GRA 6639 Business Cycles

GRA 6639 Business Cycles

Course code: 
GRA 6639
Department: 
Economics
Credits: 
6
Course coordinator: 
Gisle James Natvik
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
MSc in Applied Economics
Semester: 
2020 Spring
Active status: 
Active
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

This course is a graduate level course in macroeconomics, allowing theory to meet data. More particularly, this course emphasizes economic fluctuations and policies motivated by business cycle fluctuations. Key questions regard whether swings in economic growth and employment are associated with a sustainable use of economic resources over time. Specific attention will be devoted to the macroeconomic effects of swings in oil prices and oil production, both nationally and internationally.

The approach adopted in this course emphasizes the dynamic dimension of interesting applied macroeconomic problems. Participants will be introduced to digital tools used in modern quantitative macroeconomics.

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 macroeconomic fluctuations, 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, in particular real business cycle models and new Keynesian models (iii) the role of monetary and fiscal policy with respect to the business cycle, (iv) oil and macroeconomics

Learning outcomes - Skills

Course participants will develop skills to analyze macroeconomic fluctuations and the role of economic policy, using quantitative macroeconomics.

Course participants will be introduced to tools used in business cycle analysis, in particular the software Matlab. They will be introduced to how quantitative economic models can be solved using Matlab, and how to use these tools to address macroeconomic questions.

Course participants will develop skills to dissect, understand, and present challenging and relevant macroeconomic problems in the real world.

General Competence

The students will be exposed to current macroeconomic theories and their implications for understanding key macroeconomic policy issues, as well as the practical tools used for macroeconomic analysis.

Course content

1. Stylized facts of business cycles

  • Measuring business cycles (trend - cycles)
  • The role of leading indicators
  • Sources of business cycles, different shocks
  • Using facts to discipline and distinguish models

2. Introduction to advanced theories of business cycles - quantitative macroeconomics

  • Real Business Cycle models
  • Solving models numerically (with a computer)

3. New Keynesian models and monetary policy

  • Nominal rigidities
  • New Keynesian Phillips curve
  • Taylor rules

4.  Fiscal policy

  • Ricardian equivalence
  • Neo-classical fiscal multiplier
  • New Keynesian fiscal multiplier
  • Empirical estimates of the fiscal multiplier

5. Commodities and macroeconomics

  • The role of oil price shocks for oil importing and exporting countries
  • Optimal policy for resource rich economies
Teaching and learning activities

-

Software tools
Matlab
Additional information

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.

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 starts.

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

Qualifications

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 categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Activity
Form of assessment:
Presentation
Exam code:
GRA66394
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
20No -Group (4 - 6) Presentation
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA66394
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
80Yes3 Hour(s)
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual Written examination under supervision
Exams:
Exam category:Activity
Form of assessment:Presentation
Weight:20
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (4-6)
Support materials:
Duration: -
Comment: Presentation
Exam code:GRA66394
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:80
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Comment:Written examination under supervision
Exam code:GRA66394
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
ECTS
Total weight: 
100
Sum workload: 
0

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.