Seminar: Inequality and Macroeconomics

Course content

The seminar invites students to study theoretical and/or empirical topics related to inequality and macroeconomics. Possible topics include:

  • The macroeconomic implications of household heterogeneity
  • The transmission of monetary policy to household spending
  • The implications of debt on household behavior
  • Heterogeneous Agent New Keynesian models
  • The determinants of housing booms and busts
  • How to design mortgages to stabilize the economy?
  • The long-run determinants of inequality
  • Why has inequality increased during recent decades?
  • Who gains or losses from recessions or from macroeconomic policy?
  • How does inequality amplify macroeconomic shocks?
  • Computational methods to solve macro models with heterogeneity
  • Economic policy response to the 2008 financial crisis and 2020 covid pandemic

I encourage students to write papers in pairs. Here are a few examples of what papers may do:

  • Produce a thorough review of papers on a specific topic
  • Simulate a macroeconomic model to evaluate the effect of alternative policies
  • Replicate and extend the empirical analysis of an existing article
  • Pursue independent empirical analysis using micro data on household behavior
  • Write a policy paper on a relevant topic

MSc programme in Economics

The seminar is primarily for students at the MSc of Economics

Learning outcome
  • After completing the seminar the student is expected to be able to fulfill the learning outcome specified in the Master curriculum and to be able to:


  • Identify relevant literature within the distributional macroeconomics literature
  • Determine how to convert a research question into a research strategy
  • Define and discuss the structure of a good paper


  • Use existing knowledge to study new problems related to macroeconomics and inequality
  • Evaluate the feasibility of empirical or theoretical research
  • Present research to peers



  • Independently develop and execute a research project

At the seminar the student is trained independently to
- identify and clarify a problem,
- seek and select relevant literatur,
- write a academic paper,
- present and discuss own paper with the other students at the seminar.

Mandatory activities in the seminar:
- Kick-off meeting
- Finding literatur and defining the project
- Writing process of the seminar paper
- Presentation of own project and paper
- Giving constructive feedback to another student´s paper
- Actively participating in discussions at the presentations and other meetings.

The aim of the presentations is, that you use the presentation as an opportunity to practice oral skills and to receive feedback at the paper. The presentations are not a part of the exam and will not be assessed.

The seminar project paper must be uploaded in Absalon before the presentations, as the opponents and the other seminar participants have to read and comment on the paper. It is important that you upload a paper that is so finalized as possible due to the fact that the value of feedback and comments at the presentation is strongly associated with the skill level of the seminar paper.
The teacher defines what materials may be used for the presentations.

After the presentations, you can with a few corrections improve the seminar paper by including the feedback and comments emerged during the presentations. It is NOT intended that you rewrite or begin the writing of the seminar paper after the presentation has taken place.

In case of a pandemic like Corona the teaching in this seminar may be changed to be taught either fully or partly online. For further information, see the course room on Absalon.

Key Literature:

  • Attanasio, O. P. (1999). Consumption. Handbook of macroeconomics, 1, 741-812.
  • Guvenen, F. (2011). Macroeconomics with heterogeneity: A practical guide.
  • Kaplan, G., Moll, B., & Violante, G. L. (2018). Monetary policy according to HANK. American Economic Review, 108(3), 697-743.
  • Krueger, D., Mitman, K., & Perri, F. (2016). Macroeconomics and household heterogeneity. In Handbook of Macroeconomics (Vol. 2, pp. 843-921).

BSc in Economics or similar

Schedule Fall 2021:

- Kick-off meeting:
8 September, 10.15 – 12.00

- Deadline for submission of commitment paper / project description:
1 October.

- Deadline for uploading a seminar assignment paper in the Absalon:
No later than one week before the presentations.

- Presentations:
In the period 1 – 21 November.

- Exam date:
1 December at 10.00 (am) - latest uploading of Seminar paper to the Digital Exam portal for assessment.

All information regarding the seminar is communicated through Absalon including venue. So it is very important that you by yourself logon to Absalon and read the information already when you are registered at the seminar.

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
A seminar paper in English that meets the formal requirements for written papers stated in the curriculum and at KUNet for seminars.
All aids allowed

for the seminar paper.

The teacher defines the aids that must be used for the presentations.


Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the seminar and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes in the Curriculum of the Master programme.


To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Project work
  • 186
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester

and venue:
Go to "Remarks"

Exam and re-sits: Go to "Exam"
max. 1 class of 20 students
Department of Economics, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Patrick Moran   (13-7a6b7e7c736d753877797c6b784a6f6d797838757f386e75)

Patrick Moran (

Saved on the 28-04-2021

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