Summer University Course

(Ákos Dombi – László György – Theocharis GrigoriadisImre Tarafás)


This is a 100-level introductory course with no prerequisites.

Course description

This course offers an in-depth analysis of the pivotal framework of economic policy: the state - marketsnexus. We start with the introduction of the basic concepts and schools of economic policy. In doing so, special attention is payed to the historical evolution of the role of states in market economies advocated by the actual mainstream school of economics. Thereafter, we discuss how globalization has reshaped the room for maneuver of national governments in pursuing their own policy goals in the recent decades. We investigate the inherent instability of financial markets by studying the recent financial crises and their lessons. The course also includes instructive country studies on the contemporary nexus between states and markets. We discuss the notion of state capitalism in conjunction with the most recent empirical results. In the final block of the course, we offer a deep understanding of why institutions do matter for economic performance and how these contemporary institutions have been shaped by historical events taking place several hundred years ago.


  • Basic concepts and schools of economic policy
  • Globalization, state & markets
  • The foundations of monetary policy and the Eurozone
  • Financial crises
  • The roots and balance of unorthodoxy in Hungarian economic policy
  • Recent trends in German economic policy
  • Recent trends in Russian economic policy
  • State capitalism: theory & results
  • Capitalism, institutions, economic performance
  • The historical roots of contemporary institutions

Learning outcomes

  • describe the differences between the major schools of economic policy
  • understand the process of globalization and its constraints for economic policies
  • summarize the major lessons of recent financial crises 
  • develop a critical, unbiased approach toward the role of states in market economies
  • interpret current trends in Hungarian, Russian, and German economic policies
  • understand the impact of contemporary institutions on economic development
  • see the importance of knowing the past in understanding present socio-economic outcomes


Students planning to obtain ECTS credits for the course will write a 90-minute in-class examination. Grading will be based on the written examination (80%) and the contribution to class work (20%).

Reading materials

Papers assigned to the individual topics (The list of literature will be announced soon.)

Ákos Dombi is an associate professor and the head of the Department of Comparative Economics at the Eötvös Loránd University. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Pisa, University of Vienna, and Freie Universitaet Berlin. He had also been teaching at the Freie Universitaet Berlin. He is active in international research projects in collaboration with the Poznan University of Economics and Business and the Freie Universitaet Berlin. His main fields of interest are economic development, econometrics, and economic policy. 

Imre Tarafás is one of the most famous experts on monetary policy in Hungary. He has held several prestigious positions related to this field. Among others, he was the vice-president of the Hungarian National Bank. He also worked as a consultant for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He was the vice-governor of the Council of European Development Bank in Paris for six years. Currently, he is a professor emeritus at the Eötvös Loránd University.

László György is a secretary of state responsible for economic coordination and development at the Ministry for Innovation and Technology. His main areas of expertise are Hungarian economic policy, the potentials and limits of state interventions in the age of globalization, and international political economy. He also works as an assistant professor at the Eötvös Loránd University.

Theocharis Grigoriadis is an assistant professor at the School of Business & Economics and the Institute for East-European Studies at the Freie Universitaet Berlin. He is the head of the Economics Department at the Institute for East-European Studies. He earned his PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and his PhD in economic history from Saint Petersburg State University. He has already had courses in several universities located, among others, in the USA, Turkey, Russia and Greece. His main fields of research are economic development, political economy, and Eurasian economic history.