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Department of Economics

Macroeconomic theories and techniques (MSc Research for International Development)

Course Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Term 2

This course is only available to students enrolled on the MSc Research for International Development programme.

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of closed and open economy macroeconomic theory with coverage of important theoretical issues and techniques. A critical assessment is made of the analytical underpinnings of the policies for stabilisation and structural adjustment. Topics covered include: advanced models in macroeconomics with special emphasis on open economies and structural adjustment.

This course will delivered alongside the parallel course Macroeconomics, worth 18 CATS credits. Students will have the opportunity to attend all lectures and tutorial, but the examinable component will be approximately 85% of the 18 CATS credits syllabus. The following topics will not be part of the examinable component of this course: Week 7 Microfoundations and Policy

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

On completion of the course, students will have as a minimum a broad knowledge of:

how macroeconomics has developed from the Keynesian revolution onwards especially how theoretical principles have been applied to the closed economy;
how international macroeconomics has evolved;
and the application of these principles to developing countries especially in the context of poverty reduction.
More specifically, students will be expected to have more detailed knowledge in two or more of the following areas:

the consequences of the increasing dependence upon general equilibrium modelling;
the relationship between short and long run macroeconomic performance;
the relationship between microeconomics and macroeconomics;
the consequences of assuming different types of expectations in macroeconomic models;
heterodox approaches to macroeconomics;
the theory and practice of financial programming.
Students will be expected to be familiar with the main schools of thought to be found in the literature and to answer questions on them in essays and examination both expositionally and critically, whilst displaying an understanding of the technical, theoretical and conceptual content of macroeconomics at a journal level.


Teaching takes place through 2 weekly 2 hour lectures

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: Exam 70% / Coursework 30% (1 essay). Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.

Suggested reading

Background Reading

  • Any advanced undergraduate macroeconomic text
  • Blanchard, O., D. Romer, M. Spence and J. Stiglitz (eds) (2012) In the Wake of the Crisis: Leading Economists Reassess Economic Policy, Cambridge: MIT Press.