Thoughts on Online Education

I see that many UK universities are announcing they are staying mainly online for 2021-22, with only small group teaching happening in person. I am not going to judge whether this is the right policy for the upcoming year because public health is not my area of expertise. However, Manchester University have announced that this is a permanent change and I suspect many others are considering this option.

Personally, I think making decisions now to permanently get rid of in-person lectures would be a mistake, both on the substance of the issue and on the timing and processes for making a decision of this sort. A few thoughts below.

Educational Substance

I have been teaching online since March 2020 and have worked hard at it. After a period recording lectures without anyone listening live, I settled on an approach of teaching online at the time of my scheduled timetabled slots and also recording the lecture. Despite my initial fears, I think this has worked reasonably well and feedback I received from students has generally been positive and kind.

The positive feedback for this format reflects both the live element and the recorded element. For some students, it is very important to be able to participate in their lectures in a structured timetabled way and also to be able to interact with a lecturer during a live session. My undergraduate classes have large class sizes and I will admit that I get more questions online – via the chat box – then I ever did when I taught live. Asking questions in front of many class mates is intimidating for most people but typing a question into a chat box is not – the question can also be sent just to the lecturer, giving the student complete privacy.

For other students, the access to recordings of the lectures is hugely positive. Students have told me it’s great that they can pause and rewind the lectures, particularly when they are covering something technical and how they can listen to lectures while they are on a walk, if it is less technical.

But there are important downsides to not having in-person lectures. In online lectures, students do not turn their cameras on and it is difficult to insist that they do. This means lecturers cannot see whether they are being understood. Manchester University have “pledged to continue in-person teaching for lectures with an “interactive” element, such as question and answer sessions.”  But all live teaching is interactive. When my students are in front of me, I can see how they are responding to what I am saying. I can see how many look a bit puzzled, I can tell if they are smiling at my bad jokes or if they are paying attention to a bit that I signal is very important. Chat box questions are fine but they are not a substitute for a lecturer’s ability to “read the room”.

Another important interaction that is lost is the ability to come up in person after class to talk to a lecturer. I run online office hours and have been pleased with the number of students that have used them. Indeed, I plan to retain this option when in-person classes return. But students are more likely to use the online hours to go over a number of issues on the course rather than the traditional quick exchange after class to clarify what we have just discussed or to perhaps ask about something related to their degree or something that is tangentially related to the course material.

Finally, it is important for students to be learning around other students and to have the time and space to talk about what they are learning after lectures. Universities can try to encourage online study groups but there is no good substitute for meeting the other people on your course and talking with them about how they are getting on.

For these reasons, I strongly hope that my university returns to in-person lectures as soon as it is safe to do so. Based on communications from our President, I fully expect this to happen.

Are there things that we have learned from teaching online? Yes. When I return to live teaching, I plan to record the lectures.  Currently, I’m thinking of teaching live both in-person and on Zoom using a laptop brought to lectures.  This would allow students to either attend in person or listen live at home or listen to a recording. Students that attend live could still use a chat box via phone or laptop to ask questions. This retains the advantages of online teaching while bringing back the benefits of live teaching.

Some lecturers will be uncomfortable with this approach because of the technology demands it places on them (I’m pretty good with tech but I don’t know if I can actually pull it off). Others will argue that learning in person is the “gold standard” and making lectures available online will reduce class attendance and damage educational standards.

I’m not so sure. My courses are popular but attendance at lectures has always been pretty spotty. Whether lecturers like it or not, students are not always in a position to attend every lecture, whether it be because they get sick, or have to work a part-time job to support themselves or perhaps have a long commute because housing costs in their university’s location are prohibitively expensive. Making recordings available would benefit these students but it can also benefit the students who actually attended class. When students are revising for exams or writing an assignment and think “what did the lecturer say about that in class again?” with recordings they can go back and listen.

I have also switched to having weekly online MCQ quizzes to replace an MCQ midterm exam and I have decided to keep this since it seemed to work better at keeping students engaged and the feedback I received from students was also positive.

So we have much to benefit from by using technology but that doesn’t mean we should scrap in-person lectures.

A Difficult Sell

You can see from the above that I am not wholly negative about online teaching and my experience is that for some students, the positive have actually outweighed the negatives. But universities need to understand that the majority of students want to at least have the option to attend lectures in person and that going into college to learn and meet other students is a crucial part of the university experience.

And as can seen from the initial response to Manchester’s announcement, students and their parents will respond to the removal of in-person lecturers with the demand to reduce fees: If you provide us with an inferior service, then we’re not willing to pay you as much.  This puts universities in a difficult situation because it is not cheaper to deliver online education than in-person teaching. You still need to pay the lecturers and they actually spend more time on things like recording lectures or designing new assessments that work online than they did in the past when you could just show up to teach in person and set an exam to be taken in an exam hall.  Expenditures on tech support and cloud storage also likely go up.

