MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
PhD Economics options

Year 1, Component 02

EC991-8-AU or EC993-8-AU or EC995-8-AU
Topics in Macroeconomics

This module is divided into two halves. In the first half of the course, you will study normative and positive aspects of dynamic fiscal policy with a particular focus on government debt. After a short introduction to quantitative macroeconomics using the software Matlab, you look at fiscal policy chosen by governments that (i) face political economy distortions, i.e., cannot commit beyond the current tax, expenditure, and debt policies; (ii) are subject to limited commitment, i.e., may strategically choose not to honour the outstanding debt obligations. Specifically, you will look at some or all of the following topics (depending on the progress through the term): 1. Standard solution methods for dynamic economic problems: value function iteration, time iteration, function approximation 2. The political economy of government debt accumulation 3. Sovereign debt and default In the second half of the course you will analyse the implications of search frictions for the labour market, in particular, the existence of unemployment and of wage dispersion across similar workers. You will develop the main tools of the search and matching approach, and discuss both theoretical and empirical literature. You will look at some or all of the following topics (depending on progress through the term): 1. On-the-job Search and Wage Posting 2. Sequential Auctions and Individual Bargaining 3. Sorting in the Labour Market

Topics in Economic Theory

This module discusses some topics at the frontier of microeconomic theory and experimental economics. You will acquire the necessary tools to conduct research in microeconomic theory and experimental economics. The first part of the course will cover topics in behavioural/experimental game theory, while the second part of the course will cover topics in evolutionary game theory.

Topics in Applied Economics

This course covers the basics for doing sound empirical work at the post-graduate level, including Labour and Public Economics, Development and Experiments, Industrial Organization and Trade. The identification issue of causal relationship when analysing experimental and non-experimental data represents the unifying topic of the course. Much in the spirit of ‘Correlation is not equal to causation!’ At the end of this course you will have a clear understanding of how to do empirical work in applied micro econometrics.

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