GRA 6639 Business Cycles

GRA 6639 Business Cycles

Course code: 
GRA 6639
Course coordinator: 
Hilde Christiane Bjørnland
Course name in Norwegian: 
Business Cycles
Product category: 
MSc in Business - Economics
2018 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

This course is a graduate level course in macroeconomics, allowing theory to meet data. A special focus is on economic fluctuations and policies. To that end, the approach adopted emphasizes the dynamic dimension of interesting applied macroeconomic problems.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

This course is organized in a sequence of topics, where we address each topic in detail using both theory and applied methods. The empirical relevance of the different theories will be critically assessed. The course focuses on economic fluctuations in open economies, covering topics such as (i) the stylized facts of business cycles and the role of different shocks in the cycle, (ii) advanced theories of the business cycles (models og the real business cycle and New Keynesian models) (iii) the role of monetary and fiscal policy in the business cycle, (iv) commodities and macroeconomics

Learning outcomes - Skills

The students will be able to understand drivers of economic fluctuations and the role of economic policy. They should be able to understand the challenging and relevant macroeconomic problems in the real world.

Learning Outcome - Reflection

The students will be exposed to current macroeconomic theories and their implications for understanding key macroeconomic policy issues.

Course content

1. Stylized facts of business cycles

  • •Measuring business cycles (trend - cycles)
  • •The role of leading indicators
  • Sentiment index (Big data)
  • •Sources of business cycles, a story of different shocks

2. Advanced theories of business cycles (quantitative macroeconomics)

  • • Real Business Cycle models
  • • Can economic fluctuations be explained by technology shocks?

3. New Keynesian models and monetary and fiscal policy

  • • New Keynesian Phillips curve
  • • Taylor rules
  • Monetary and fiscal policy

4. Commodities and macroeconomics

  • • The role of oil price shocks for oil importing and exporting countries
  • • Optimal policy for resource rich economies
Learning process and requirements to students

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course start.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Required prerequisite knowledge

GRA 6634 Advanced Macroeconomics or equivalent

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Group (4 - 6)
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Support materials: 
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
3 Hour(s)
Final written examination with supervision
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam organisation: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
Total weight: 
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.