Visiting Students who do not have a strong background in the study of Economics are required to select from the core courses, provided they have had some exposure to economics and sufficient mathematical and statistical studies background. Oxford core courses cover material beyond standard intermediate level, including applications and policy analysis and evaluation.
Visiting Students who have already covered standard US intermediate level microeconomics and macroeconomics courses in economics (or equivalent elsewhere), and have sufficient mathematical and / or statistical methods skills, are welcome, in consultation with professors at their home institutions, to select any courses from the list below. Pre-requisites for an optional course are indicated in the course description.
Every effort will be made to provide you with your chosen options, but please be aware that we reserve the right to withdraw courses or change the timing of tutorials over the academic year should the need arise. The Department of Economics organises all relevant lectures centrally and timing of these might also change in a particular academic year, and some courses may be withdrawn depending on teaching resources.
Economics courses can only be taken as primary courses. Please note also that because most lectures for optional courses take place in Michaelmas Term, we very much prefer Economics candidates for the whole academic year. Lectures are only given in a particular term, are an integral part of an Oxford Economics course and will not be repeated during one particular academic year. The academic year at Oxford consists of three eight-week terms: October to December (Michaelmas term); January to March (Hilary term); and April to June (Trinity term).
The course aims to introduce students to some of the fundamental ideas and tools of modern microeconomic theory, including analysis and use of theory of welfare economics, game theory, uncertainty and asymmetric information. Applications to policy issues, such as competition and environmental policies, are integral part of the course. This provides a foundation for many of the subsequent optional courses, as well as core Macroeconomics and core Quantitative Economics.
The focus of this course is on the core theoretical ideas that are relevant for contemporary macroeconomic policy making. This will involve, for instance, introduction to intertemporal microfoundations of modern macroeconomic modelling, to alternative theories of business cycles and to the idea of time inconsistency in policy making. The relevance of these ideas is illustrated with the UK and other international experiences.
This course is designed to give students a good understanding of the rationale for, and intuition about the application of statistical methods and econometrics to the analysis of a wide range of applied economics issues, such as income inequality, the economic effects of education, the behaviour of inflation, and determinants of aggregate consumption. The techniques covered in the course include statistical and causal inference; multivariate regression analysis; testing and interpretation of regression results; instrumental variables; randomised control trials; forecasting; unit roots and cointegration. The course has integrated computer classes, covering the applications of econometric techniques to data using R. Sufficient mathematical and/or statistical methods background is a necessary prerequisite for this course.
This course in concerned about economic development of the major regions of the world: Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, Oceania. The sources of, and consequences of economic growth: population and human capital, physical capital and technology, and the role of nature of geography, institutions and the state. Topics also include: international transactions: real trade and factor flows, finance, and warfare and empire.
This course has much to offer in helping students to think about global economics developments by providing an understanding of, for example, the determinants of international trade and rationale (or otherwise) for protectionist policies, the fundamental determinants of the balance of payments and exchange rates and the international context within which domestic macroeconomic policy is designed and conducted. Necessary prerequisites for this course are courses in Intermediate level Microeconomics and Macroeconomics.
The objective of the course is to introduce students to key areas of development economics, analysis of conditions in developing countries, and exploring some of the major economic policy issues relating to developing countries, for instance, poverty, human capital, health and education; and industrialisation policies. It also covers topics related to foreign trade and payments, foreign and domestic capital and economic aid and political economy. A necessary prerequisite for this course is a course in Intermediate level Microeconomics, and in addition knowledge of statistical methods and applications equivalent to Oxford Core Quantitative Economics course.
Public Economics is a wide-ranging discipline concerned with most microeconomic aspects of economic policy. This course covers both principles and applications, for instance, the welfare theoretic foundations of policy analysis, the design of specific taxes, and the economic rationale for the major categories of public spending. A necessary prerequisite for this course is a course in Intermediate level Microeconomics.
This course covers a range of topics in modern monetary economics, starting from microeconomic explanations for the existence of money and then proceeding to aggregate models of price and output fluctuations, the monetary transmission mechanism, the conduct of monetary policy, explanations for hyperinflation episodes and the relationship between monetary policy and asset returns. A necessary prerequisite for this course is a course in Intermediate level Macroeconomics.
The aim of the course is to understand: the behaviour of employees and employers and of collective groups which they may form; how the labour market works and the macroeconomic and distributional outcomes it produces; the policies and practices of organisations towards their employees; government policy towards labour issues. Most of the topics can be studied from an international perspective. A necessary prerequisite for this course is knowledge of statistical methods and applications equivalent to Oxford Core Quantitative Economics course.
The Economics of Industry course taught in Oxford would be called “Industrial Organization” in most US universities. The course is concerned with the behaviour of firms, and the welfare implications of this. The objective is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the theoretical foundations of firm decisions regarding pricing, product differentiation, advertising, entry, mergers and takeovers, innovation, vertical integration, and organization, from a perspective of strategic firm behaviour. Policy responses to anti-competitive practices by firms will be critically assessed in these areas; in the US, this would be called implications for “anti-trust policy”.
A necessary prerequisite for this course is a course in Intermediate level Microeconomics, and in addition knowledge of statistical methods and applications equivalent to Oxford Core Quantitative Economics course.
Econometrics is concerned with the application of statistical theory to the analysis of economic data and the estimation of economic relationships. This course intends to expose students to the statistical techniques that economists use for estimating, testing, and forecasting economic relationships. The emphasis is on understanding the techniques involved and also on what they mean in terms of the economic problem being studied. Successful completion of this course should allow you to read much of the professional empirical literature in economics. A necessary prerequisite for this course is knowledge of statistical methods and applications equivalent to Oxford Core Quantitative Economics course. This is a technically advanced course and should not be considered by student who have not done a introductory econometrics course, and have a strong background in mathematics and statistics.
The course provides a technically rigorous treatment of core elements of microeconomic theory (except Game Theory), in particular the economics of general equilibrium, risk and uncertainty and asymmetric information. The aim of the course is to provide students with a deeper understanding of some of the foundations of microeconomics firmly grounded in mathematics; this will prepare them for graduate work, and equip them with tools to perform microeconomic analysis in either an academic or professional environment. Necessary prerequisites for this course is knowledge of microeconomic theory at the level equivalent to Oxford Core Microeconomics course, and sufficient command of mathematical methods. This is a technically advanced course and should not be considered by students without a strong background in mathematics and prior experience of applying calculus to microeconomic problems.
The course covers the following topics: Strategic-form games and extensive-form games. Applications and topics may (but not necessarily) include bargaining, auctions, global games, evolutionary games, cooperative games, learning, and games in political science. Necessary prerequisites for this course is knowledge of microeconomic theory at the level equivalent to Oxford Core Microeconomics course, and sufficient command of mathematical methods. This is not an introductory course in Game Theory and therefore should not be considered by students that have not been introduced to Game Theory previously, or that do not have a strong background in mathematics.
Environmental considerations are increasingly seen as important in our understanding of economics and welfare. This course will cover many aspects of environmental economics, but focus in particular on climate change, described by Prof. Nicolas Stern as “the greatest market failure ever seen”. Topics include: Foundations of environmental and resource economics, Cost-Benefit Analysis for the Environment, Integrated Assessment Models and Climate Change, Government Responses to Pollution problems, and, International Issues. A necessary prerequisite for this course is a course in Intermediate level Microeconomics
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