Supplementary Modules

The following is an indicative list. Not all courses are necessarily offered every academic year; and the program may be enriched with further courses when appropriate and feasible.

See all courses offered in current and former semesters in the online course catalogue QIS.

This course reviews the latest research on central banks transparency and reviews the transformation of central banks to become more transparent, accountable, predictable as an important ingredient for communicating monetary policy and for safeguarding financial stability. The course combines guest speakers, case studies and lectures as part of reviewing the reasons for these developments and for providing markets with forward guidance as part of anchoring long-term inflation expectations. The lecture covers current practice of central banks and discusses the optimal level of transparency for independent institutions and the impact on trust.

The course provides a broad overview of basic conceptions as well open questions in central banking. Some lectures are focused on explaining key concepts of central banking is, what banks do and why they have become so influential for financial markets and the general public, especially in the wake of the global financial crisis. In the second part, the course deals with puzzles and open questions surrounding central banking, giving students a sense of the debate at frontier research. Question-specific lectures include, for example, the zero bound on nominal interest rates; whether central banks should target the inflation rate or the price level; whether and how low interest rates are detrimental to financial stability; central banks will eventually disappear.

The course will review the main stages of the 2007-2016 crisis, analyse the economic, financial, social and political legacy of the crisis so far, and rationalise the economic, financial and institutional transformations under way.

Excel is a common tool for modeling und analyzing number driven problems, hence especially those common in finance. Going beyond just quick-and-dirty calculations, its spreadsheet structure and integrated functionality make extensive data analysis possible. Starting from scratch without assuming any prior knowledge, we are going to get acquainted with formulas, diagrams, and add-ins for data analysis. Hands-on applications covered are cash-flow models (basic functions, cell referencing, charts), time series (statistics incl. linear regression), simulation (random numbers, VBA), and portfolios (optimization, data input and management). All examples are implemented together in real-time.

The course covers five main topics in the area of international finance:

(i) stylised facts in the risk-return profile and key characteristics of international financial portfolios;

(ii) the structure of the asset management industry and stylised facts on cross border portfolio flows;

(iii) the global financial cycle (in particular the shifts between ”risk on” and ”risk off” episodes) as driver of portfolio flows and asset returns in different countries, and the role of internationally active financial intermediaries (e.g. global banks);

(iv) the role of country fundamentals and policies in driving portfolio flows; and

(v) policy implications of volatile portfolio flows for advanced and emerging markets.

The aim of the course is to provide an accessible entry to the growing literature in this area and to provide stylised facts and suggestions for further reading and research. The slides will be posted online before each lecture, and the course may also foresee seminars led by the students.

Interest rates have been in decline for the last 20 years. Most of the time, this was a response to changes in the economic environment and the downward trend mirrored slow growth and declining inflation. Are such factors also responsible for the most recent decline of interest rates? Are partly negative interest rates caused by the post-crisis economic environment, or are they mainly a result of ultra-loose monetary policy?

How have these monetary policies affected economic growth and inflation? Has there been an impact through the portfolio channel or the credit channel of monetary transmission?

Low interest rates are not without costs: They are a boon for borrowers like the state but a bane for savers. Also, they affect the willingness of investors to take risks and can have consequences for the stability of financial markets. The impact of low interest rates can be studied in the context of the development in Japan which also provides some lessons for economic policy.

The module provides a framework for analyzing the current situation of extreme low yields and their ramifications. While it will use standard economic models, it always relates the discussion to the current economic situation in Europe. In particular, the module will focus on those issues most relevant for assessing the monetary policy of the ECB. By developing an understanding of the European situation of low interest rates, the discussion will highlight necessary policy measures and tools for Europe to escape the growth trap of “too low for too long”.

You will develop in class the analytical framework for designing a macroeconomic reform program. You will then identify the macroeconomic imbalances of a case study economy. You will design in groups a macroeconomic adjustment program that you will finally present in class. Every student will separately submit a paper, outlining the imbalances that risk derailing the economy, a realistic stabilization program, its objectives and policy measures. Within each group, each student ideally covers at least one of the macroeconomic sectors, including the real economy, the balance of payments, the fiscal sector, the central bank, the domestic and external debt, and the financial system. Each group should work closely together in designing the adjustment program given the linkages among the sectors. You will jointly present the program, designed for avoiding a financial crisis.


I. Introduction

II. Sampling theory

III. Analysis of variance

IV. Regression analysis

V. Factor analysis

VI. Cluster analysis

VII. Discriminant analysis

VII. Record linkage

This course aims to teach students multivariate statistical methods such as regression models, variance, factor, discriminant and cluster analysis. It builds upon the methodical knowledge from descriptive and inductive statistics, thus previous knowledge in these areas is a prerequisite. Furthermore the topic record linkage should give a first inside view in techniques to integrate data from different sources. In addition to the theoretical lessons, students have the opportunity to practice the methods using the statistical programme SPSS. The objective is to enable students to apply the procedures to the ‘CAMPUS—Files’ data sets. Supplied by the Research Data Centres of the Federal Statistical Office and based on official microdata, CAMPUS—Files are optimal for gathering experience in handling large datasets and exercising theory in a practical manner.

The aim of the seminar is to familiarize students with the economics of the energy turnaround. This issue is not only an active area of academic research but also a hotly debated subject that is highly relevant for policy makers. The emphasis is put on three aspects of the challenges ahead: (1) energy supply (EEG, capacity markets, electricity generation etc.); (2) energy demand (energy efficiency in households and industry, energy use in transportation, energy storage etc.); (3) policies closely connected to the energy markets (competitiveness of the German economy, transportation and energy policies and others).

After an introduction describing the German energy turnaround - its history, aims and expectations the students will deliver presentations on one of the selected topics. The work is based on recent (empirical) studies and surveys and less focus is put on the technical aspects or theoretical modeling. The presentation topics will be assigned during the introductory meeting on the 16th of April from 18-20h.

The course is primarily intended for Master students in business and economics and especially recommended for those interested in policy making and the work of research institutes.

This course aims at understanding the complexity of international taxation.

Topics cover the principles of taxation of unlimited and limited taxpayers as well as: Principles of Tax Credits of Foreign Income, the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income, CFC and BEPS, EUTax Law.