BA Economics options
Final Year, Component 02
Technological change: past, present and future prospects
In this module, you will focus on the economic history of economic growth and technical change centred on the 'second industrial revolution' and stemming from the advances in the latter part of the 19th century. Beginning with an overview of global patterns of growth to the early 21st century, you’ll be introduced to macroeconomic approaches to long-run growth, in particular accounting for technological change. You’ll focus on case studies of key sectors contributing to technical progress, including electricity, chemicals, in the late 19th century through to Information and Communications Technology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
This module introduces students to the field of behavioural economics which combines economic analysis with insights from psychology to understand human behaviour.
This module is offered at second year undergraduate, and at third year undergraduate. While the content is the same for both levels, the learning outcomes assessed in the modules are slightly different.
What economic issues do computing firms face today? What about the pharmaceutical industry? Or telecommunication organisations? How does new technological knowledge allow these firms to keep a competitive edge? Using real-life case studies, learn how economics model-building methodology helps with the challenges of managing new technology in the modern world.
How are firms organised? What impact does this have on their environment? Or their competitive strategies? Using real-life case studies, understand the economic principles behind different organisational arrangements. Apply economic analysis to address issues about decision making within different firms.
Gain a rich background in the concepts and techniques of game theory, its uses, limitations and issues. The course is also applied, focussing on several important cases of strategic interaction, including auctions, interactions between rival firms, moral hazard and adverse selection, and the theory of the firm. Upon completion of the course, you will be able to evaluate the impact the strategic considerations in the analysis of interactions among decision-makers, and you will have learned how to apply game theory to issues in microeconomics.
This module develops the material started in Intermediate Macroeconomics and aims to give students an understanding of the main types of economic data; how those data are collected, constructed and used and Key ideas in the module will be illustrated with reference to recent events and current policy debates. Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to approach macroeconomic data critically, and to evaluate the strength of empirical evidence for macroeconomic theories and macroeconomic policy positions.
This module examines the distinctive features of less developed economies and introduces you to the literature that attempts to explain the persistence of poverty in those economies. We start with a historical analysis of the growth process to examine why there has been a divergence in the performances between the developed and the developing countries. The module will then elaborate on the role of institutions and incentives in shaping long run economic development. In particular, we shall examine the role of market imperfections, non-market institutions (such as social norms) and governance institutions.
Expand on the mathematical techniques you developed in Mathematical Methods in Economics. You’ll learn how to use additional mathematical tools, which will enable you to analyse a larger, richer, and more interesting set of economic models. The main focus of the course is on methods for studying dynamic economic problems. Rather than concentrating exclusively on mathematical techniques, intuition for how and why these techniques work will be developed through application to specific economic problems.
In this module you will explore a range of methods used in the modern application of econometric techniques to economic and financial data. The course will enable you to practise the relevant methods, rather than to derive estimators or tests, or to prove the theorems upon which these are based.
Analyse the economics rationale for ‘collective choice’ in a market economy in this applied module. Explore social welfare, equity and efficiency, and evaluate the government’s ability to identify and achieve ‘better’ outcomes. By analysing actual programmes in areas of poverty reduction, education, and health, you will be able to apply your knowledge of broad empirical patterns and institutions to real-life situations in the UK and abroad.
How have labour markets changed over time? Why is there an increased inequality of wages? In this module, you will investigate the determination of labour market outcomes, and discuss why and how differences across individuals occur. Using practical examples throughout, you will develop vital analytical tools needed to understand wage and employment foundation and trends, and will discuss what makes the labour market so important.
How does a monopolist make decisions? And what impact do such decisions have? How can regulators control this behaviour? Build your understanding of monopoly industries, starting with the sources, creation and exercise of monopoly power. Critically assess the principles and practices of monopoly regulation, using real-world examples from industry.
How do firms make decisions? And how do these decisions impact on the prices you pay? What role does game theory play? Understand strategic interaction among firms, using theoretical tools to examine real-world examples. Analyse the main economic forces behind firm behaviour, adapting economic models to study particular challenges.
The Economic Geography of Employment, Innovation and Trade
Despite all the talk about the “death of distance”, geography matters more than ever. This course is a journey through the current economic landscape. We will try to understand the economic forces driving trends in wages, productivity and innovation across cities and regions. These are the forces that will define the geography of future jobs and will shape the economic destiny of local communities around the world.
How do foreign exchange markets determine trade? Understand the economic role that international currency markets play. Study models to interpret exchange rate movements and how this links to key macroeconomic variables. Analyse real-life policies that respond to events in the international monetary system.
How do economic theories determine asset prices? Can you apply analytical reasoning to asset pricing problems? Understand capital markets and explore the predictability of asset price changes. Learn to build simple models of asset markets and how to interpret the mathematics of such models in economic terms.
How do you apply economic reasoning to the markets for bonds, futures contracts and financial options? Study the distinctive characteristics of bonds as financial assets. Gain an understanding of derivatives markets, focusing on futures and options. Explore theories of financial intermediation and learn to evaluate models of price determination.
Can economic analysis be applied to environmental issues? And to environmental policies? Understand the strengths and weaknesses of economic analysis when applied to the environment. Learn to design policies that result in positive environmental outcomes in the modern world.
Why does the government play such an important role in the health care sector? How does the patients’ lack of information affect medical prices? Can we use economics modules to understand the rationale for risky behaviours, such as smoking? These are some of the questions you will try to answer during this module, building on your insights of microeconomic theory, and covering a broad range of concepts, theories, and topics related to the economics of healthcare.
Experimental Economics has become a very popular method to address questions that are hard to answer with field data. Laboratory experiments are used to investigate individual choice behaviours such as giving to charities, or behaviour in strategic interactions such as financial markets and collective decision making. The experiments are also used to analyse firm behaviour and assess policies such as anti-trust legislation or even monetary policy. In this module, we will critically evaluate whether these experimental methods provide answers for policy makers and private sector decision makers.
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