"Every Science Begins as Philosophy and Ends as Art"

Will Durant

 © 2016 by M T Schneider & K Brown

Political Economy

Economic Growth

Macroeconomics

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Public Economics

Teaching Philosophy

I am an experienced lecturer who greatly enjoys sharing and developing knowledge with students in the lecture theatre. All my courses share the following characteristics. They are tailored and personalised to students' particular interests, they expose the students to topics and methods at the current research frontier, and they discuss ways to apply the knowledge to related recent developments in the real world outside the lecture theatre.

Courses

Economics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

3rd year undergraduate, University of Bath, Autumn 2016, Spring 2018, 2019

Innovation is the ultimate driving force behind economic prosperity, creating the wealth of nations. However, innovative ideas by themselves will not lead to economic growth, it takes entrepreneurship to turn them into products or implement novel ways of doing things. This match of innovative ideas and entrepreneurship creates the vibrant character of Silicon Valley, wellspring of innovative products and home to a large number of start-ups having become world leaders. Around the world, governments seek to create similar engines of innovation. What are the economic policy issues they face? What should economic policy fostering innovation and entrepreneurship look like and how can we design it? These are the central questions we address in this unit.

Growth Theory

3rd year undergraduate, University of Bath, Spring 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

“Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow like Indonesia’s or Egypt’s? If so, what exactly? If not, what is it about the ‘nature of India’ that makes it so? The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.” (Lucas, 1988)


Whilst India’s economy has been growing very fast in more recent years the question of why economies grow is one of the most important questions in economics because, as the quote suggests, its implications are very far reaching. Economic growth is the process by which we live a healthier, better educated, more productive life than previous generations. This course will develop a framework through which the fundamental elements this process can be understood. It will familiarize the students with the modern theories of economic growth and how they can be used to address important policy questions and topical issues such as: Why do some countries grow on a sustained basis and others fail to do so. Which institutions might be important in securing growth? Does economic growth lead to increasing income- and wealth inequality?

Advanced Microeconomics

3rd year undergraduate, University of Bath, Spring 2015

This course starts out by examining the limits of the central welfare theorems in economics. After a review of non-cooperative game theory, we use the game theoretic tools to discuss problems of asymmetric information and moral hazard.

Economics of Innovation and Economic Growth

Master level, ETH Zurich, Autumn 2010, 2012, 2014

Economic growth is the process by which we live a healthier, better educated, more productive life than previous generations. This course will develop a framework through which the fundamental elements this process can be understood. It will familiarize the students with the modern theories of economic growth and puts special emphasis on the particular role that technological progress plays for long-run development. The framework that we develop in the course will then be used to address important policy questions and topical issues such as: Why do some countries grow on a sustained basis and others fail to do so. Which institutions might be important in securing growth? Does economic growth lead to increasing income- and wealth inequality?

Intermediate Macroeconomics: Growth, Cycles and Policy

Master level, ETH Zurich, Spring 2013

Not least since the recent financial crisis and subsequent great recession have macroeconomic questions taken center stage. How can Central Banks stabilize the economy through monetary policy? How can governments react to economic crises and how can they prevent them in the first place? How much government debt is sustainable and will austerity lead to future prosperity?

This course approaches these questions by reviewing the different macroeconomic schools of thought before developing simple versions of the modern Real Business Cycle (RBC) and New Keynesian frameworks. We discuss how variations of these models are used to advise on the central policy problems laid out above.

Design of Institutions and Political Economy

Ph.D. course, ETH Zurich, Spring 2014

How can individual preferences and information in society be brought together for collective decisions to yield the highest welfare levels? We approach this questions by reviewing the central Impossibility Theorems and Possibility Results in the theory of Collective Decision Making/Social Choice theory. We then move on to discuss central results and recent insights on how preferences and information are aggregated by voting mechanisms,  whether and how lobbying distorts collective decisions and which boundaries on the optimal design of political institutions are prescribed by Mechanism Design Theory.

Political Economics

Master level, ETH Zurich, Spring 2010

Will voting lead to welfare maximizing decisions? Will lobbying distort decisions leading to lower welfare? When will societies turn to non-democratic decision making? This course explains the major insights from voting theory, the properties of voting regarding the aggregation of preferences as well as information. We examine how democratic decisions can be influenced by outside lobbies and what this means for welfare. At the end of the course, we discuss decision making in democracies with weak institutions.

Public Economics

Master level, ETH Zurich, Autumn 2013

The course Public Economics analyses the role of the government in the economy. We discuss justifications for and the design of public policy as well as its consequences on market outcomes. Issues related to optimal public goods provision, taxation, in particular the effects of tax policy on labor supply, entrepreneurship and innovation will be examined.

Institiutions and Economic Growth

Ph.D. course, ETH Zurich, Autumn 2008

While the literature on economic growth has identified the central engines of prosperity, it is puzzling why they are not fueled in many countries in the world. A recent literature emphasize the role of economic and political institutions in this respect. This course discusses major contributions to this branch of the literature. The goal is twofold. On the one hand, we will learn how institutions affect economic growth. On the other hand, we will obtain an overview over one of the most vibrant fields of economic research.

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