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SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
Money plays an essential role in modern economies, but this essential role is not well-captured in standard macro models, which typically tack money on in a more or less arbitrary ad hoc way to a barter model of a competitive economy. The early part of the course takes a closer look at the role of money and the problem of how to model it seriously and, in the process, raises more general issues about the nature of economic models and how to interpret them. All this might sound like an arid and highly abstract academic exercise, but it is not. The limitations of standard models of money have an important bearing on practical and topical policy issues, which are the focus of the latter part of the course. The treatment of policy will focus primarily on the monetary policy framework, which has been at the centre of recent policy discussions among academics and practitioners. We will consider aspects of: the interplay between monetary and fiscal policy; monetary policy games, credibility and reputation; central bank independence; and monetary policy operating procedures. The course essay and teamwork mini-project provide opportunities to broaden the topics covered in class and/or explore topics in greater depth. Visiting undergraduate students, interested in taking the course, should consult the course instructor. Much of the reading for the course is advanced, taken from journal articles and graduate level textbooks. The course is aimed at the serious student, who is willing to grapple with difficult material, that is the focus of ongoing research activity. The reward, for those who grapple, is insight into important issues in monetary economics, including recent and current research activity and policy debates.
College of Humanities and Social Science
School of Economics
This article was published on Feb 24, 2012