Economic theory is about far more than algebra, calculus and high-end number-crunching - particularly now that the ideas underpinning game theory and experimental economics have opened up whole new avenues of learning and research. These concepts can be applied to all kinds of real-world scenarios - voting patterns on committees, the fine print in terms and conditions, strategic positioning in trading arrangements, even corruption and power in democracies. This module provides a rigorous introduction to modern microeconomic theory, from more "traditional" elements of consumer and producer behaviour to the more modern analysis of risk and uncertainty, game theory and information economics.
Microeconomic theory is taught by Professor Dan Siedmann. His research covers various topics in noncooperative game theory such as multilateral bargaining, committee voting, and signalling. He has published economy theory in a wide range of the top journals, including Econometrica, Review of Economic Studies and the Journal of Public Economics.
This module provides students with an overview on the theory and empirics of the Neoclassical growth model (at the heart of modern macroeconomics), modern theories of endogenous growth, structural change, firm dynamics and resource misallocation. The related issue of technical change and economic growth measurement will also be discussed.
Macroeconomic Theory is taught by Professor Omar Licandro. His main research field is Macroeconomics with special interest in Growth Theory. His main contributions are on vintage capital theory and embodied technical progress. He has recently contributed to the literature on the transition from Malthus to Modern Growth, as well as the competitive role of trade, in particular under firm heterogeneity.
This module teaches the core concepts of modern econometric theory, including detailed analysis of the multiple linear regression model, large sample theory, asymptotic testing procedures, non-linear techniques and misspecification testing.
Econometric Theory is taught by Professor Steve Leybourne and Dr Patrick Marsh. Professor Leybourne's research interests are in the area of time series econometrics, with particular focus on testing in time-varying parameter models, unit root tests, stationarity tests and cointegration tests. He has published a large number of articles in refereed journals. These include Biometrika, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory and The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. Dr Marsh is an associate editor of Econometric Theory and has also published widely in the area of econometric theory, with publications in Econometric Theory, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society and The Econometrics Journal.
Economic Data Analysis
Empirical testing and validation of economic theories is a crucial ingredient to policy-relevant research in economics. The Economic Data Analysis module provides students with the necessary tools and hands-on experience to employ econometric techniques to achieve this aim. The module includes lectures and computer labs which cover the analysis of cross-section and panel datasets (using Stata statistical software) as well as that of economic time series (using EViews), and is assessed by empirical coursework. No previous knowledge of these software packages is assumed, thus making EDA a crucial building block for students' supervised research projects on the MSc dissertation.
Economic Data Analysis is taught by Dr Markus Eberhardt, a co-author of Empirical Development Economics (Routledge 2014), and the author of a number of Stata routines for macro panel analysis. Dr Eberhardt's research focuses on productivity analysis at the macro level, including the development and application of novel empirical methods. He recently embarked on a three-year research project entitled under the ESRC's Future Research Leaders scheme.
Advanced Microeconomic Theory
The aim of this module is to show you various important models taken from modern microeconomic theory. Topics covered include the economics of auctions, matching, voting, incentives and contracts. Although the treatment is theoretical, these topics have important practical applications, such as how to assign kidneys from donors to patients, how to make a decision as a group, and so on.
Advanced Microeconomic Theory is taught by Dr Mariá García-Vega. Dr García-Vega's research focuses on international economics, research and development, globalisation and the economics of innovation.
This module covers the solution, calibration and simulation of dynamic stochastic models (DSGE) that are widely used in all fields of macroeconomics. It is structured in such a way that students will be exposed both to theory and the practical implementation of the methods taught. The focus is on the application of these techniques to contemporary general equilibrium macroeconomic models, designed for policy analysis. Such models have become the standard framework for the analysis of business cycle fluctuations and monetary policy in central banks and policy institutions.
We will first study these models in their simplest form and then, we will extend it to introduce nominal rigidities and financial frictions. Finally we will touch upon topics that are at the frontier of research such as financial stability and macroprudential policies, in the context of DSGE models. This course is of particular interest for those who wish to work at a central bank or an international institution, or who want to do research on applied macroeconomics. Many students taking this course have afterwards used the methods and techniques acquired to write their MSc and PhD dissertations and have gone onto jobs and internships at institutions such as the ECB and other central banks.
Advanced Macroeconomic Theory is taught by Dr Margarita Rubio, who has taught this module at a Master and PhD levels at The University of Nottingham, the University of Konstanz, as well as in Central Banks on demand. She has collaborated in the building of DSGE models in several central banks and institutions (International Monetary Fund, Bank of Spain, Central Bank of Luxembourg, Central Bank of Costa Rica, Bank of Lithuania). She has also published several articles using a DSGE framework in highly ranked journals such as the Journal of Money Credit and Banking, Journal of International Money and Finance and Journal of Banking and Finance.
