Fundamental Courses

The five fundamental courses of the master program are compulsory and are always offered in the winter term. The topics are as follows.

Based on a solid understanding of the theory of the firm and the household, this course covers issues like regulation, game theory, welfare effects of government-induced price distortions, and the theory of market failures. Furthermore, the course provides students with modern tools while enabling them to understand and work with scholarly articles in areas such as public finance and industrial organization.

This course introduces basic concepts and key tools that are central to the understanding of macroeconomic issues, ranging from short-term economic fluctuations to long-term growth. Students will learn how models are used to understand key empirical facts in macroeconomic data, how to use mathematical tools for the analysis of model economies, how to develop and use the most common models for understanding the relationship between aggregate output, inflation and interest rates, and the key drivers of macroeconomic growth and cycles, and how to develop policy recommendations and conduct practical policy analysis. At the end of the course, students should be able to apply the modern macroeconomist's toolkit to macroeconomic questions of current importance. While the course makes frequent use of mathematics, mathematical expertise is not a goal in itself: Mathematics provides a systematic approach for making sense of complicated economic relationships. The course includes problem sets with practice questions.

The course in Econometrics introduces the methods behind the empirical analysis of micro- and macro-data as they are encountered in cross-sectional and time series studies, respectively. Application of these methods will be demonstrated with real data examples solved with standard computer software. Students learn how to carry out empirical studies of the nature of economic relationships. The course presumes that students are familiar with linear regression models and material from elementary econometrics or empirical economics.

The course on Capital Markets and Asset Pricing is designed to provide a solid understanding of theoretical concepts related to capital markets and to equip students with practical application skills. The course will discuss a series of institutional and methodological issues required to understand the more advanced problems which are addressed in subsequent semesters. These issues include: utility theory, modern portfolio theory, asset pricing models, and option pricing theory.

It is the objective of this one-semester course to provide students with an overview of the modern theory of finance and to equip them with the most important conceptual instruments in the field of financial economics required for other, more application-oriented courses. Issues to be covered include: corporate valuation (DCF, WACC, APV, and real options), information and incentive problems in financial contracting (adverse selection, moral hazard, incomplete contracts), financial intermediaries and markets (financial relationships, delegated monitoring, and shareholder value), and the role of ownership and corporate governance (organization, compensation and market discipline). These issues will be discussed by means of examples and case studies.