This course is a graduate level course in macroeconomics, allowing theory to meet data. More particularly, this course emphasizes economic fluctuations and policies motivated by business cycle fluctuations. Key questions regard whether swings in economic growth and employment are associated with a sustainable use of economic resources over time, in particular the use of labor. Specific attention will be devoted to the macroeconomic effects of swings in oil prices and oil production, both nationally and internationally.

The approach adopted in this course emphasizes the dynamic dimension of interesting applied macroeconomic problems. Participants will be introduced to digital tools used in modern quantitative macroeconomics.

Course content

1. Stylized facts of business cycles

  • Measuring business cycles - some methods to detrend data
  • Computing business cycle statistics
  • Using facts to discipline and distinguish models

2. Introduction to advanced theories of business cycles - quantitative macroeconomics

  • Real Business Cycle models
  • Solving models numerically (with a computer)

3. Employment

4. New Keynesian models and monetary policy

  • Nominal rigidities
  • New Keynesian Phillips curve
  • Taylor rules

5.  Fiscal policy

  • Ricardian equivalence
  • Neo-classical fiscal multiplier
  • New Keynesian fiscal multiplier
  • Empirical estimates of the fiscal multiplier

6. Commodities and macroeconomics

  • The role of oil price shocks for oil importing and exporting countries
  • Optimal policy for resource rich economies


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.