Foundations of Economics
This year-long introductory module covers microeconomics in semester one and macroeconomics in semester two. There is no assumption of any prior knowledge of economics.
You will begin by analysing how the economic choices of households and firms can be understood using consumer and producer theory. You will then look at how these individual choices are aggregated into market demand and supply to be mediated through the price mechanism. A variety of market settings are considered, ranging from the paradigm of perfect competition to strategic interactions in oligopolistic markets.
The microeconomics part of the module concludes by providing an introduction to the normative evaluation of economic outcomes in terms of individuals' welfare, covering market and government failures.
The macroeconomics part of the module focuses on the aggregate economy, considering the determinants of aggregate output, addressing cyclical movements of booms and busts in the short run, and providing an introduction to economic growth in the long run. A running theme will be debates over the role of the government in macroeconomic management, covering fiscal and monetary policy.
This module will improve your command of written and spoken German. Taking up the four skill areas of A level work (writing, reading, listening and speaking), it aims to develop them through a variety of exercises towards the level required in year two.
This module aims to introduce you to the essential skills required for writing as an economist. It will be delivered in conjunction with Libraries, Research and Learning Resources (LRLR), who will cover content on key information skills relating to the library and learning resources.
It will give an introduction to the language of economics and basic research skills and how to write essays and exams. Among the topics covered will be:
- academic integrity and plagiarism
- time management
- writing essays
- writing quantitative projects
- presentation skills
- referencing and using the internet
- revision and examinations
Careers and Employability for Economists
This module aims to provide a means for enabling students to reflect on their personal development and the implications this might have for their future career paths. It will include:
- guidance on recording and evaluating skills
- guidance on careers from the Careers and Employability Service
- information, guidance and advice form a range of graduate employers and alumni
Mathematical Economics and Econometrics
The first half of the module provides an introduction to the mathematical methods required for economic modelling, focusing on linear algebra, optimization and their role in formulating and solving economic problems.
The second half introduces the statistical methods required for data analysis in economics. We concentrate on statistical distribution theory and statistical inference before applying these concepts to the study of the linear regression model, whose extensions will be analysed in detail in subsequent econometrics modules.
The first half of the module provides an introduction to the mathematical methods required for economic modelling, focusing on
- mathematical finance
- analysis of functions
- supply and demand
- matrix algebra
- optimisation subject to constraints
- Lagrange multipliers
The second half introduces the statistical methods and concepts most applicable in economics. The analysis of economic data necessarily proceeds in an environment where there is uncertainty about the processes that generated the data. Statistical methods provide a framework for understanding and characterising this uncertainty.
These concepts are most conveniently introduced through the analysis of single-variable problems. However, economists are most often concerned about relationships among variables. The module builds towards the study of regression analysis, which is often applied by economists in studying such relationships.
This module is intended as a foundation for the understanding of modern economic theories and policies. It is concerned with the:
- different characters and workings of economies of the past
- changing ways in which economic questions have been interpreted and answered over time
As will be discovered, the 21st century Western views of everyday economic concepts such as ownership, money, exchange, work, poverty, industrialisation, economic growth and government are quite different from those expressed at other times and in other places.
Growth and Development in Long-Run Historical Perspective
In this module we will explore the long-run, historical determinants of the wealth of nations. We will begin by taking a long-run view on modern economic growth, showing how this has led to dramatic changes in the relative wealth of nations over the last 500 years.
We will then ask two key questions: why have modern economic growth started in some places rather than others? And while have some countries been able to catch up, while others have not? These investigations will improve our understanding of why are some countries much richer than others, and will give us some important insights on how to promote sustained growth in developing countries.
The module draws on a vibrant new literature in economics that looks at comparative development as the outcome of a long historical process, and uses techniques originally developed in economics to improve our understanding of history. Without going into the technical details, the module reviews the main findings of this literature, discusses their implications for modern development experiences, and lays out the main challenges for future research.
By providing an historical perspective on growth and development, the module will endow you with a better understanding ofcontemporary economic issues. It will also give you some exciting examples of how the economic techniques you will learn in later modules can be used to understand the world better.
