Course details and plans

Plans and formalities

Official course description (pdf, 80 kb)
Preliminary reading plan, January 21 (pdf, 310 kb)
Working schedule, January 21 (updated April 7) (pdf, 60 kb)


Course details

The aim of the course is to offer an understanding of several aspects of money and the macro economy, thereby providing insights into how and why monetary phenomena and policy affect important macroeconomic aggregates such as output, consumption, inflation and unemployment. Moreover, focus will be on the characteristics of “good” monetary policymaking in the sense of assessing the advantages and disadvantages of various monetary policy strategies. To secure a firm foundation for the aspects covered, emphasis will be on rigorously formulated theoretical models. Economic intuition, however, is just as important as mathematical formalism. Although the curriculum will be mainly theoretical, the empirical relevance of the material will not be underplayed. Particular aspects to be covered include: money’s role in flexible-price general equilibrium models; money’s role with incomplete nominal adjustment; credibility problems in monetary policy; the importance of institutional frameworks for monetary policy; interest rate rules.

The curriculum will consist of a large part of Carl. E. Walsh (2010): Monetary Theory and Policy. Third Edition, The MIT Press.

Recommended qualifications: As some of the material requires a thorough understanding of macroeconomic general equilibrium models, it is a prerequisite to master economic theory at a level corresponding to David Romer (2006): Advanced Macroeconomics, McGraw-Hill. In particular, the chapter on the Ramsey model should be known. One should therefore be familiar with basic intertemporal optimization, and analyses of static and dynamic systems with rational expectations.

Most importantly, one should not be afraid of mathematical rigor. At the end of the day it merely serves to create conclusions and policy implications that are internally consistent. Not a bad starting point for organizing your thoughts. And remember that it's the economics which is the important stuff; the math is just a helpful tool!

Assessment: Written 3-hour exam; closed book. Date: June 24.

The teaching language is English.

Old exam sets

Go here (opens new window) for the collection of previous exam sets and suggested solutions. Note that the exam in 2006 was "open book" and therefore slightly harder than the earlier exams. Hence, the exams in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 are the most representative for the exam of this course. Note, however, that all these exams, except the 2010 one, were 4-hour exams. This year we only do a three-hour exam, and the exam set will be correspondingly reduced. Also note, that Walsh's book is this year is based on a new version, so there are some slight variations. I noted that the 2003 exam is a weird version of the set. So here it is (pdf, 70 Kb)