Development of Macroeconomic Thought (PPE)


Course Objective

By the end of the course, the student will:
• Be able to reproduce macroeconomic theories about growth, unemployment
and to describe core macroeconomic concepts.
• Be able to describe the development of different schools of
macroeconomic thought and relate these to their historical context.
• Be able to describe recent macroeconomic theories of growth,
unemployment and inflation and to perform basic computations with
mathematical representations.
• Can relate modern and historical macroeconomic theories to currently
observed macroeconomic phenomena such as the financial crisis or the
crisis in the Eurozone.

Course Content

The course gives students an understanding of how macroeconomic thought
has developed over time. In addition, basic tools are offered to analyze
economic growth and the relation between growth, employment and
inflation. Two lines are followed: (1) monetary economics, focusing on
the role of money in the economy, including fluctuations in the value of
money (deflation/inflation), and (2) theories of growth, including
understanding temporal fluctuations (business cycles), and causes of
growth. These two lines are treated separately in the beginning, when
the early origins of macroeconomic thought are discussed, and as part of
“schools of thought” from the late 18th century onwards. The course
provides basic insights in Classical, Keynesian, Post-Keynesian,
Monetarist, New Classical schools of thought, as well as in the modern
branches of Real Business Cycle Theory and Endogenous Growth Theory. The
course combines a historical/political contextualization of theories
with formal description in model terms. Hence, we also analyze models of
growth and money supply including the Solow growth model, the IS/LM
model, and the Philips curve. Finally, central concepts of
macroeconomics such as inflation, employment, labor productivity and
technological progress are analyzed in relevant contexts, and basic
computational exercises are included to enhance familiarity with these

Teaching Methods

Lectures and active learning groups

Method of Assessment

Group paper (20%), two online quizzes (10% each), final exam (60%) In
the seminars, individual and group assessments and presentations are
included (pass/fail).


McDowell, M., R. Thom, I. Pastine, R. Frank and B. Bernanke (2012),
Principles of Economics , 3rd European Edition, McGraw Hill.
In addition, students are required to read a number of excerpts from
historical economics sources and contemporary articles.

Target Audience

First year PPE students

Additional Information

Please note that participation in the seminars is mandatory.

Custom Course Registration

There is a slightly different enrollment procedure for this module. The standard procedure of the Faculty of Humanities has students sign up for (i) the module, (ii) the form of tuition (lecture and/or preferred seminar group), and (iii) the exam. However, for this module the instructor will assign the students to the seminar groups. Therefore, students should sign up for (i) the module, (ii) lecture and (iii) the exam, but not for the seminar groups.

General Information

Course Code W_JSM_103
Credits 6 EC
Period P5
Course Level 100
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. C.F.A. van Wesenbeeck
Examiner dr. C.F.A. van Wesenbeeck
Teaching Staff dr. C.F.A. van Wesenbeeck

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Seminar*

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: