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“Economic Challenges in Switzerland (and beyond),” Bern, Spring 2022

Summary:
BA course at the University of Bern. Uni Bern’s official course page: The course targets students who have completed their mandatory training in microeconomics, macroeconomics and mathematics (i.e., students in the second half of their BA studies) and who are interested in modern macroeconomic theory. The objective of the course is threefold: Students should learn to think analytically, like economists do; they should understand select tools of modern macroeconomic theory; and they should learn to apply the tools and the economic reasoning to frame and understand policy issues in Switzerland and beyond. We start by discussing a couple of macroeconomic policy topics at the level a newspaper would cover them. Based on this review we identify topics that are of most interest to the

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BA course at the University of Bern.

Uni Bern’s official course page:

  • The course targets students who have completed their mandatory training in microeconomics, macroeconomics and mathematics (i.e., students in the second half of their BA studies) and who are interested in modern macroeconomic theory. The objective of the course is threefold: Students should learn to think analytically, like economists do; they should understand select tools of modern macroeconomic theory; and they should learn to apply the tools and the economic reasoning to frame and understand policy issues in Switzerland and beyond.
  • We start by discussing a couple of macroeconomic policy topics at the level a newspaper would cover them. Based on this review we identify topics that are of most interest to the students and the lecturer. Collaboratively, we determine steps to analyze them more carefully and deeply and we execute these steps. Topics might include, for example, growth; monetary and fiscal policy; crypto-currencies; CBDC; government debt; sovereign debt crises; exchange rates; inequality; etc.
  • The students drive the selection of topics and the analytical discussion in class—active participation is key!—while the lecturer guides the discussion and introduces tools where adequate. In small groups the students focus on a specific aspect of a topic, prepare a short note on it, and present it in class.
  • The course grade is a weighted average of the grade for the student’s participation in class and the grade for the group’s note/presentation. There is no exam unless participation is very weak.
  • We will meet during most weeks of the semester, with interruptions when the groups need time to prepare their notes/presentations.
  • Lecture: Monday, 10.15 – 12.00 h.
Dirk Niepelt
Dirk Niepelt is Director of the Study Center Gerzensee and Professor at the University of Bern. A research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR, London), CESifo (Munich) research network member and member of the macroeconomic committee of the Verein für Socialpolitik, he served on the board of the Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics and was an invited professor at the University of Lausanne as well as a visiting professor at the Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) at Stockholm University.

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