Western University EconomicsWestern Social Science

Course Information

2017 Fall Course Timetable

2018 Winter Course Timetable

2017-2018 Graduate Course Offerings

2017 Summer Session


Graduate Course Descriptions

When a course or workshop number is followed by "A" it is offered in the first term; when followed by "B" it is offered in the second term. Some courses are not offered every year.

9591/9592B. MA Applied Economic Workshop

This workshop aims to give students some experience in how economics is applied to various research questions. Classes feature our own faculty describing their own broad approaches to applying economics in their research as well as classes on how to find a topic and write a research paper. Students are matched to faculty members in their research area for one-on-one mentoring through the initial stages of a research project. A research paper (approximately 20 pages in length) is required.

9600A. Review Courses for Economists

Four review courses are offered during the summer orientation session: Mathematics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics. Basic tools, concepts and methods in each area needed for graduate study in Economics are covered. These courses are required for all MA and Ph.D. students. NON-CREDIT.

9601A. Microeconomics I

This course and Economics 9602B are the required Ph.D. microeconomics courses. Economics 9601A is a rigorous and self-contained introduction to modern economic theory and practice. The course is divided into two parts—non-strategic and strategic environments. In the non-strategic portion, the theory of partial competitive equilibrium is developed. In the strategic portion, attention is directed towards both normal and extensive form games, including repeated and anonymous sequential games, and refinements of sequential equilibrium. Both sections emphasize applications and extensions to general environments. Mathematics beyond Economics 9600 is developed as required.

9602B. Microeconomics II

This course is the second part of the first-year PhD microeconomics sequence.  The topics covered by the course include expected utility and attitudes to risk; game theory (solution concepts for normal and extensive-form games, repeated games and coalitional games); information economics (models of adverse selection, moral hazard, signaling and mechanism design) and formal models of knowledge.

9603A. Macroeconomics I

This course and Economics 9604B are the required PhD macroeconomics courses. Economics 9603A analyzes the determination of income, employment, interest rates, and inflation and stresses the microfoundations of aggregate models. Effects of monetary and fiscal policy are also stressed.

9604B. Macroeconomics II

Economics 9604B is a continuation of Economics 9603A. Topics may include growth, human capital, time consistency and policy, dynamic programming, inequality and consumption smoothing, financial intermediation, optimal contracts, organization of production, real business cycle theory, monetary economics, and the theory of unemployment.

9605A. Econometrics and Quantitative Methods I

This course and Economics 9606B are the required Ph.D. econometrics courses. Economics 9605A provides a thorough introduction to the probability and statistical theory which form a basis for modern econometrics and econometric theory. It covers an axiomatic approach to probability theory, a review of useful statistical distributions and their properties, and a careful treatment of asymptotic theory--laws of large numbers and central limit theorems. The statistical theory is introduced from the economist's perspective with special emphasis on regression analysis.

9606B. Econometrics and Quantitative Methods II

This course is a utilitarian course in econometric theory. The objective is to show how economic problems can be formulated in an empirically verifiable fashion. Emphasis is placed on demonstrating the econometric properties of estimation and testing strategies. Some of the topics covered are: causality and exogeneity, model specification, nonparametric econometrics, limited dependant variable models, time series, and forecasting. Substantial time is devoted to issues of testing and model validation.

9607A. Economic Mathematics I

This course is designed to provide Ph.D. students with a thorough treatment of the mathematical techniques employed in the core courses (Economics 9601-9606). Topics to be covered include real analysis, metric spaces and general topology, dynamic optimization techniques, measure theory, and stochastic processes.

9609A. Advanced Methods of Applied Economics

The focus of this course is on causality, identification, econometrics, counterfactual analysis and numerical methods as tools to understand empirical work in Economics. This class will focus on how to think about the application of these concepts and on the use of these computational methods. The Roy model will be used to introduce counterfactual analysis and different methods available to generate these counterfactuals. Discussion will focus on estimation, identification, discrete choice, treatment effects, and structural models. Students will be introduced to the computational methods available and how to implement these methods as opposed to just learning about them and their properties.

9610A or B. Financial Markets

This course is aimed at introducing students to the frontier topics of the theory of markets, with emphasis on the theory of incomplete markets in finance, the role of information on the functioning of markets, and the determinants and consequences of financial innovation.

9611 A or B. Advanced Microeconomics - Auction Theory and Mechanism Design

This is an advanced topics course mainly on auction theory and mechanism design, as well as global games and political economy. The course consists of lectures on the essential background and class discussions and student presentations on works at the frontier of each topic area. Each student will write referee reports and give presentations, including a research proposal presentation at the end.

