Topics in Economics (MSB275)
This course introduces topics that are essential to understand modern economies.
Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.
Semester tution start
Number of semesters
Language of instruction
The course will cover the following topics, of which the order may vary from year to year.
Labor supply: individual trade-offs between work and leisure, parental labor force participation, welfare and labor supply, returns to education, human capital model
Labor demand: firms decisions on employment
Taxing labour, owners, firms, and goods: payroll taxes, dividend taxation, corporate income taxation, value added taxes (VAT). To understand the effects of such taxes, the course will consider key issues like market power, tax incidence and rigidities affecting wages, employment and prices.
Self-selection: the Roy model, which provides an understanding of why, for example, different workers choose different occupations. Its insights is highly relevant to understand why empirical correlations may not be causal relationships.
Choosing between now and the future: the overlapping generations model, which allows discussion of issues related to market efficiency and the role of the government.
For many of the topics, theory will be contrasted by empirical evidence. Identification issues will then typically be discussed: how convincing is the empirical analysis in revealing causal relationships?
Knowledge: Upon completion of the course, students will better understand:
- fundamental principles that determine individuals' labour supply and firms' labor demand
- rigidities affecting wages, employment and prices
- the concept of tax incidence
- the concept of ‘self-selection’
- a dynamic, overlapping generations framework with optimizing agents
Skills: Upon completion of the course, students will have learned:
- to better understand economic data
- to apply economic reasoning to new and policy-relevant questions
- to apply economic theories to assess economic arguments and discuss policies
- to confront empirical evidence with economic theory: what does the recent research tell me about X, and why do the usual models of X fail to predict this?
Required prerequisite knowledge
|Form of assessment||Weight||Duration||Marks||Aid|
|School exam||1/1||4 Hours||Letter grades||None permitted|