Current Economic Issues
This module focuses on a range of current issues facing the world economy, seeks to illustrate how economists model such issues, and examines potential policy responses. Example topics to be covered are:
- economic growth
- the global financial crisis
- the world economy
- emerging economic superpowers
- consequences of rising economic nationalism
Plus modules on German studies.
This module will consolidate your proficiency in the four skill areas of German Language 1 (writing, reading, listening and speaking) and develop these further. The vehicles for instruction will be texts from newspapers and other sources, which will be used for discussion of translation issues and grammatical structures, linguistic analysis and textual comparison, oral presentation, and essay and CV writing.
The module will use texts that cover a broad range of general, journalistic and academic topics, as well as those that will help to prepare you for living, working and studying during your year abroad.
Principles of Macroeconomics
The modules covers intermediate macroeconomics covering simple macro-models of goods, labour and money markets, such as IS-LM and aggregate supply/aggregate demand, including open economy extensions. Dynamic issues incorporating expectations and long run growth will also be considered. The module will analyse policy questions surrounding exchange rates, monetary and fiscal policy, budget deficits and debt.
Principles of Microeconomics
This module covers microeconomics including general equilibrium analysis, welfare economics, social choice, elementary game theory, and strategic behaviour of different actors such firms, voters and governments.
This module generalises and builds upon the econometric techniques covered in the year one module, Introductory Econometrics. This will involve introducing a number of new statistical and econometric concepts, together with some further development of the methodology that was introduced in year one. The multivariate linear regression model will again provide our main framework for analysis.
This module introduces you to a range of statistical techniques that can be used to analyse the characteristics of univariate economic time series. The basic theoretical properties of time series models are discussed and we consider methods for fitting and checking the adequacy of empirical time series models. Methods of forecasting future values of economic time series are then considered.
Quantitative Economics III
An introduction to the theory and practice of econometric methods, focusing on regression analysis and its application to economic situations. The module will pay particular attention to the principles of estimation and inference in the multiple regression model, and will rely on illustrations and intuition to develop understanding of the techniques and their interpretation.
You will deepen your understanding of the material covered in class via a series of 'hands-on' computer classes using specialist econometric software (STATA) and a set of tutorials that will review worked examples.
Quantitative Economics IV
This module is an introduction to the theory and practice of econometric methods, focusing on regression analysis and its application to economic situations. It will focus on practical issues relating to data modelling and issues relating to model specification and testing. It will also introduce you to regression analysis using time series data.
It will rely on illustrations and intuition to develop understanding of the techniques and their interpretation. You will advance your understanding of the material covered in class via a series of 'hands-on' computer classes using Stata. A set of tutorials will also examine worked examples that have been set as homework.
Plus optional economics modules and modules on German studies.
Optional economics modules
This module is a general introduction to the economic problems of developing countries. The module will cover such topics as:
- the implications of history and expectation
- poverty, income distribution and growth
- fertility and population
- employment, migration and urbanisation
- markets in agriculture
- agricultural household models
- risk and insurance
Environmental and Resource Economics
This modules will look at:
- market failure and the need for environmental policy - the Coase theorem
- instruments of environmental policy - efficiency advantages of market instruments
- applications of market instruments, especially the EU Emission Trading Scheme
- fisheries - the open access problem and rights-based policies
- valuation of the benefits of environmental policy
- biodiversity and its benefits
- international trade in polluting goods
- mobile capital: race to the bottom?
Experimental and Behavioural Economics
This module provides a foundation in behavioural economics and the role of experimental methods in economics. The traditional approach in economics is to explain market outcomes and economic decision-making using simple theoretical models based on perfectly rational, self-interested agents who maximise their well-being by carefully weighing up the costs and benefits of different alternatives. Behavioural economics, on the other hand, aspires to relax these stringent assumptions and develop an understanding of how real people actually make decisions.