This module examines fundamental properties of time-series and various classes of stochastic processes. It focuses on issues in estimation and forecasting of time series models and concepts of contemporary interest to time series econometricians. The module aims to provide students with a knowledge of the core techniques of econometric analysis, to develop the analytical skills required to demonstrate theoretical asymptotic properties of different econometric estimation and testing procedures under weakened modelling assumptions and to provide a proper understanding of the applicability and limitations of non-linear regression analysis.
Time Series Econometrics is taught by Professor Steve Leybourne. Professor Leybourne's research interests are in the area of time series econometrics, with particular focus on testing in time-varying parameter models, unit root tests, stationarity tests and cointegration tests. He has published a large number of articles in refereed journals. These include Biometrika, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory and the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.
This module considers the estimation, testing and interpretation of a wide array of econometric models that help us to deal with the specific challenges encountered when using large micro data. A major emphasis will be on quantifying the causal relationship between two or more variables, using linear and nonlinear models. Complications arise because microeconometric analysis uses highly disaggregated micro data that tend to exhibit substantial heterogeneity, discreteness, censoring and non-random sample selection. The module will be of interest to students looking to investigate real life economic issues using micro data.
Applied Microeconometrics is taught by Professor Sourafel Girma, whose research covers the empirical analysis of the economic performance of firms and economies more generally. He has published widely in numerous international journals, including the Journal of International Economics, the Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation and the European Economic Review.
Economic Research Methodology
The purpose of this module is to lead you into your dissertation and to provide ideas and advice as you embark on your research. Since each MSc dissertation must be an independent project with some degree of originality you should not expect that the ERM module will define narrowly what you should do, or how you should do it. The purposes are broader ones of orientation and reflection.
ERM is designed to help you take your first steps in the direction of independent research and to help you think through the strategy for developing and completing your research. More ambitiously, it aims to help you develop a more reflective and sophisticated approach to research, both as a consumer and (soon-to-be) producer of research! The module includes lectures on how to approach your dissertation, how to undertake applied economic research, what methods to use, and asks what constitutes "good" research? The module is assessed by a written assignment, in which you will review a key paper related to your dissertation topic.
MSc Dissertation: Economics
The module comprises of a period of student research and study, designed to allow students to demonstrate familiarity with a particular area of economic theory or policy, or of applied economics or econometrics, and the ability to apply a specific analytical and/or empirical technique. All MSc students receive 'one-to-one' supervision for their dissertation. Their supervisor will be a research-active member of the academic staff who can provide genuinely expert guidance.
This module covers both theoretical and experimental research on a number of Industrial Organisation topics. Rather than give a broad overview of the field the module focuses on a few topics in depth. Examples of topics covered in previous years are: dynamic oligopoly models, models of endogenous commitment, price competition with consumer inertia, anti-trust leniency policies. Lectures are organised around two or three key readings, usually recently published research papers, and cover necessary theoretical background for a detailed discussion of the key readings. As part of the module students also give group presentations on an assigned paper. Thus, the module develops an understanding of research methods and skills applied to questions in Industrial Organisation.
Industrial Organisation is taught by Professor Martin Sefton and Dr Danielle Nosenzo. Professor Sefton has research interests in the area of game theory and experimental economics. He has published in leading journals and is on the editorial board of the journal Experimental Economics. Dr Nosenzo's main research interests are in the areas of behavioural and experimental economics, and he is particularly interested in topics such as social norm compliance and the study of positive and negative incentives. He has published a range of papers including articles in the Journal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, and the Journal of Public Economics.
The aim of the module is to provide students with the tools required for the analysis of public decision making. We will consider public economic intervention both in terms of normative and positive analysis. Measurement issues underlying distributional problems will be discussed in detail. The module will treat both taxation (optimal taxes) and expenditure (public good) issues. Attention will be paid to some of the most important recent contributions. The module will concentrate on theoretical contributions to public economics. It is suitable for students without a strong theory background interested in approaching formally theoretical analysis. Also students familiar with microeconomic theory will find it useful and will have an opportunity to apply analytical tools acquired in Micro Theory as well as to familiarise with some new tools.
Public Economics is taught by Professor Gianni De Fraja. Professor De Fraja has published widely in the area of public economics and economic theory, including publications in Review of Economics and Statistics, International Economic Review, Journal of Public Economics and Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization.
The module will teach you the theoretical foundations of open-economy dynamic general equilibrium (DGE) models. We first discuss the key seminal contribution of Obstfeld and Rogoff (OR, 1995). In particular, we will carefully learn the roles of key features of their model such as monopolistic competition and nominal rigidities in the effects of monetary and fiscal policy in an international context. We then move on to discussing subsequent works in the literature, including Corsetti and Pesenti (2001), Betts and Devereux (BD, 2000), and Ganelli (2010), which are all closely related to the Obstfeld and Rogoff model. Even students who are not interested in open-economy aspects of macro models, will still develop strong intuition which can be applied to DGE models in general.
