THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2017/2018

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Economics : Economics

Postgraduate Course: Advanced Topics in Macroeconomics (ECNM11005)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Economics CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course extends the core macroeconomics course to (1) monetary policy and monetary theory, with a special focus on the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, and (2) . These are topics of key importance in contemporary macroeconomics, and should be taken by students who plan to do a PhD on macroeconomic theory or applied macroeconomics.
Course description The course will be divided into two main components as follows:

Component 1: The (Monetary) Economics of Bitcoin (Dr. Gronwald) Two sessions; dates tbc

The virtual currency of Bitcoin emerged in 2008, developed by a group of anonymous programmers with the purpose to make possible online payments without involvement of a financial institution or other third parties. Bitcoin is the most popular virtual currency and received considerable attention from both the general public and academia, mainly due to the spectacular price behaviour, its general novelty value and certainly also extraordinary events and scandals related to Bitcoin. It does not come as a surprise that monetary theorists as well as central banks are particularly interested in this phenomenon. Among the themes under discussion are, for instance, whether or not Bitcoin has the ability to perform the functions required of a fiat money. In addition, there is a discussion on whether or not Bitcoin can disrupt existing monetary systems. Considerable attention is paid to the feature that the total number of Bitcoins is fixed: "In the case of a 'wild success' of Bitcoins and the replacement of sovereign fiat currency it would not be possible to increase the supply of Bitcoins in concert with economic growth." (Yermack, 2013). The outline of this component is as follows:

Outline:

1. Introduction to Monetary Economics
2. Introduction to Monetary Theory
3. The (Monetary) Economics of Bitcoin

Component 2: Committment Issues in Fiscal and Monetary Policy. Professor Jose V. Rodriguez Mora) Four sessions; dates tbc

The ability to commit to policies in the presence of temptations to not fulfill past promises are major determinants of the effectivity of fiscal and monetary policies. In this course we will look at the standard models of political economy and time inconsistency. First we will look at the problems of lack of commitment in setting up inflationary targets by a Central Banks, and to the institutional and political frameworks that have been developed to minimize the problem. Secondly, we will look at the role of time inconsistency in fiscal policy. Specifically, we will spend a good share of the course looking at the problems of repayment and repudiation of public debt under different monetary environments. This is, when and why do governments repudiate debt? what is the cost of doing so? and, perhaps more importantly, what are the costs for society of not having the ability of committing to not repudiate the debt?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students should be registered for MSc Economics & MSc Economics (Finance). All other students must email sgpe@ed.ac.uk in advance to request permission.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents should be registered for MSc Economics & MSc Economics (Finance). All other students must email sgpe@ed.ac.uk in advance to request permission.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Block 4 (Sem 2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 18, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One two-hour final examination in the April/May exam diet.
Feedback Informal feedback:
Students taking the course will have the opportunity to submit answers to previous or sample exam questions. An indicative grade will be given to work submitted.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
The course extends the core macroeconomics course to (1) monetary policy and monetary theory, with a special focus on the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, and (2) . These are topics of key importance in contemporary macroeconomics, and should be taken by students who plan to do a PhD on macroeconomic theory or applied macroeconomics.
Reading List
We will use Persson and Tabellini textbook on political economy and the Chapter on Debt repudiation by Amador and Aguiar in the Handbook of Macroeconomics.
Additional Information
Course URL http://www.sgpe.ac.uk/
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Contacts
Course organiserDr Marc Gronwald
Tel:
Email: v1mgronw@exseed.ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Carole-Anne Marshall
Tel: (0131 6)51 1795
Email: Carole-Anne.Marshall@ed.ac.uk
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