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MRes Economics Options

ECONG202: Public Economics


Aims: 

There are three aims of the module

  1. Give the students a solid background in in the theory of public finance, as well as models of savings and labor supply
  2. Give the students an overview of data for conducting PhD theses
  3. Teach the students modern applied econometrics procedures, including methods to address “natural experiments”, including difference in differences, regression discontinuity, and instrumental variables; as well as “structural estimation”, including GMM and calibration methods.

Objectives:

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Estimate a simple labor supply model using both instrumental variables and GMM.
  2. Use the estimated model to calculate deadweight loss (a key concept of public finance).  Understand the different theories of public finance.
  3. Understand key policy tools that governments use to tax and transfer resources.  
ECONG202

Public Economics

Module information video presented by Eric French

Taught by:
Eric French
Assessment:

Teaching:

  • Term 2: 10 lectures and 5 tutorials
  • Assessment: During May/June you will be required to sit a two-hour closed book examination.
Suitable for:
Students who have begun the MRES sequence
Prerequisites:  
Moodle page:
ECONG202
ECONG204: Modern Macroeconometrics


Aims: 

To provide an overview of both basic time series methods and advanced methods for the econometric analysis of a broad class of models that are used in macroeconomics

Objectives:

Gaining and understanding of the frontiers of macroeconometric methods and techniques for doctoral students who might be using these methods in their research

Taught by:
Raffaella Giacomini and Andrea Carriero
Assessment:

Teaching:

  • Term 2: 10 lectures and 5 tutorials
  • Assessment: During May/June you will be required to sit a two-hour closed book examination.
Suitable for:
 
Prerequisites:  
Moodle page:
 
ECONG205: Applied Job Search Models and Structural Analysis of Individual Wage Data

Aims: 

The objective of this course is to provide students with a set of ideas and tools that they can use in their research, whatever they study: labor, I/O, macro, applied micro, development, family economics.

Objectives:

Understanding the sources of wage dispersion across workers, wage dynamics across dates and wage profiles over a worker’s life cycle. More generally, understanding price (wage) formation in markets that are affected by trading frictions.

Taught by:
Fabien Postel-Vinay
Assessment:

Teaching:

  • Term 2: 10 lectures and 5 tutorials
  • Assessment: During May/June you will be required to sit a two-hour closed book examination.
Suitable for:
 
Prerequisites:  
Moodle page:
 
ECONG207: International Macroeconomics

Aims: 

The objection of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the current frontier of research in international macroeconomics. It will try to get them to shift from being passive absorbers of others’ work to active participants in such research. It will do so by encouraging them to suggest new ways to attack long-standing issues in international macroeconomics.

Objectives:

To develop an understanding both international business cycles and policy making in a global economy. Increase their knowledge of how countries interact in a global economy, how these interactions lead to fluctuations, and, finally, how these fluctuations might best be managed by monetary, fiscal, and trade policy.

Taught by:
Patrick Kehoe
Assessment:

Teaching:

  • Term 2: 10 lectures and 5 tutorials
  • Assessment: During May/June you will be required to sit a two-hour closed book examination.
Suitable for:
MPhil/PhD for audit only
Prerequisites:  
Moodle page:
ECONG207
ECONG211: Topics in Economics and Psychology

Standard economics has been the subject of many critiques. Mainstream economic models and analysis rely on behavioral assumptions that are often difficult to justify from an introspective viewpoint, but also considering the large body of experimental evidence. Recent years have witnessed a flurry of alternative modeling approaches. The course will present some of them, with the hope of stimulating new research, both theoretical and applied. We will examine economic models in which decision makers have a richer psychology than prescribed by textbook models: their preferences will be subtler and more complex than conventionally assumed, and their cognitive abilities will not be limitless.

Part I: Behavioral industrial organization (delivered by Ran Spiegler)

This part is devoted to the growing field often referred to as "behavioral industrial organization". We will examine market models in which profit-maximizing

firms interact with consumers who depart from the standard rational-choice model in

various dimensions: (i) their ability to evaluate and compare complex market alternatives will be limited; (ii) their preferences will be dynamically inconsistent and/or reference-dependent, and their ability to predict their future preferences may be limited. This alternative view of consumer behavior generates a variety of novel theoretical questions related to the field of Industrial Organization: Can we explain pricing and marketing phenomena as the outcome of such an interaction between rational firms and boundedly rational consumers? To what extent are boundedly rational consumers vulnerable to market exploitation? Does market competition protect them from being exploited? What is the role of regulatory responses such as consumer protection? This part will hopefully stimulate further study into various fields: industrial organization (both theoretical and empirical), regulation and consumer protection, choice theory and contract theory.

Part II: Bounded rationality in strategic contexts (delivered by Philippe Jehiel)

The modern approach to solution concepts in games is by a learning story. Players may have wrong expectations (either about the opponent’s play or about the assessment of their own strategy) to start with, but as experience accumulates, expectations should get closer to the truth: if agents' behavior stabilizes, it should correspond to equilibrium play. However, this view (at least applied in a strict sense) seems less plausible in complex games. Think of chess. Predicting what the opponent will do in more than a few steps ahead is impractical. Knowing or learning the value of a board position is impossible (for most positions), even for the best chess players. These considerations suggest a need to develop new models of bounded rationality, which may applied to various economic fields of inquiry such as macroeconomics, industrial organization or finance.

Throughout the course, we aim to maintain the tradition of microeconomic theory, with its emphasis on careful modeling and logical deduction, while incorporating elements of bounded rationality / behavioral economics. While our orientation is theoretical, it is the nature of this subject that the distance from theory to application can be very short. Therefore, we recommend this course to students with a taste for theory but also for students who are curious about how to introduce novel elements of bounded rationality / behavioral economics into "applied" fields as diverse as industrial organization, labor economics, public finance, macroeconomics and financial economics.

Taught by:
Rani Spiegler and Philippe Jehiel
Assessment:

Teaching:

  • Term 2: 10 lectures and 5 tutorials
  • Assessment: During May/June you will be required to sit a two-hour closed book examination.
Suitable for:
 
Prerequisites:  
Moodle page:
ECONG211