Economic Methods – Winter term 2020/21

Voluntary complementary course for 1st year MIEPP students

Lecture and tutorial (1 + 1 SWS)

Lecture slides

The idea of the course

This course provides students with skills that are required in typical economic or statistic courses in the MIEPP programme. We build on the introductory maths course by Chair Schunk (see lecture notes in Ilias) and deepen and extend the methods learned there. We discuss a variety of methods:

  • Maximization techniques for
    - solving utility maximization problems of households or
    - solving profit maximization problems of firms or
    - understanding estimators in econometrics
  • Solution methods for equation systems to understand
    - equilibrium and
    - general equilibrium
  • Probability concepts to understand
    - expected utility maximization or
    - means, variances or
    - probability distributions in statistics and stochastics

This course is voluntary and designed for students who would like to refresh or strengthen their formal skills. We promise that attending this course simplifies the understanding of economic issues in international economics, macro economics, public policy, development economics, econometrics and all other disciplines in economics.

The structure

Formally, the course is split into 1 lecture and 1 tutorial totalling 90 minutes per week (1 + 1 SWS). The lecture will present the basic material. This material comes from all the MIEPP courses that are taught in the first and second semester of the first year. In the tutorial, students will present their solutions to problem sets on the board. Given the list of participants from the first lecture, each student will present some solution. This makes sure that this is a course where students actively learn to apply economic methods.

This year the class will be taught entirely online using MS Teams. Access details will be communicated to the registered students the week before the first class. Course material will be made available on this page before the first class.This means that there will be two sessions of 90 minutes each over this period. This gives students the chance to learn and catch up with economic methods at the beginning of the term. There will then be more time to focus on main exams towards the end.

There will be no exam for this course. Students get feedback when writing their results on the board and when explaining them to other students. The course is voluntary and no credit points are granted. We expect that students will voluntarily choose the course in case they realize that more proficiency in economic methods would help them for the main MIEPP courses.