9612 A or B. Advanced Microeconomics - Game Theory: Foundations and Topics

This course focuses on three areas of microeconomic theory: foundations of non-cooperative game theory, mechanism design, and matching theory. The part on non-cooperative game theory is devoted to the properties, robustness, epistemic foundations, and applications of several basic solution concepts. The part on mechanism design will review several classical results for general environments and for quasi-linear environments, and highlight a few current developments in the field. The part on matching theory will cover one-to-one and one-to-many matching models and its extensions, as well as matching in large economies.

9613A or 9614B. Advanced Macroeconomics I and II

The purpose of this course is to study topics in macroeconomics which are likely to generate interesting research ideas. These topics may include, among others, the theory of financial intermediation, international trade and finance, dynamic contracts, growth and development, economics of the family, empirical macroeconomics, monetary theory, and computational issues.

9615A and 9616B. Advanced Econometrics I and II

These courses are designed to give students a clear understanding of some of the more recent developments in both theoretical and applied econometrics. The topics to be covered will reflect the research interests of the faculty as well as covering the essentials of some of the more widely used techniques and inference.

9617A or B. Global Inequality

The purpose of this course is to examine economic inequality and poverty at the global level. Much has been learned but there is a lot still to discover. The course will point to areas where further investigation is needed and students will be encouraged to dig into those areas. Topics covered will include methods of inequality measurement; estimation of the global distributions of income and wealth and poverty level; global inequality trends over time; what is happening in the upper tail (millionaires and billionaires); income and wealth mobility; and modeling global processes affecting inequality. The emphasis will be on trends and phenomena affecting regions, types of countries, or the whole world, rather than on aspects that affect only individual countries.

9619A or B. Computational Macro

The aim of this course is to allow students to develop the knowledge required for formulating and numerically solving models to address research questions in macroeconomics.

9626 A or B. Development Economics

The goal of this course is to explore the application of microeconomic analysis to issues of development in poor countries. Household behavior and rural institutions will be studied using a variety of methodological approaches. The course will cover the neoclassical agricultural household model and criticisms of that model, human capital, the structure of rural factor markets (concentrating on the effects of risk and information and enforcement problems), general equilibrium analyses of village economies, household savings and investment, issues of health and nutrition, technological innovation, institutions, public services and local political economy.

9628 A or B. Public Economics

This course provides an introduction to public economics. It covers both theoretical and empirical work, with a focus on local public good provision, education, and health.

9634 A or B. Empirical Industrial Organization

The aim of this course is to introduce current research and methods used in the study of empirical questions in Industrial Organization. A variety of topics and methods will be covered in order to expose the types of questions being studied and methods being used in Industrial Organization. There is an emphasis on structural techniques. As will become apparent, the applicability of these techniques extends to questions outside of Industrial Organization to Labor, Trade, and Public Economics.

9635A or B. Industrial Organization - Theoretical

This course explores firm and industry behavior with an emphasis on markets characterized by imperfect competition. It is primarily concerned with the causes and consequences of market power, the strategic behavior of firms, and the economic performance of markets. Each topic will be dealt with its relevance to competition policy, and economic regulation. Econ9635 is theoretical, while Econ9634 focused on empirical methods.

9638A Financial Economic History

This course examines the historical evolution of the financial and monetary system (with a focus on the past 200 years in Western countries), with a focus on financial crises.  Financial crises are a recurrent feature since (at least) the industrial revolution. This course examines several of the major bubbles, financial crises, banking panics and sovereign defaults, with particular focus on the Interwar period (especially the Great Depression) and the recent Financial Crisis.  Current economic theory on financial crises and default is employed to examine these historical episodes, as well as to analyze the economic forces driving financial innovation and the evolution of financial and monetary systems. The course draws on historical experience as well as economic theory to examine the trade-offs associated with alternative policies which seek to reduce the likelihood or to mitigate the economic impact of crises.

9640A. Labour Economics - Human Capital, Wages and Employment

The course begins by covering the basic areas of labour economics--supply, demand and wage and employment determination. The second half focuses on a selection of sub-topics of interest to students in the course.

9641A or B. Labour Economics - Inequality

This course focuses on understanding inequality in the labour market and policies designed to address concerns about inequality.  The course will explore changes in wages and earnings over the lifecycle as well as differences across individuals.  Alternative theories of wage growth and differences will be discussed along with their empirical implications, emphasizing the link between economic theory and empirical analysis.

