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Topics in Microeconomic Theory I

Module description

This is a topics course in advanced microeconomic theory. The course will cover topics in advanced microeconomics with emphasis on fundamentals, existing theoretical tools, constructing new theory for empirical analysis and applications to recent theoretical advances.

Full module specification

Module title:Topics in Microeconomic Theory I
Module code:BEEM144
Module level:M
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



Only available to MRes Economics PhD pathway students



Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

The module explores burgeoning areas of modern microeconomics, with the aim of enabling students to write independent research in microeconomics at the research frontier.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Provide technical analysis and address complex questions at the frontier of microeconomic research.
  • 2. Discuss economic problems, provide mathematical representation and solution to the problem

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Apply self-direction and originality in tackling and solving microeconomics problems.
  • 4. Develop their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Identify, tackle and solve relevant research problems
  • 6. Work independently and responsibly on complex research problems.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Schedules learning and teaching33 (3 per week)Lectures
Guided Independent Study58Guided reading
Guided Independent Study59Assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research question overviewVaries1-6Oral/Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In-class oral presentation and slides - 12045 minutes1-6Oral/Written
In-class oral presentation and slides - 22045 minutes1-6Oral/Written
Research proposal presentation 2030 minutes1-6Oral/Written
Research project40Up to 3,000 words1-6Oral/Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Research project (40%)Research project (40%)1-6August examination period
Research proposal presentation (20%)Research proposal presentation (20%)1-6August examination period
In-class oral presentation and slides - 1 (20%)In-class oral presentation and slides - 1 (20%)1-6August examination period
In-class oral presentation and slides - 2 (20%)In-class oral presentation and slides - 2 (20%)1-6August examination period

Syllabus plan

  • Topics in Labour Economics:
    • Taste-base discrimination
    • Statistical discrimination
    • Institutional discrimination
    • Dynamic discrimination
    • Other forms of discrimination
    • Recent advances in the economics of education
    • Recent advances in gender economics
    • Recent advances in labour economics
  • Topics in Development Economics
    • Recent advances in health economics for developing countries
    • Recent advances in the economics of education for developing countries
    • Recent advances in development economics

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Selected readings (more will be discussed in class and on ELE):

-        Oreopoulos, and Salvanes (2011), “Priceless: The Nonpecuniary Benefits of Schooling”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(1): 159–84 

-        Goodman, Melkers, and Pallais (2019), "Can online delivery increase access to education?”, Journal of Labor Economics, 37(1): 1-34

-        Bailey (2006), “More power to the pill: The impact of contraceptive freedom on women’s life cycle labor supply”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 121(1): 289- 320

-        Blau and Kahn (2017), “The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations”, Journal of Economic Literature, 55(3): 789-865

-        Mbiti (2016), "The Need for Accountability in Education in Developing Countries“, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 30(3): 109-32

-        Duflo (2001), "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment”, American Economic Review, 91(4): 795- 813

-        Baird, Hicks, Kremer, and Miguel (2016), “Worms at Work: Long-Run Impacts of a Child Health Investment”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 131(4): 1637-1680

- Thornton (2008), "The Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status”, American Economic Review, 98(5): 1829-1863

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