ECON9312 – Macroeconomic Topics: Heterogeneity

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Course content

This course studies the role of heterogeneity and inequality in macroeconomics. We will focus on two central topics,

    1. economic inequality, consumption/risk sharing, and its implications for the macro economy

    2. firm heterogeneity and development

Macroeconomics has moved beyond the simple representative agent analysis and inequality is becoming an important part of the study of traditional macroeconomics topics such as growth and business cycles. For example, large household debt can contribute to and magnify macroeconomic fluctuations. This course will also study inequality in its own right. Macroeconomics with inequality opens up a range of new and interesting topics such as the factors behind the rising inequality, risk sharing through the market versus the welfare state, and the role of financial frictions for growth and development. We will study these central issues using the standard incomplete market model as a starting point.

Learning outcome

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. The course will also cover firm growth and its interaction with financial frictions, innovation, and economic development.


This course is offered to PhD candidates at the Department of Economics.  Other candidates admitted to a PhD program may apply to take the course. 

Overlapping courses




Take home exam.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

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