9642A or B. Labour Economics - Economics and Econometrics of Search

The focus of this course is search theory and estimation.  Job search theory has been used to study the determinants of unemployment and job spell durations, labour market transitions and wages.  This course begins by examining the partial equilibrium search model.  However, most of the course is on equilibrium models of the labour market including wage posting models and bilateral bargaining models.  Special attention is paid to the structural estimation of such models, and new theoretical extensions of the model to better match observed data.

9646A or B. International Trade and Finance

This course covers topics in international trade and international macroeconomics. The first half of the course focuses on static models of international trade and their quantitative predictions. The second half addresses open-economy macroeconomics, starting with benchmark international real business cycle models, and then covering extensions to include financial and pricing frictions. Trade and international macro are typically treated as separate fields, but the recent literature has been blurring the boundary. This course covers papers that use dynamic models to understand trade flows better, and also papers that use trade theory to answer international macro questions. The objectives of the class are to familiarize students with recent work and to prepare them to start their own research in these areas.

9647A or B. Financial Econometrics

Students are provided with a firm understanding of the econometric methods used in empirical finance research. The course covers discrete time as well as continuous time models; markets for stocks, bonds, interest rates, and options; corporate finance and event studies; market microstructure; tests of asset pricing and option pricing models in discrete and continuous time; multivariate regression analysis, generalized method of moments, efficient method of moments, maximum likelihood, nonparametric methods, cross-sectional, time series and panel methods; cointegration, autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (ARCH) and GARCH (generalized ARCH); diffusion models; implied, realized and stochastic volatility, forecasting, filtering; arbitrage and equilibrium models.

9650A or B. International Finance

This course provides an introduction to the basic tools and concepts of international financial management. It focuses on the risks and rewards facing the firm operating in global markets. The course is designed to make students aware of the unique forms of risk that are encountered in international financial markets, to provide an introduction to instruments and markets that are used in international transactions, and to make students understand how to design appropriate hedges for given international business problems. Topics to be discussed include foreign exchange markets, international financial markets, currency derivative contracts, risk management, investment decisions, exchange rate systems, and international financial crises affecting the global capital markets.

9653A or B. Economics of Education

In the education context, the class will focus on helping students gain a variety of general research skills. As some examples, the class will: 1) explore the relationship between structural and non-structural applied work, 2) discuss issues related to the process of finding research topics, 3) allow students to practice motivating and defending research ideas, 4) allow students to work together through the early part of a research project. The topics studied will be, in large part, related to educational attainment.

9658B. Financial Intermediation and Regulation

This course is an introduction to the economics of financial intermediation and regulation. Topics include an introduction to economic theories of banks and the relationship of financial intermediaries to economic fluctuations. In addition, the course will review the economic theory of financial and banking regulation.

9665A or B. Time Series Econometrics

This is a basic course in time series and stochastic processes. It involves a detailed discussion of linear and non-linear as well as stationary and non-stationary time series models, all of which are in discrete time. The course then moves to continuous time models with some general comments on stochastic processes along with detailed results on Poisson processes and Brownian Motion. This is followed by an introduction to stochastic calculus with applications in finance. The course is aimed at preparing students who may wish to pursue research in financial econometrics.

9674A or B. Political Economy

Political Economy is generally concerned with the application of modeling and empirical methodologies familiar to economists to problems associated with political science: voting, electoral systems, the structure of legislatures, campaign financing and the transmission and impact of information about candidates parties and policies on legislative and electoral outcomes.

9687A or B. Financial Risk Management

This course provides an introduction to risk Management in financial firms. Key topics covered in this course include: What is Risk? Risk adjusted value, risk tolerance and risk neutral preferences, definition and measurement of different types of risk: accounting risk, economic risk, environmental risk, financial risk, operational risk, reputational risk, technological risk etc. Financial risk: capital market risk, liquidity risk, portfolio management, asset liability management, risk modelling, risk budgeting, scenario analysis, stress testing and Value-at-Risk, regulation, Basel III, Solvency II, Dodd-Frank, Central Banks, FSA etc., Applications.

9691B. PhD Research Seminar

This workshop aims to give students some experience in how economics is applied to various research questions. Classes feature our own faculty describing their own broad approaches to applying economics in their research as well as classes on how to find a topic and write a research paper. Students are matched to faculty members in their research area for one-on-one mentoring through the initial stages of a research project. A research paper (approximately 20 pages in length) is required.

Workshops