This course is discontinued

ECON5310 – Topics in macroeconomics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

NB: The course overview may change according to the interests of the students.

Preliminary outline for Spring 2015

Macroeconomic Topics: Inequality and unemployment

The course has two parts:

1) Risk sharing and inequality (2/3 of the course, KS)

This part of the course studies major developments in the economics of inequality, including the main drivers of inequality, the effects of inequality on consumption, wealth, and labor supply.  We will also examine risk sharing and the extent to which households can protect themselves against risk.  The role of public policy will be a central theme.

2) Unemployment (1/3 of the course, MH)

This part of the course discusses some of the recent developments in macro-labor, using and building on the search-matching framework of Diamond/Mortensen/Pissarides.  The class covers macro- and microeconomic questions of the labor market combining theoretical and empirical methods.


The course addresses the following questions:

  • Why do we observe unemployment?
  • Why does unemployment fluctuate so much over the business cycle?
  • Why do seemingly identical workers receive so different wages?
  • What are the effects of increasing the generosity of unemployment insurance on unemployment and welfare?
  • Can this account for the surge of US unemployment during the Great Recession?
  • Does the market allocate the right workers to the right jobs?
  • Are complementarities between workers and employers important in determining output, productivity, and wages?
  • What is the allocation of workers to employers that maximizes total output?


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Only students admitted to the course may sit for the examination.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor's degree in Economics, or equivalent.

Recommended previous knowledge

Please note that this is a very advanced master’s course and we recommend that you have a good background in Economics before you take this course.


Lectures: 2 hours per week throughout the semester.

Seminars: 2 hours per week through parts of the semester.

There might occur weeks exempt from teaching.


There will be a take-home exam at the end of the course.

Language of examination

The problem set will be given in English. Answers can be given in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or in English. See § 5.4 in Regulations governing studies and examinations and the University of Oslo.

Grading scale

Students on masters level are awarded on a descending scale using alphabetic grades from A to E for passes and F for fail. Students who would like to have the course approved as a part of our phd-program, must obtain the grade C or better. Students on phd-level are awarded either a passing or failing grade. The pass/fail scale is applied as a separate scale with only two possible results.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

The Department of Economics has passed following resolution for ECON-courses: It will no longer be possible for candidates to register for an exam in a lower level course after having passed exams in intermediate and advanced level courses in the same subject area (also where there are no pre-requisites that apply to the intermediate course). Further information can be found here.

Students who might wish to retake the exam later, are not guaranteed that the course is ever repeated with a similar reading list, nor that the exam arrangement will be the same.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Spring 2015


Spring 2015

Teaching language