Longer term, there may be savings from having fewer staff and students on campus but for now those cost savings are likely to be small. Moreover, any move to downgrade the importance of in-person teaching in UK universities would be ironic since the additional income that came with the £9,000 annual fees and the race for high fees from international students had lead to a boom in capital spending on campuses as universities competed with each other on the basis of the quality of on-campus life as well as educational quality. De-emphasising the campus experience will be a very difficult sell.

Timing and Process

The issues around how to combine technologies and in-person teaching are complex and there are many lessons to take from our recent experiences. I have listed some above but I’m sure there are lots of aspects that I haven’t considered or that affect subjects that I don’t teach.

To my mind, now is not the time for universities to be taking decisions to permanently change their approach to teaching. Universities should instead instigate processes of consulting with staff and students about what they like and dislike about the online approach and then focus on how much of the good new stuff we can keep while retaining as much of the good old stuff as we can. Where trade-offs emerge, they should be carefully weighed up. If this process takes a few years, then so be it.

There is also a deeper issue. Students that have signed up for a degree based on in-person lectures should not be told in the middle of this degree that those lectures are being discontinued.  How many would have chosen to attend the university if they had known the experience was going to be radically different from what was advertised? Purely on the grounds of fairness and avoidance of reputational damage, I would recommend that any university considering this move should wait until the graduation of the final student cohort that was advertised a degree with in-person lectures.

MA Macroeconomics

This is the class website for University College Dublin module MA Macroeconomics (ECON 41990) in  Autumn 2014.

Information and Assessment

A syllabus for the course (including details of the assessment) is available here.  The School of Economic gradescale is here.

Here is a handout with guidelines on the final exam and sample questions for the first section of the exam.  (Final edition).

Here are sample questions for the second part of the final exam as well as some guidelines for answering the questions. (Final edition).

 Lecture Notes

1. The IS-LM Model. (From MIT Open Courseware)

2. The AS-AD Model. (From MIT Open Courseware)

My summary of IS-LM and AS-AD

Click on the name of the topics below to obtain the lecture notes. Note these are longer and more detailed than the slides.

3. Introducing the IS-MP-PC Model. Slides here.

4. Analysing the IS-MP-PC Model. Slides here.

5. The Taylor Principle. Slides here.

6. The Zero Lower Bound and the Liquidity TrapSlides here.

7. Rational Expectations and Asset Prices. Slides here.

8. Rational Expectations, Consumption and Asset Pricing. Slides here.

9. Sticky Prices and the Phillips Curve. Slides here.

10. Growth Accounting. Slides here.

11. The Solow Model. Slides here.

12. Endogenous Technological Change: The Romer Model.  Slides here.

13. Cross-Country Technology Diffusion.  Slides here.

14. Institutions and Efficiency.  Slides here.

Readings

John Hicks (1937). Mr. Keynes and the Classics: A Suggested Interpretation

Mark Bils and Peter Klenow (2004). Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices

Alvarez et al (2005). Sticky Prices in the Euro Area

Carl Walsh (2002): Teaching Inflation Targeting: An Analysis for Intermediate Macro

Milton Friedman (1968): The Role of Monetary Policy.

John Taylor (1993): Discretion Versus Policy Rules in Practice

Bank of England (2012): State of the Art of Inflation Targeting

Richard Clarida, Jordi Gali and Mark Gertler (2000): Monetary Policy Rules
and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory

Athanasios Orphanides (2001). Monetary Policy Rules, Macroeconomic Stability and Inflation: A View from the Trenches

Ben Bernanke (2003):  Some Thoughts on Monetary Policy in Japan

Lars Svensson (2003). Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others

Paul Krugman (2012): Earth to Ben Bernanke. Chairman Bernanke Should Listen to Professor Bernanke

Eugene Fama (1970): Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work

Eugene Fama (1991): Efficient Capital Markets II

Robert Shiller (1981): Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?

John Campbell and Robert Shiller (2001). Valuation Ratios and the Long-Run Stock Market Outlook: An Update.

Gavyn Davies: The Nobel  Laureates on Equity Bubbles

NBER Workshop on Behavioural Finance.

Robert Lucas (1976). Econometric Policy Evaluation: A Critique.

Robert Hall (1978). Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence.

John Campbell and Gregory Mankiw (1990). Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption

Robert Barro (1974). Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?

Jonathan Parker, Nicholas Souleles, David Johnson and Robert McClelland (2011). Consumer Spending and the Economic Stimulus Payments of 2008.

Jonathan Parker (1999). The Reaction of Household Consumption to Predictable Changes in Social Security Taxes.

Chang-Tai Hsieh (2003). Do Consumers React to Anticipated Income Changes? Evidence from the Alaska Permanent Fund

Bureau of Labor Statistics MFP Trends up to 2013

Karl Whelan: Is the U.S. Set for an Era of Slow Growth?

