Business Cycle Analysis

FIE403 Business Cycle Analysis

Autumn 2021

  • Topics

    This course considers economic theory, quantitative methods and empirical insights relevant for the analysis of business cycles domestically as well as internationally. 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
    • Economic and financial indicators
    • Different macroeconomic "schools" and models of business cycles
    • The interaction between financial markets and macroeconomic developments
    • Aspects of productivity growth and measurement
    • Macroeconomic developments and the housing- and real estate markets
    • Oil prices, the petroleum sector and business cycles
    • Macroeconomic prospects domestically and globally

  • Learning outcome


    • Students will obtain in-depth knowledge of the analysis of business cycles and the interaction between macroeconomic developments and financial markets.
    • The course introduces students to relevant theories, methods and empirical findings to understand business cycles in Norway and internationally.
    • The course has special emphasis on monetary policy and business cycle events and their effect on developments of interest rates and stock markets.


    Upon completion of the course, students will:

    • be able to use business cycle concepts and chronology
    • be able to conduct a quantitative analysis of business cycles, including the decomposition of time series into trend, cycle, seasonal components, as well as forecasts.
    • have a good overview over central parts of theories of monetary policy and interest rate setting.
    • have good empirical knowledge of business cycle indicators and predictions about business cycles.
    • have an overview over macroeconomic schools of thought in business cycle theories.
    • have the capacity to evaluate the current business cycle conditions and future developments.

    General competence

    • Upon completion of the course, students will be able to analyze the development of current macroeconomic trends.

  • Teaching

    Lectures, guest lectures and project work in groups. Lectures will be streamed and recorded on video.

  • Recommended prerequisites

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

  • Required prerequisites

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

  • Requirements for course approval

    One written assignment and submission of business cycle predictions. Course approval valid for both Norwegian and English assessment.

  • Assessment

    Individual four hour written home exam. Grades: A -F.

    Autumn semester: the exam must be written in English. 

  • 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.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language
Autumn, English version of the course. Spring, Norwegian version of the course.

Autumn (English) and spring (Norwegian). Offered Autumn 2021.

Course responsible

Professor Jan Tore Klovland, Department of Economics (main course responsible)

Associate Professor Krisztina Molnar, Department of Economics

Professor II. Tommy Sveen, Department of Economics