International Macroeconomics is taught by Dr Yoshi Morozumi, whose research interests are in macroeconomic and monetary theory. Specifically, he studies the role of credit market imperfections in business cycle dynamics. He has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Economics since 2009, and has also been a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund.
Monetary Theory and Practice
The aim of this module is to address the major developments in macroeconomics with an emphasis on monetary economics. The module covers the theory and practice of central banking and monetary transmission. Topics covered include: central bank policy; reputation; solutions to the inflation bias problem; targets for monetary policy; quantitative easing and ultra-low interest rates.
Monetary Theory and Practice is taught by Paul Mizen, Professor of Monetary Economics and Director of the Centre for Finance and Credit Markets. He has relevant experience for teaching this module from the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, Deutsche Bundesbank, the European Central Bank, the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund. He has published six books and over 100 articles on monetary economics including the Economic Journal, European Economic Review, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, Journal of Banking and Finance, Oxford Economic Papers and Economics Letters.
International Trade Theory
The key objective of this module is to describe the nature of trade, its causes and its effects on welfare. We will discuss the gains from trade and their measurement, different causal explanations for trade (comparative advantage from technological differences, comparative advantage from endowment differences, increasing returns to scale internal and external to the firm in the presence of firm heterogeneity), determinants of the pattern of trade, trade's effect on factor rewards. The emphasis in this section of the course is on explaining why countries trade and what are the effects of trade on wages, prices, and production patterns. Particular attention will be devoted to study the effects of globalization on unemployment, inequality, and growth.
International Trade Theory is taught by Dr Giamarrio Impulliti, whose research focuses on two major sreas. The first studies the effects of globalization on growth and on labour market outcomes, such as unemployment and income inequality. The second line of research zeros in on the role of innovation policy in promoting growth and development. He has published in top international journals such as the Journal of International Economics, International Economic Review, Journal of the European Economic Association, and the Review of Economics and Statistics.
Trade Analysis and Policy
The module covers:
- inter and intra-industry models of trade
- testing trade theories
- empirical methods for modelling trade effects and trade volumes
- theories and evidence on trade and development
- instruments of trade intervention and regulation
- political economy models of trade policy determination
- empirics of analysing protection
- global, regional and national trade policy
Economic Growth in Theory and Practice
Why are some countries poor and others rich? Why have some countries, such as South Korea, managed to move from low-income to high-income status in the course of a mere 30 or 40 years? Questions such as these are not just of interest to development economists but arguably represent some of the most important questions in our world today. This module provides a unique approach to find answers to these questions. It combines both theory and empirics. Students taking this module are given the theoretical foundations to motivate their regression specifications as well as gaining insights into how to approach rigorous empirical testing of their theoretical predictions. This module thus should appeal to those students who want to pursue cross-country growth empirics or theoretical modelling of growth and development in their masters thesis projects.
Economic Growth in Theory and Practice is taught by Dr Markus Eberhardt and Dr Roberto Bonfatti. Dr Eberhardt's research focuses on productivity analysis at the macro level, including the development and application of novel empirical methods. He recently embarked on a three-year research project entitled under theESRC's Future Research Leaders scheme. Dr Bonfatti's research lies at the intersection of international trade, political economy, and economic history, and has published in the Journal of International Economics and the Canadian Journal of Economics.
Development Policy Analysis
This module considers various policy issues for development. Topics covered include education policy, conducting randomised controlled trials, the effects of aid, trade costs and export barriers, migration and the "brain-drain". The aims of the module are to familiarise students with a range of techniques for development policy analysis; provide a review of analytical methods, policy and practice in important areas of economic policy in developing countries; provide experience in presenting economic policy analysis through interactive group seminars.
Development Policy Analysis is taught by Professor Oliver Morrissey, Professor Chris Milner and Dr Simon Appleton. All three have a wealth of experience of "hands-on" analysis of developing countries, including advising governments in Africa and the Caribbean.
Development microeconomics considers vital issues such as absolute poverty, famine and malnutrition, preventable disease and wasted lives. There have been dramatic global changes which we will consider in this module, such as the rise of China and India and the marginalisation and (perhaps) recovery of African countries. We will consider various topics relating to development economics in this module, including risk and insurance, migration, population and fertility, poverty, health and nutrition.
Development Microeconomics is taught by Dr Simon Appleton. Dr Appleton's research interests lie primarily in the areas of poverty, labour markets, health and education, with application to China and sub-Saharan Africa. He is a research associate of the Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford, and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of African Economies, the Journal of Development Studies and African Development Review. He has published in a range of journals including Economic Development and Cultural Change, the Journal of African Economies, the Journal of International Development, and the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.