The module will introduce you to behavioural and experimental economics, discuss these fields from a methodological perspective and examine several areas of economic analysis in which they are applied. This will include individual choice under risk and uncertainty, decision-making in strategic situations and competition in markets.
This module will offer an introduction to some theoretical concepts related to the allocation of risk by financial institutions. Then it will apply these concepts to the analysis of financial and banking crises.
This module provides an economic analysis of the theory and practice of organisation of firms and industries. It explores the nature of competition among firms and their behaviour in various markets, with the specific emphasis on imperfectly competitive markets. Tools for both empirical and theoretical approaches to the analysis of industries are covered.
Starting from a detailed analysis of market structures, the module goes on to discuss various aspects of firms' behaviour and their influence on market outcome. Among the behaviours covered in the module are price discrimination, vertical integration, advertising, research and development activities and entry and exit of firms. Government regulation of industries is also discussed.
This module is an introduction to international trade theory and policy. It covers the core trade theories under perfect and imperfect competition and applies them to understanding the pattern of trade, gains from trade and modern topics like foreign outsourcing. On the policy side, it examines the effects of different government trade policy instruments and the role of international trade agreements.
Introduction to Political Economy
This module is concerned with the effect of political and institutional factors on economic variables as well as with the study of politics using the techniques of economics.
This module provides an introduction to the economics of the labour market. We will look at some basic theories of how labour markets work and examine evidence to see how well these theories explain the facts.
Particular attention will be given to the relationship between the theory, empirical evidence and government policy. The module will refer especially to the UK labour market, but reference will also be made to other developed economies.
This course will provide a foundation for the monetary economics modules in the third year and is a complement to financial economics for the second and third years. It will cover topics such as the definitions and role of money, portfolio choice, financial markets and banks, central banks and monetary policy, and the monetary transmission mechanism.
Under these headings the module will address issues of theory, policy and practice relating to recent experience in the UK and other countries. The module will feature some current debates and controversies based on recent events.
Public Sector Economics
This module looks at:
- public finances in the uk
- market failures
- fundamental theorems of welfare economics
- social welfare functions
- public goods
- natural monopolies
- public choice
- social insurance: social security, taxation and equity
- excess burden of taxation and tax incidence
An independent research project, involving the application of techniques of economic analysis to a self-chosen research topic and the presentation of a written report. There will be lectures to provide general guidance on economic research methods and writing an undergraduate dissertation in economics.
- introduction to the dissertation
- types of dissertation
- literature reviews
- sources of data
- writing up your dissertation
- data entry and data management
- an introduction to STATA
- descriptive statistics
- practical issues in regression analysis
- model selection
- endogeneity bias
This module will further enhance your practical command and effective understanding in the four skill areas of German Language 2/German Post Beginners (writing, reading, listening and speaking) and develop these further, including their translation skills.
Classes will use a broad variety of authentic German texts from a range of registers and topics to develop your translation skills towards professional standards for translation into English and to further improve your proficiency in written and spoken German with the support of native speakers. Working with texts and class discussions are the key features of this module. You are encouraged to reflect on your year abroad.
Plus optional economics modules covering advanced topics such as:
This module adopts a broad focus on factors influencing growth and development. Topics covered include macroeconomic policies, aid, debt, trade; growth experiences in East Asia, China and Africa.
This module generalises and builds upon the econometric techniques applied to the multivariate linear regression model covered in the year two module, Econometrics I. This will involve introducing a number of new statistical and econometric concepts.
In particular, we study large sample, or asymptotic, theory. This is needed in order to obtain tractable results about the behaviour of estimators when the standard modelling assumptions - which frequently cannot be verified in practice - are relaxed.
Experimental and Behavioural Economics
This module provides a window on three important sub-areas of experimental and behavioural economics. The first focuses on design issues and individual decision-making, the next two sections focus on applications to the study of strategic behaviour and market behaviour.
You do not need to have studied experimental or behavioural economics before because all topics will be introduced at a level that will be accessible to the newcomer. The module is, nevertheless, suitable as a sequel to the year two module Experimental and Behavioural Economics because the contents of the two modules cover distinct, but complementary, topics.
