Macroeconomic Policy in the EU

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Doel vak

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

Inhoud vak

After almost a decade of crisis, over the last two years the EU and the
Eurozone have experienced a reasonably 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. As the teacher of
the course I will provide you with guidance in making these decisions.
As a trained PhD in macroeconomics, I will also be a resource that helps
you with understanding challenging research papers in economics.


As discussed in the content section, the content of this course is not
pre-determined by the teacher. Rather, it is determined by what you
decide as a group. In the beginning of the course, I will primarily
facilitate 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 me. 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 I give lectures
on this research that address your questions.

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.


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

Vereiste voorkennis

Bachelor economics or another bachelor plus premaster.


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

Aanbevolen voorkennis

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

Algemene informatie

Vakcode E_EC_MPEU
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P4
Vakniveau 400
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit School of Business and Economics
Vakcoördinator dr. B.A. Brugemann
Examinator dr. B.A. Brugemann

Praktische informatie

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