Category Archives: Teaching

“Macroeconomics II,” Bern, Fall 2017

MA course at the University of Bern.

Time: Wed 10-12. KSL course site. Course assistant: Christian Myohl.

The course introduces Master students to modern macroeconomic theory. Building on the analysis of the consumption-saving trade off and on concepts from general equilibrium theory, the course covers workhorse general equilibrium models of modern macroeconomics, including the representative agent framework, the overlapping generations model, and possibly the Lucas tree model. Lectures follow chapters 1–4 (possibly 5) in this text.

“Fiscal and Monetary Policies,” Bern, Spring 2017

MA course at the University of Bern.

The classes follow chapters 11–13 in this text (updated April 12, 2017) and build on the material covered in chapters 1–5. Uni Bern’s official course page. The course TA is Christian Myohl.

Main contents:

  1. Concepts.
  2. RA model with government spending and taxes.
  3. Government debt in RA model.
  4. Government debt and social security in OLG model.
  5. Neutrality results.
  6. Consolidated government budget constraint.
  7. Fiscal effects on inflation. Game of chicken.
  8. FTPL. Active and passive policies.
  9. Primal and dual approach.
  10. Tax smoothing.
  11. Time consistent policy.

“Fiscal and Monetary Policies,” Bern, Spring 2016

MA course at the University of Bern.

The classes follow section 5 in these notes and build on the material covered in section 2. Uni Bern’s official course page.

Main contents of lectures:

  1. Concepts. RA model with government spending and taxes.
  2. RA model: Equilibrium with lump sum or distorting taxes.
  3. Government debt in RA model.
  4. Government debt and social security in OLG model.
  5. Consolidated government budget constraint [2 lectures].
  6. Neutrality results in CIA model.
  7. Game of chicken. FTPL. Active and passive policies.
  8. Tax smoothing (Barro 1979).
  9. Tax smoothing (Lucas and Stokey 1983) [2 lectures].
  10. Time consistent tax policy (Lucas and Stokey 1983).
  11. Time consistent debt policy: Sovereign debt.
  12. Time consistent monetary policy (Barro and Gordon 1983) [time permitting].

“Fiscal and Monetary Policies,” Bern, Spring 2015

MA course at the University of Bern.

The classes follow section 5 in these notes and build on the material covered in section 2. Uni Bern’s official course page.

Update (April 22, 2015)—Main contents of lectures:

  1. Concepts. RA model with government spending and taxes.
  2. RA model: Equilibrium with lump sum or distorting taxes.
  3. Government debt in RA model.
  4. Government debt and social security in OLG model.
  5. Consolidated government budget constraint [2 lectures].
  6. Neutrality results in CIA model.
  7. Game of chicken. FTPL. Active and passive policies.
  8. Tax smoothing (Barro 1979).
  9. Tax smoothing (Lucas and Stokey 1983) [2 lectures].
  10. Time consistent tax policy (Lucas and Stokey 1983).
  11. Time consistent debt policy: Sovereign debt.
  12. Time consistent monetary policy (Barro and Gordon 1983) [time permitting].

“Makroökonomie I (Macroeconomics I),” Bern, Fall 2012

Undergraduate course at the University of Bern.

Lectures are held in German and cover the following topics: Einfühung; IS-LM; Arbeitsmarkt; AS-AD; Phillips; Erwartungen; Aussenhandel, Kapitalverkehr, Wechselkurse; Gütermarkt in der offenen Volkswirtschaft; Mundell-Fleming; Währungspolitik; Staatsverschuldung; Wachstum (Empirie); Solow; Technischer Fortschritt. Lectures follow these slides (in German): Part 1, part 2, part 3. Time: Wed 12-14. University course site. Exam: See university course site for date, time, location. Course assistant: Sarah Fischer.

“Makroökonomie I (Macroeconomics I),” Bern, Fall 2011

Undergraduate course at the University of Bern.

Lectures are given in German and cover the following topics: Einführung; IS-LM; Arbeitsmarkt; AS-AD; Phillips; Erwartungen; Aussenhandel, Kapitalverkehr, Wechselkurse; Gütermarkt in der offenen Volkswirtschaft; Mundell-Fleming; Währungspolitik; Staatsverschuldung; Wachstum (Empirie); Solow; Technischer Fortschritt. Lectures follow these slides (in German): Part 1, part 2, part 3. Time: Wed 13-15. University course site. Exam in January and February 2012; see university course site for date, time, location. Course assistant: Andreas Bachmann.

“Macroeconomics II,” Bern, Fall 2010

MA course at the University of Bern.

Lectures and exercises follow these notes (September 1, 2010). Dates and times: Wed 10-12 and 14-16. Rooms: See university course site. Exam date, time, location: December 22, 2010, 12-14, Nr.220 / 2.OG West (Universität Bern, Hochschulstrasse 4). Retake exam date, time, location: February 16, 2011, 14-16, HS 114. Office hours arranged on an individual basis.

“Macroeconomics II,” Bern, Fall 2009

MA course at the University of Bern.

Lectures and exercises follow these notes (December 1, 2009). Dates and times: Wed 10-12 and 14-16. Rooms: See university course site. Exam date, time, location: December 16, 2009; 14-16; A 003 UniS, Schanzeneckstrasse 1. Last year’s exam. Office hours arranged individually, after the lectures.

Why study this material? Some observers claim that the recent crisis points to a failure of economics and in particular, macroeconomics. It is argued that macroeconomic models are based on unrealistic assumptions and that modelers are driven by a desire to build abstract, formally appealing rather than empirically relevant models. Much of this criticism is unwarranted and reflects ignorance about the state of economic research. The modeling kit of economists far exceeds the baseline, frictionless models that are taught at the entry level of Master or PhD studies and against much of the current criticism is directed. For example, contractual or informational frictions—central to understanding the recent crisis—are the focus of a significant body of research in macroeconomics and other fields, past and present. Good Master or PhD programs teach models focusing on such frictions at the advanced level. But for students to be able to follow richer models with such “realistic” frictions, they must be familiar with the basic concepts, and these basic concepts are best taught in the context of simple, to-the-point baseline models. One may criticize the selection of models taught in advanced Master or PhD courses (as does Paul Krugman in the New York Times); the more fundamental critique against economics and in particular, macroeconomics does not make much sense.

“Macroeconomics II,” Bern, Fall 2008

MA course at the University of Bern.

Lectures and exercises follow these notes (December 10, 2008). Dates; times; rooms (206 is in the main building, A222 is in UniS): September 17; 10-12, 14-15; 206 — September 24; 10-12, 14-15; A222 — October 1; 10-12, 13-15; A222 — October 8; 10-12, 13-15; A222 — October 15; 10-12, 13-15; A222 — October 22; 10-12, 13-15; A222 — October 29; 10-12, 14-15; 206 — November 5; 10-12, 13-15; A222 — November 26; 13-15; A222 — December 3; 10-12, 14-15; 206 — December 10; 10-12, 14-15; 206 — December 17; 10-12; 13-15; A222. Exam: Monday, January 5, 2009; 10-12; HS 205 (main building). Office hours arranged on an individual basis, after the lectures. University course site.