Current topics in macroeconomics and beyond

Seminar 2nd (or higher) semester

Master in International Economics & Public Policy (MIEPP)

Teaching staff: Jean Roch Donsimoni and Klaus Wälde

Seminar announcement

This seminar offers students a wide range of options and actually also almost free choice of seminar topics they want to work on. As "almost free" is pretty large, let us be more precise. The chair cannot supervise seminar topics with a purely econometric background (but we love and supervise structural estimation approaches), topics on monetary theory and policy (but we are happy to cover the great recession starting in 2007 and leading to debt and Euro crises and a topic on central bank supervision of private banks would be feasible), topics in experimental economics (but we are experts on behavioural economic theory) or advanced game theory.

If you want some inspiration, please look at our previous or current seminars on global warming (announcement in German), bounded rationality, numerical methods for dynamic models, taxation and redistribution or behavioural and emotional economics.

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We are extremely grateful to Guy Bodenmann, Nathalie Meuwly and Fridtjof Nussbeck for having shared their data with us which they used in their analysis "Effects of Stress on the Social Support Provided by Men and Women in Intimate Relationships" published in Psychological Science (2015). An appendix to this analysis is also available. As a background, one can look at an earlier study and for methods, Edwards and Lambert (2007) is a useful starting point.

The seminar paper would replicate the findings of the authors and apply further econometric methods to understand their central findings. The importance for economic questions like labour supply or productivity on the job should be worked out. Some joy in working with data and using Stata or matlab is an advantage.

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You can also have a look at the topics covered in Advanced Macro in the first term or in Labour Economics in the second term to get further ideas. Our page on Master theses contains even more ideas.

Please feel free to come to our first meeting (see below) and discuss or suggest topics.

One aspect that is very specific to this seminar and that has been discussed in the Mentor meeting in January 2017 is the joint writing of an "introduction to economic thinking" textbook for future students. Many participants of the meeting agreed that it would be useful for first-year MIEPP students to have a guide-book that informs them about the most basic tools to work with economic models. Each of these topics will be covered by one student. Further details will be discussed in our first meeting.

Time schedule

* Introductory session (compulsory attendance) and topic assignment:

Friday, 20th October 2017, 9 - 11 am, room HS I (old Rewi)

* Submission deadline for seminar papers: Monday, 22nd January 2018, by 11:59 a.m. (noon)

Please hand in one stapled paper version to Chair`s secretariat (room 01-116, old ReWi) and send a pdf-file by Email to jdonsimo(at)

* Presentations:

Thursday, 1st February, 2 - 6 pm + Friday, 2nd February 2018, 9 am - 12 pm, room RW 6 (new Rewi)

* Please see our guidelines for seminar participants