Macroeconomic Theory and Policy

ECN400 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy

Autumn 2024

Spring 2024
  • Topics

    Central banks and other policy institutions rely on macroeconomic models to assess how policies affect households, firms, and the aggregate economy. In this course, you will learn how these models are built and how they can guide policy-making. How does monetary policy work? What is forward guidance? Why do interest rate changes impact households unequally? And what do lottery winnings have to do with all this?

    The course will cover the following topics in macroeconomics:

    • Basics of modern macroeconomics: individual optimization
    • Planning for the future: dynamic problems
    • How do markets clear: general equilibrium
    • Consumption and savings
    • Real business cycle
    • Government spending and fiscal policy
    • Inflation and monetary policy

  • Learning outcome


    Upon completion of the course, the student can…

    • apply relevant theories on major topics in modern macroeconomics
    • apply empirics to understand major macroeconomic topics
    • understand the role and consequences of macro policies


    Upon completion of the course, the student can…

    • analyse macroeconomic questions with the help of modern macroeconomic models
    • use data analysis to support an economic argument

    General competence

    Upon completion of the course, the student can…

    • communicate key insights based on macroeconomic models
    • design empirical support for economic arguments 

  • Teaching

    The teaching consists of in-person plenary lectures, guest lectures, and exercise classes.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Macroeconomics at the undergraduate level, for example the textbook by Jones "Macroeconomics".

  • Required prerequisites


  • Compulsory Activity


  • Assessment

    4 hours individual take-home exam. 

    The exam must be written in English.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    • Julio Garin, Robert Lester, "Intermediate Macroeconomics" (online book)
    • Andolfatto, David (2008): Macroeconomic Theory and Policy (2nd Edition) (online book)
    • D. Backus et al. (2016): The Global Economy, NYU Stern. (online book)
    • Parts of recent articles and research reports.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered autumn 2024.

Course responsible

Associate Professor Krisztina Molnar, Department of Economics (main course responsible).

Assistant Professor Markus Karlman, Department of Economics