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Master of Science in Economics and Development


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Economics Lab

Prof. Federico Etro

The objective of this Laboratory is to bring the student toward selecting, reading, understanding and communicating scientific research at the frontier in the field of economics. Our times are characterized by a deep division between scientific research and diffusion of relevant knowledge in the society and in the popular debate. A student of economics should be able evaluate the merit of economic and policy discussions on the basis of the appropriate findings of the literature, and in particular to select the relevant papers on the basis of the relevance and credibility of their publication, digest the theoretical and empirical material of these papers, realize their limits and their points of strength and weakness, and also communicate their message in a clear way with respect to alternative views.

In this laboratory we will select economic issues of various nature, often related to macroeconomic aspects, policy questions and aggregate phenomena that can be analyzed with economic tools, and will select relevant papers from the economic literature at the frontier to try to find some answers.

In this laboratory, students will be assigned a topic, will have to review the literature through appropriate tools and select a paper, analyze it and be able to summarize, criticize and communicate its message. This will be done in class and/or in independent essays.

A main topic is the economic impact of the pandemia. This is a major issue in our times, which involves also a variety of mechanisms related to the demand and the supply side, the interaction with epidemiological mechanisms and the role of policies. The first (and for sure not the only one) paper that has tried to analyze this question through a rigorous logic (the first version was from march 2020!) is Eichenbaum et al. (2021). A student should analyze it and be able to present it and discuss it in class and through an independent essay.

Other topics will be decided in the laboratory depending on the interest of the audience.

Eichenbaum, Martin S., Sergio Rebelo, and Mathias Trabandt, 2021, The macroeconomics of epidemics, Review of Financial Studies, 34, 11, 5149-5187.

15 February 2022
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