Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets

Key information

Start date
Year of study
10 weeks
Module code
Centre for Financial and Management Studies

Module overview

This module, Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets, is specially constructed for postgraduates studying finance and related subjects. The module is designed to increase the depth of your understanding whether or not you have studied economics or macroeconomics previously. Although it does not require previous study of macroeconomics, if you have studied macroeconomics at undergraduate level, this module adds to your knowledge because, unlike other modules, we focus on the relation financial markets have to macroeconomics.

Our intention is that after successfully completing the module, students from varied backgrounds will understand the key elements of macroeconomics and their connection with financial markets. We place the subject in a real-world context, aiming to show how theoretical and empirical knowledge of macroeconomics and financial markets provides ways to analyse the salient problems faced by modern macroeconomic policy makers.

Learning outcomes

When you have completed your study of this module, you will be able to:

  • outline and discuss the connection between financial markets, real saving by households, and real investment by firms
  • analyse how monetary policy can affect real macroeconomic activity through its interaction with financial markets
  • explain the relation between financial markets and governments' fiscal policies
  • discuss the effect that expectations of future inflation and interest rates can have on macroeconomic policy and financial markets
  • analyse the connection between foreign exchange markets, imports and exports
  • examine the possibility of instability arising from interaction between international capital flows and financial markets
  • evaluate theories in the light of empirical evidence
  • use theory and evidence to analyse actual problems facing macroeconomic policy makers.

Tuition and assessment

Students are individually assigned an academic tutor for the duration of the module, with whom you can discuss academic queries at regular intervals during the study session.

You are required to complete two Assignments for this module, which will be marked by your tutor. Assignments are each worth 15% of your total mark. You will be expected to submit your first assignment by the Tuesday of Week 6, and the second assignment at the end of the module, on the Tuesday after Week 10. Assignments are submitted and feedback given online. In addition, queries and problems can be answered through the Virtual Learning Environment.

You will also sit a three-hour examination on a specified date in September/October, worth 70% of your total mark. An up-to-date timetable of examinations is published on the website in July each year.

Study resources

  • Study guide: The module study guide is carefully structured to provide the main teaching, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the assigned readings.
  • Key texts: Miles, D, A Scott & F Breedon (2012) Macroeconomics: Understanding the Global Economy, 3rd Edition, Wiley.
  • Readings: Throughout the module you will be directed to study a selection of readings, including journal articles, book extracts and case studies that are of particular relevance and interest to the topics covered in the module.
  • Video: You will also have access to video content on the VLE, in which leading policy-makers talk to CeFiMS about their experiences. All the decision makers and advisers in the video have dealt with difficult macroeconomic problems in a range of countries and they explain how they approached the problem and considered alternative policies.
    They include:
    • Paul Volcker, looking back on his experience as Chairman of the Federal Reserve
    • Sir Alan Budd, as Economic Adviser in the British Treasury (Ministry of Finance)
    • Guillermo Ortiz, as the Governor of Mexico's central bank
    • Professor Lord Richard Layard, as advisor to the Russian government
    • Benno Ndulu, of the World Bank
    • Professor Rudiger Dornbusch, on experience of Latin American macroeconomic policy
    • Professor Sakakibura, on Japan's recent policy problems
      The interviews were recorded by CeFiMS for the International Monetary Fund and designed for officials studying macroeconomics with the IMF Institute. They are reproduced here with kind permission of the IMF. They show case studies intended to enable students to link their study of principles to actual macroeconomic policy making in the complex real world.
  • Virtual learning environment: You will have access to the VLE, web-accessed study centre. Via the VLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the module using discussion forums. The VLE also provides access to the module Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library.

Study calendar 2022/23

Elective module S1
Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets (M425)  Running Running Running Running

Study calendars are subject to change.

Module overview

Unit 1 Macroeconomics and the World of Finance

  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Getting Macroeconomics in Perspective
  • 1.3 Long-Run and Short-Run Macroeconomics
  • 1.4 Aggregate Demand and National Income Accounts
  • 1.5 Alternative Windows on Macroeconomics
  • 1.6 Macroeconomics and Financial Markets
  • 1.7 Macroeconomics and Finance in Subsequent Units

Unit 2 Saving and Finance

  • 2.1 Introduction: Real and Financial Saving
  • 2.2 Life Cycle Theory of Saving
  • 2.3 Flow of Savings to Financial Markets – Demographic Fundamentals
  • 2.4 Impact of Financial Markets on Saving – Interest Rate Effect
  • 2.5 Impact of Financial Markets on Saving – Wealth Effect

Unit 3 Investment and Financial Markets

  • 3.1 Capital Accumulation
  • 3.2 Interest Rates and Investment – the Basic Model
  • 3.3 Beyond the Basic Model
  • 3.4 Investment and the Stock Market
  • 3.5 Financing Hierarchy and the Role of Internal Funds
  • 3.6 Conclusion – Investment and Monetary Policy

Unit 4 Monetary Policy and the Central Bank

  • 4.1 Central Banks and Macroeconomic Policy – Inflation Targeting
  • 4.2 Policy's Intermediate Targets – Money Supply and Interest Rate
  • 4.3 Taylor Rules
  • 4.4 Transmission Mechanisms of Monetary Policy
  • 4.5 Monetary Policy in Context

Unit 5 Fiscal Policy and Government Finances

  • 5.1 Effects of Fiscal Policy – Aggregate Demand and Financial Markets
  • 5.2 Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy
  • 5.3 Fiscal Policy and the Sustainability of Debt Financing
  • 5.4 Fiscal Policy in Perspective

Unit 6 Expectations, Inflation, and Interest Rates

  • 6.1 Markets Reflect the Expected Future Today
  • 6.2 Macroeconomic Expectations and Financial Markets
  • 6.3 Inflation Expectations and the Inflation Output Trade Off

Unit 7 Foreign Exchange Markets and Foreign Trade

  • 7.1 Foreign Exchange Markets and the Economy
  • 7.2 Case Study – China's Macroeconomic Policy Choices
  • 7.3 Exchange Rates, Inflation and Aggregate Demand
  • 7.4 Exchange Rates and Monetary Policy

Unit 8 International Capital Flows and Financial Markets

  • 8.1 International Capital Flows – Balance and Shocks
  • 8.2 Interest Rates, Expectations and Currency Crises
  • 8.3 Currency Crises and Exchange Rate Systems
  • 8.4 Is There a Case for Controls on International Capital Flows?

Module samples


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules