Course descriptions for the summer term 2011

040185/4 UK Introductory Macroeconomics (Einführung in die Makroökonomie)


UK, 4 hours per week


Time and location:     Monday 12:00–14:00, Hörsaal 7, BWZ;

            Thursday 12:30–14:00 Hörsaal 9, BWZ

Start: March 3, 2011


Course description: The course offers an introduction to modern macroeconomics. Most of it is based on the textbook by Olivier Blanchard: Macroeconomics (Prentice-Hall) in its fifth edition (older editions can be used, but note that there are some changes in some formulas and in notation between editions). For an introduction to national accounting, see Dudley Jackson: The New National Accounts (Edward Elgar). In this field, the relevant material for all tests is a lecture note by Ana Ania-Martinez, which will be made available to participants. No special preliminary knowledge is required, but some competence in mathematical methods is certainly useful.

In line with the current study plan does this course contain an inseparable mix of elements of ‘lectures’ and of ‘exercises’. Approximately one fourth of the time should be devoted to repetition and to exercises. It is essential that students participate actively. The final grade is determined from a weighted average of exercises (15%), a written midterm test (40%), and a written final test (45%). You need 50% of the total achievable score to pass the course. In particular, note that a positive midterm test is not a binding constraint. However, you cannot pass without participating in the midterm test. In the ‘exercises’ component, points are allotted for regular attendance and for occasional written homework, the main emphasis is however on the presentation of exercises during the course. Midterm and final tests will be organized jointly with the parallel groups.


Course contents:

1. National accounts

2. The goods market

3. The financial market

4. The IS-LM model (short-run equilibrium on goods and financial markets)

5. The labor market

6. The AS-AD model (medium-run equilibrium on three markets)

7. Phillips curve, Okun's law, medium-run dynamic model

8. The open economy (exchange rates, Mundell-Fleming model)

The course contents correspond roughly to chapters 1-9 and 18-20 of Blanchard’s book. All economic theories and models are illustrated using Austrian and international data.

390039 UK PhD-E: Econometric Methods for Panel Data


UK, 2 hours per week


Time and location: Wednesday 12:00–13:30, Seminarraum 2, Hohenstaufengasse 9

Start: March 2, 2011

Course description: The lecture course surveys econometric techniques that are used on two-dimensional data sets, one dimension of which is time. Such data sets, generally named panels or sometimes longitudinal data, occur in macroeconomics, for example in inter-country comparisons, where the time dimension dominates, as well as in labor economics, where a short time dimension and a large cross-section dimension is the rule.

The following topics could be covered:

Models for panel data (fixed and random effects, one-way and two-way)

Estimation procedures for panels (LSDV or within-groups estimator, GLS)

Tests (poolability, Hausman test)

Heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation

Dynamic panels (Nickell bias, instrumental variable estimation)

Panel tests for unit roots

The methods are explained using empirical examples that are handled by computer software. As important literature related to this course, I would recommend the textbooks by Hsiao: Analysis of Panel Data (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and by Baltagi: Econometric Analysis of Panel Data (Wiley, 2005).

In line with the course form UK, the evaluation of students is to be composed of several parts. The definitive form will be convened at the first meeting on March 2. It may also depend on the number of participants. In recent comparable courses, the course grade was a weighted average of a written test (45%) in early May, and of a presentation of an advanced topic from the above list or of an independent empirical project on panel data (55%). For the latter point, joint work in groups of two or three participants is encouraged. Grades will be based on the written report of the presented project to be submitted by the end of the course. For literature presentations, the report may consist of elaborate presentation slides. For empirical projects, the report will indicate clearly the aim of the project and its potential conclusions. Printouts of software results or screen shots are not acceptable as reports.