363-1180-00L  Using Economic Research in Practice

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersP. Colo
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish



Courses

NumberTitleHoursLecturers
363-1180-00 VUsing Economic Research in Practice2 hrs
Wed16:15-18:00NO D 11 »
P. Colo

Catalogue data

AbstractA tremendous share of how our societies function is governed by economics. Yet, economic research is rarely unanimous, often challenged and always hard to navigate. Taking a journey through commonly employed methods and their underlying assumptions, students will learn how to critically assess academic knowledge on concrete questions. A large share of the course will be devoted to case studies.
Objective1. Have a solid understanding of the different methodologies employed in economics, know their strengths and limitations.
2. Select among methodologies employed in economics in function of a specific applied need.
3. Identify core assumptions in economic research papers and assess the scope of their results.
4. Forming an opinion on an applied economic topic based on academic work with the right critical distance.
ContentEconomic models rely on assumptions which are wrong. In economics, theoretical but also empirical studies often contradict each other, even among the most celebrated contributions. Behind its methods borrowed to natural sciences, economics rely on strong postulates and on different schools of thought. How should we handle contradictions, idealizing hypotheses or results too good to be true? What do we actually learn about the social world through economic research?

In this course, we will face those questions from both a theoretical and a practical perspective.

On the theoretical side, our approach will be an epistemological one. We will reflect on the methodological foundations of economics and the type of knowledge it aims to produce. We will dig into some of its most central concepts: the quest for causality, equilibrium reasonings, and the revealed preferences approach. While conceptual, our journey will take us through the formal foundations of econometrics, decision theory, and game theory.

On the practical side, the aim is to equip students with the necessary tools to effectively navigate existing economic research to obtain answers to real-world questions. After this course students will be able to form a critical opinion on topical matters, such as “should public debt be canceled in developing countries?” or “are the Paris agreements good news for the climate?”, without being experts on these questions.

Overall this course can be seen as an epistemological introduction to economics as well as methodological training for using academic knowledge in real life. It is thus intended for a general audience interested in economics, without specific previous training needed.

Lectures will be structured around a theoretical introduction and a paper’s discussion by the teacher, followed by a group discussion on other papers. Students are expected to prepare this discussion in groups and will be graded according to their participation. An additional evaluation will take place through a final exam.
Literature- Theory and Decision under Uncertainty, (2009) Itzhak Gilboa
- Game theory and economic modeling, (1990) David Kreps
- A model of competing narratives, (2020) Kfir Eliaz and Ran Spiegler
- Epistemic Conditions for Nash Equilibrium, (1995) Robert Aumann, Adam Brandenburger
- The foundation of Statistics, (1954) Leonard Savage
- A Course in Game Theory, (1994) Osborne and Rubinstein
- Economic Theory: Economics, Methods and Methodology, (2021) Gilboa, I., A. Postlewaite, L. Samuelson, and D. Schmeidler
- Between Mathematical Formalism, Normative Choice Rules, and the Behavioural Sciences: The Emergence of Rational Choice Theories in the late 1940s and early 1950s, (2017) Catherine Herfeld
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Decision-makingassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Problem-solvingassessed
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkassessed
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence assessed
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Negotiationfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection assessed
Self-direction and Self-management assessed

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersP. Colo
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationLectures will be structured around a theoretical introduction and a paper’s discussion by the teacher, followed by a group discussion on other paper. Students are expected to prepare this discussion in groups and will be graded according to their participation. An additional evaluation will take place through a final exam.

Learning materials

 
Moodle courseMoodle-Kurs / Moodle course
Only public learning materials are listed.

Groups

No information on groups available.

Restrictions

There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

ProgrammeSectionType
Management, Technology and Economics MasterEconomic DynamicsWInformation