Macroeconomics

Courses Offered

(Cross-listing: Applied Microeconomics – Labor)
The course introduces students to a variety of research questions in the human capital literature. This is a wide and very active area of research at the intersection of macroeconomics, labor, and public finance. The scope of the course is relatively broad and includes both structural models as well as reduced-form empirical methods. The ultimate objective is to provide students with enough background to be able to start their own research in this area. Sample syllabus

The aim of this course is to provide you with an understanding of the mechanisms behind modern economic growth. There will also be a strong focus on computational methods. Though the study of this topic can be quite interesting in its own right, our primary motivation here will be using the theoretical tools we will have developed in conjunction with computational techniques to generate detailed quantitative predictions from models. Sample syllabus

(Cross-listing: International / Development / Comparative Economics)
This is a class in open economy macroeconomics. The course will start with an overview of some of the open questions that are in the field. We will then study the mechanics of benchmark international macro models. Lectures will cover various topics: international risk sharing (and lack of it), international capital flows and global imbalances, sovereign debt and default, financial crises and sudden stops, and business cycles in emerging economies. Sample syllabus

There is a growing interest in applying dynamic-style macro models to investigate demographic issues. This class explores frontier research at the intersection of macroeconomics and demographics, particularly fertility and mortality. The macro literature on fertility examines micro-founded models of the demographic transition, as well as models that account for cross-sectional heterogeneity in family size within and across countries. As fertility choices are not made in isolation from other family-level decisions, these models also provide insights on investments in children’s human and health capital, and on the intergenerational persistence of income and wealth. The macro literature on mortality covers a wide range of issues including the evolution of health spending over time at the individual and aggregate levels; the determinants of differences in life expectancy across individuals and countries; the age-profile of the value of life; and the economic value of health interventions and medical R&D. Macro models are also useful to study the optimality of policies affecting population growth. Sample syllabus

This is a year-long course in which external speakers are invited to present their research in macroeconomics. The seminar is run jointly with the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.