The module covers:
- saving, focusing on how agents make intertemporal decisions about their savings and wealth accumulation
- saving puzzles and household portfolios, focusing on credit markets and credit markets imperfections, and why do households hold different kinds of assets
- asset allocation and asset pricing, focusing on intertemporal portfolio selection, asset pricing and the equity premium puzzle
- the role of behavioural finance in explaining stock market puzzles
International Trade Theory
The module covers:
- models of intra-industry trade
- trade policy in oligopolistic industries
- mathematical enterprises
- testing trade theories
- the WTO and "new issues"
The module covers an economic analysis of the labour market, with an emphasis on policy implications and institutional arrangements.
This module covers:
- dynamic general equilibrium models, focusing on how the time path of consumption, and saving, is determined by optimising agents and firms that interact on competitive markets
- growth in dynamic general equilibrium, focusing on the Solow model and the data, and the role played by accumulation of knowledge (endogenous innovation) in explaining long run growth
- Real Business Cycles (RBC), focusing on how the RBC approach accounts for business cycle fluctuations, and what links short run fluctuations and growth processes
The module is intended to provide an introduction to mathematical techniques used in economics. In particular, examples of economic issues that can be analysed using mathematical models will be discussed in detail.
Particular attention will be given to providing an intuitive understanding of the logic behind the formal results presented. Students who wish to pursue a higher degree in economics will find the module particularly useful.
The module will cover topics in advanced microeconomics and decision theory. The precise content may vary from year to year, but the module will start from the basis established by the Microeconomic Theory module.
This module will provide an outline of the elements of monetary theory and of theoretical policy issues.
Public Economics I
The module will introduce some major themes of public economics, using microeconomic tools to analyse public policy. The equity and efficiency implications of policies will be examined within an economic framework.
Time Series Econometrics
This module is a continuation of the module on time series analysis. While the earlier module was devoted to basic time series model building methodology, this module concentrates on those developments which can be applied in the subject of economics.
In particular, the emphasis will be on aspects of the behaviour of typical economic time series, and the implications of that behaviour in practical analysis, such as the construction of models linking economic time series.
The key issues addressed will be the identification of non-stationarity through the construction of formal tests and the implications for modelling with non-stationary data. Particular attention will be paid to the contributions of Sir Clive Granger to the spurious regression problem and to cointegration analysis, for which he was ultimately awarded the Nobel Prize.
This module provides an advanced economic analysis of the theory of organisation of firms and industries. It will analyse a variety of market structures related to the degree of market competition with a special emphasis on imperfectly competitive markets. It will also analyse issues related to the internal organisation of firms.
International Money and Macroeconomics
This module will provide an introduction to international monetary issues, including the determination of exchange rates, and the functioning of the international monetary system.
International Trade Policy
This module looks at:
- trade policy - theory and evidence
- trade policy and imperfect competition
- trade and distortions
- the political economy of protection
- trade policy reform
Numerical Methods in Economics
This module covers the following:
Static numerical methods
- Numerical solution methods
- Numerical static optimisation methods
- Applications: resource allocation, computable general equilibrium
Dynamic numerical optimisation
- Discrete dynamic programming
- Implementation of the methods
- Applications: optimal growth, rational expectations, asset management
Agent-based economic modelling
- Foundations of agent-based modelling
- Basics of computer programming
- Applications: evolutionary games, markets
The module will cover the following:
- The rational political individual?
- Voter participation
- Collective action and the role of the state
Core political economy
- The economic approach to politics
- Political aspects of economics: rights and the limits of the state
- Political aspects of economics: inequality and the duties of the state
Political economy in action
- Political economy in action: some current issues in applied political economy
Topics in Econometrics
This module focuses on a range of econometric methods used in policy evaluation and in the identification and estimation of causal effects. Topics to be covered include:
- potential outcomes framework
- regression analysis and matching
- instrumental variables
- regression discontinuity
Plus modules on German studies.
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. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.