Business Cycle Analysis and Macroeconomic Policies

FIE403 Business Cycle Analysis and Macroeconomic Policies

Spring 2024

Autumn 2024
  • Topics

    In this course, you will learn how the economy is doing, how can you tell, and what are the likely policy actions. You will learn quantitative methods and empirical insights relevant to the analysis of business cycles. A particular focus is directed to monetary policy and the interaction between business cycles and financial markets. A key feature of the course is the emphasis on present day-to-day developments in the global economy.

    • The decomposition of real GDP in trend and business cycles, impulse- and propagation mechanisms.
    • Quantitative analysis of business cycles: Decomposition of cycles vs. trend (times series and filter techniques), seasonal adjustments, trend-forecasts.
    • Business cycles versus financial cycles.
    • Monetary policy and interest rate setting.
    • Coordination of monetary and fiscal policy.
    • Economic and financial indicators.
    • The interaction between financial markets and macroeconomic developments.
    • Business cycles and the labor market.
    • Macroeconomic developments and the housing- and real estate markets.
    • The response of labour markets during recessions.
    • The micro-level origins of business cycles.

  • Learning outcome

    Upon completion of the course, students can:


    • Analyse business cycles and the interactions between macroeconomic developments and financial markets.
    • Discuss how monetary policy and business cycle events affect interest rates and stock markets.
    • Interpret business cycle indicators and macroeconomic development.


    • Analyse business cycle concepts and chronology.
    • Conduct a quantitative analysis of business cycles, including the decomposition of time series into trend, cycle, seasonal components, as well as forecasts.
    • Apply theories of monetary and fiscal policy and interest rate setting.
    • Evaluate the current business cycle conditions and future developments.

    General competence

    • Analyse economic policy and business cycles.
    • Produce forecasts of important macroeconomic and financial indicators.

  • Teaching

    The course consists of lectures, guest lectures and project work in groups.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Basic knowledge about macroeconomics, finance and empirical methods from the bachelor programme.

  • Required prerequisites

    Basic knowledge about macroeconomics, finance and empirical methods from the bachelor program.

  • Compulsory Activity

    • Mandatory assignment (approved/not approved).
    • Participation in the monthly "Great Business Cycle Analysis Competition" (GBCAC).

    Both the mandatory assignment and GBCAC competition are completed in groups of 2-3 students.

    Previously acquired course approvals are valid.

  • Assessment

    4 hours digital school exam.

  • Grading Scale

    A - F

  • Computer tools

    Use of standard computer tools (excel, etc.).

  • Literature

    The course literature will consist of selected articles, research reports and book chapters, national budget, etc.

  • Permitted Support Material


    One bilingual dictionary (Category I)

    All in accordance with Supplementary provisions to the Regulations for Full-time Study Programmes at the Norwegian School of Economics Ch.4 Permitted support material


ECTS Credits
Teaching language
Norwegian and English. Norwegian spring 2024.

Autumn and spring. Will be offered spring 2024.

Course responsible

Professor Gernot Doppelhofer, Department of Economics (main course responsible)

Associate Professor II Birger Vikøren, Department of Economics