Economics of Household Finance
The module covers the central issues in the economics of household finance. Household finance is the study of the behaviour of individuals and households in financial markets including those for secured (eg mortgage) and unsecured (eg credit card) lending and related economic models of consumption smoothing, liquidity constraints and household behaviour.
The module begins with the central topic of consumption smoothing, focusing on the role of credit markets and income risk in household behaviour. Later topics include financial literacy, self-control, mortgage market design, stock market participation and the regulation of consumer credit markets.
The module content includes some theoretical material but is mostly applied, with a focus on how large-scale individual level proprietary and survey datasets can be used to understand household financial behavior.
Economics of Corporate Finance
The module offers an introduction to the economics of Corporate Finance and covers a variety of topics, with substantial time devoted for covering issues directly related to the financial needs of firms, such as capital structure, credit rationing and corporate governance.
The module also examines the role of financial intermediaries analysing bank failures and, consequently, the scope for banking regulations. The last part of the module looks closely at the relationship between the financial sector and the real economy thus offering the background for any applied work related to the link between financial development and economic fluctuations.
Financial and Macroeconometrics
This is an applied econometrics module which covers time-series methods through the study of selected topics in finance and macroeconomics. It develops the techniques necessary to be able to read, critically evaluate and replicate published academic papers involving econometric analysis in macroeconomics and finance.
Financial and Macro Econometrics is taught by Professor Kevin Lee has taught and researched in UK universities for over 25 years. He has completed research projects valuing in excess of £1.5m in the areas of macroeconomics and applied econometrics and has published in journals including the Economic Journal, Journal of American Statistical Association, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Quarterly Journal of Economics and Review of Economics and Statistics.
Behavioural Economic Theory
This module studies ways in which economic behaviour differs from that assumed in standard economic theory. Behavioural economic theory attempts to unify psychological and economic models of behaviour. This module looks at alternatives to expected utility theory, exponential discounting, and the standard models of forward-planning. Behavioural economic theory is relevant to a wide-range of economic decisions, and is still a relatively new and emerging field.
Behavioural Economic Theory is taught by Professor Chris Starmer and Professor Robin Cubitt. Professor Starmer is Professor of Experimental Economics and the Director of the Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx) and Director of the ESRC Network for Integrated Behaviour Science (NIBS). His main research interests are in individual and strategic decision making, experimental economics and the methodology of economics. Professor Cubitt is Professor of Economics and Decision Research. His research studies individual and interactive decision-making, using theoretical and experimental techniques. Both have published widely in the leading economics and economic psychology journals.
Experimental Methods in Economics
Experimental economics provides tools for observing human behaviour under controlled conditions. Using these tools, we can test theory, inform policy and measure behaviour. This module will show you how and why experiments are used in economics, how to design and analyse your own experiments and allow you to develop skills for critically assessing experimental designs and results. Part of the module assessment includes a project in which you design and run your own experiment.
Experimental Methods in Economics is taught by Professor Chris Starmer and Dr Elke Renner. Professor Starmer is Professor of Experimental Economics and the Director of the Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx) and Director of the ESRC Network for Integrated Behaviour Science (NIBS). His main research interests are in individual and strategic decision making, experimental economics and the methodology of economics, and has published widely in the leading economics and economic psychology journals. Dr Renner's research interests lie in the area of behavioural and experimental economics, game theory and organisation theory. Her work on the design of efficient economic organisations has focused on microfinance institutions and corruption behaviour. Current projects include cooperation problems and leadership. She has published in journals including Science, Journal of Public Economics, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.
Applied Behavioural Economics
Behavioural economics considers the ways in which the behaviour of real people differs systematically from the standard economic models of human behaviour. This module focuses on various applied aspects of behavioural economics, and includes topics such as consumer behaviour, the behaviour of organizations, behavioural development economics and behavioural environmental economics.
Applied Behavioural Economics is taught by Dr Abigail Barr and Dr Elke Renner. Dr Barr's research focuses on the socially embedded decision-maker. She has designed and implemented a variety of lab and lab-type experiments involving students in several countries, villagers in Zimbabwe, Colombia, Uganda, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka, private-sector waged workers and unemployed people in the UK, Chile, Peru, Ghana, South Africa, and Spain and health workers and teachers in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Albania. Four themes have dominated her work to date: the role of other-regarding preferences in individual decision-making; how people set up and hold each other to mutually beneficial agreements; citizens' willingness and ability to hold public service providers to account; and the factors and mechanisms determining individual preferences and values.
Dr Renner's research interests lie in the area of behavioural and experimental economics, game theory and organization theory. Her work on the design of efficient economic organisations has focused on microfinance institutions and corruption behaviour. Current projects include cooperation problems and leadership. She has published in journals including Science, Journal of Public Economics, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.