them to critically engage with current applied economic theories and current developments in economic research. The workshops will expose students to numerous areas in economic research which will provide students which a deeper understanding of key issues relating to the areas of monetary policy, transport economics, ecological economics, tourism economics and health economics.

The workshops aim to provide students with a forum in which they can also openly discuss these specialized fields of economic research with their key practitioners.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Demonstrate an understanding of the functions and roles of the European System of Central Banks and the Eurosystem;
- Assess different indices that confirm that congestion in Malta is higher than the EU average;
- Explain a methodology for measuring congestion;
- Assess issues of intergenerational equity, irreversibility of environmental change, uncertainty of long-term outcomes, and sustainable development;
- Appraise ecological economic analysis and valuation techniques;
- Apply selected input-output methodologies to obtain measures illustrating the relative contribution of the tourism sector to the economy;
- Comprehend the complexities relating to gathering and compiling data relating to health statistics.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Assess the role of national central banks in the formulation and implementation of European monetary policy;
- Critically assess relevant transport policy recommendations and also refer to the development of the multi-modal link that connects the main seaport and airport infrastructures in Malta.
- Utilize a tourism satellite account for the formulation of tourism policy;
- Undertake input-output analysis aimed at aiding in the formulation of tourism policy recommendations;
- Apply the main mathematical methods utilized in the area of applied ecological economics;
- Critically assess health statistics and learn to apply them in the formulation of health policy recommendations.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Attard, M., Von Brockdorff, P. Bezzina, F., (2015). The External Costs of Passenger and Commercial Vehicle Use in Malta. University of Malta – European Commission Representation in Malta.
- Daly, H. and Farely, J. (2011). Econological Economics: Principles and Application. (Second Edition). Island Press, USA.
- Tadayuki Hara (2011). Quantitative Tourism Industry Analysis: Introduction to Input-Output, Social Accounting Matrix Modelling and Tourism Satellite Accounts. Routledge, Oxford.

A number of additional academic journals articles will also be supplemented to students.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite qualifications: B.Com (Hons) Economics


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (3 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Ian P. Cassar
Jonathan Spiteri
Philip Von Brockdorff (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.