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.


Course code




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Semester tution start


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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?

Learning outcome

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


Recommended prerequisites

MSB107 Microeconomics


Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
School exam 1/1 4 Hours Letter grades None permitted

Course teacher(s)

Course teacher:

Sophie Cottet

Course teacher:

Iuliia Dudareva

Course coordinator:

Torfinn Harding

Course teacher:

Eric Perry Bettinger

Open for

Business Administration - Master of Science

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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