Macroeconomic Policy in the EU


Course Objective

You can identify the academic contribution and policy implications of
theoretical and empirical research in macroeconomics.

You can develop and support a solution to a current macroeconomic policy
problem in Europe based on existing theoretical and empirical academic

You can professionally present your solution to a current macroeconomic
policy problem in Europe to policy makers.

You can identify the most important macroeconomic challenges facing

You can make and implement and plan to fill in gaps in the knowledge you
need to develop a solution to a current macroeconomic policy problem in

Course Content

After almost a decade of crisis, over the last year the EU and the
Eurozone have experienced a more steady economic recovery. The crisis
had exposed weaknesses of the construction of the Economic and Monetary
Union of the European Union (EMU) and a variety of reforms has been
implemented to address these weaknesses. Nevertheless, the situation
remains fragile and it is not clear that the EU is well prepared for
future macroeconomic difficulties. Arguably, this is not a time for
complacency and much remains to be done in improving macroeconomic
policy in the EU.

In this course you will study macroeconomic policy in the EU. You will
work on identifying the key macroeconomic policy issues facing the EU
and the Eurozone, and on determining which issue is currently the most
important. You will identify the best available academic research on
this most important issue, including empirical and theoretical research
in economics, and potentially relevant research in fields outside of but
related to economics. Taking into account this research as well as other
relevant considerations, you will formulate concrete policy
recommendations for addressing this issue.

As is clear from the preceding paragraph, the content of this course is
largely endogenous. It depends on what you, as a group, decide is the
macroeconomic policy issue that is currently most important for the EU
and the Eurozone. It also depends on what you, as a group, identify as
the best available academic research on this issue. The teachers of the
course will provide you with guidance in making these decisions. As
experts in macroeconomics, they will also be a resource that helps you
with understanding challenging research papers in economics.

Teaching Methods

As discussed in the content section, the content of this course is not
pre-determined by the teachers. Rather, it is determined by what you
decide as a group. In the beginning of the course, the teachers will
primarily moderate and guide the process of identifying the most
important policy issue currently facing the EU and the Eurozone, and in
finding the best available academic research on this issue. Thus there
will be no traditional lecturing at the beginning of the course. In your
class meetings, you will decide that certain tasks need to be carried
out before the next class meeting. For example, it may be necessary to
prepare short presentations of the arguments supporting the case that
particular policy issues are the most important. You will decide on
these tasks together with the teachers. These tasks then become homework
assignments that may be graded. They can be individual or group

After the class meetings in Weeks 1 and 2, you will have identified a
first set of high-quality research papers that are relevant for the most
important policy issue you have identified. You will then do a first
reading of these papers. Given your current level of training in
economics, there are likely to be important aspects of the analysis that
you would like to understand better before using the paper as a basis
for policy advice. You will identify these aspects of the analysis,
formulating specific questions describing what you would like to
understand better. At this stage, you can request that the teachers give
lectures on this research that address your questions.

In the process of identifying high-quality academic research, the
teachers will guide you to also include relevant empirical research
papers. They will then design an empirical assignment that ask you to
replicate parts of the empirical analysis. This is intended to promote
your understanding of the empirical research and give you an opportunity
to apply elements of what you have learned in the course on advanced

Throughout, we will adopt the perspective of a think tank that is
focused on macroeconomic policy in Europe. In Week 1 and the beginning
of Week 2, we adopt the perspective of the board of directors of this
think tank. Here the objective will be to set priorities for the work of
the think tank, identifying the most important policy issue that the
think tank should focus its resources on. We will then switch gears,
adopting the perspective of policy consultants working for this think
tank. As policy consultants, we need to identify high-quality academic
research and obtain a sufficient level of understanding of this research
to confidently provide policy recommendations. Your final task (in Weeks
5 and 6) will be to write a policy brief that is providing a concrete
policy recommendation, supported by the academic research we have
considered, and taking into account other considerations you find
important. The policy brief will be a group assignment, and accounts for
a substantial part of the final grade.

Method of Assessment

Open Exam
Individual Writing Assignments and Presentations
Case/paper Group (Policy Brief)

Entry Requirements

Bachelor economics or another bachelor plus premaster.


There is no textbook. The readings consist primarily of academic
research articles and policy papers.

Recommended background knowledge

Good knowledge of macro- and microeconomics as well as methods of
empirical analysis.

General Information

Course Code E_EC_MPEU
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. B.A. Brugemann
Examiner dr. B.A. Brugemann
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

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