Kieran McQuinn and Karl Whelan (2014): Presentation on Demographics, Structural Reform and the Growth Outlook for Europe.

Alwyn Young (1992): A Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change in Hong Kong and Singapore

Edward Miguel and Gerard Roland (2009): The Long Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam

Paul Krugman (1994): The Myth of Asia’s Miracle

Paul Romer (1990) : Endogenous Technological Change.

Robert Gordon (2012): Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds

Robert Gordon (2014): The Demise of U.S. Growth: Restatement, Rebuttal and Reflections

Joel Mokyr (2013): Is Technological Progress a Thing of the Past?

Robert E. Hall and Charles I. Jones (1999). Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?

Douglass North (1999). Institutional Change: A Framework of Analysis.

Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson and James Robinson (2001). The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation.

Dani Rodrik, Arvind Subramanian, and Francesco Trebbi (2002). Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development.

Robert Gillanders and Karl Whelan (2014). Open For Business? Institutions, Business Environment and Economic Development.

MA Advanced Macroeconomics

This is the class website for University College Dublin module MA Advanced Macroeconomics (ECON41620) taught by Prof. Karl Whelan in the Spring term of 2016.

The focus in this course will be on the methods that modern macroeconomics uses to model and understand time series fluctuations in the major macroeconomic variables. The first part of the course focuses on Vector Autoregression studies and Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium models. Later lectures focus on modelling the interactions between the financial sector and the macroeconomy.

Information 

Here is a handout with a syllabus and a full reading list.

Here are guidelines on the format and content of the final exam. (Final version).

Here is last year’s final exam

Lecture Notes

1. Introduction: Time Series and Macroeconomics

2. Vector Autoregressions

3. Examples of VAR Studies

4. VARs With Long-Run Restrictions

5. Latent Variables: The Kalman Filter

6. Solving Models with Rational Expectations

7. The Real Business Cycle Model

8. The Phillips Curve

9. The Modern New-Keyesian Model (Technical background notes).

10. Estimating DSGE Models

11. The Smets-Wouters Model

12. Default Risk, Collateral and Credit Rationing

13. Banking: Crises and Regulation

14. The Future of Macroeconomics

RATS Programmes and Data

RATS programme generating charts for the first lecture. (Data set and required HP-filter programme.)

Two RATS programmes for Monetary Policy VARs: Identification One and Identification Two (Data Set).

RATS replication files for the Laubach-Williams paper.

RATS programme that produces RBC graphs in Part 7 (using Binder-Pesaran)

Dynare Programmes

Dynare is software that works with Matlab to solve and simulate DSGE models.  You can download it here and here is a page has a quick guide to getting started.

A large number of macroeconomic models from academic papers have been coded up in Dynare and made freely available, most notably at Volker Wieland’s Macro Model Database.  See below for a number of papers and corresponding Dynare programmes.

Programme for the RBC model in Part 7

A simple new Keynesian model.

Dynare can also estimate DSGE models using Bayesian techniques. Here is a link to a working example, including data, by Joao Madeira from the University of York.

Readings and Useful Links

John Cochrane (2005). Time Series for Macroeconomics and Finance (Chapters 2, 3, 5 and 7).

Christopher Sims (1980). Macroeconomics and Reality. (JSTOR).

Lutz Kilian (1998). Small-Sample Confidence Intervals for Impulse Response Functions.

Simon Jackman (2000). Estimation and Inference via Bayesian Simulation: An Introduction to Markov Chain Monte Carlo.

Marta Bańbura, Domenico Giannone, and Lucrezia Reichlin (2008). Large Bayesian VARs.

Lutz Kilian (2009). Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market.  (Here is the working paper version)

Christiane Baumeister and Lutz Killian (2016). Forty Years of Oil Price Fluctuations: Why the Price of Oil May Still Surprise Us.

Olivier Blanchard and Roberto Perotti (2002). An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output (JSTOR).

James Stock and Mark Watson (2001). Vector Autoregressions.

Glenn Rudebusch (1998). Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a Var Make Sense?(JSTOR).

Christopher Sims (1998). Comment on Glenn Rudebusch’s Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a Var Make Sense? (JSTOR).

Jordi Gali (1999). Technology, Employment and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations? (JSTOR).

Karl Whelan (2009). Technology Shocks and Hours Worked: Checking for Robust Conclusions.

Thomas Laubach and John C. Williams (2001). Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest. Updated estimates from the Laubach-Williams model from the San Francisco Fed.

Robert Lucas (1976). Econometric Policy Evaluation: A Critique.

Nicholas Higham and Hyun-Min Him (2002). Numerical Analysis of a Quadratic Matrix Equation.

Harald Uhlig (1995). A Toolkit for Analyzing Nonlinear Dynamic Stochastic Models Easily.

Timothy Cogley and James Nason (1995). Output Dynamics in Real-Business-Cycle Models.

Milton Friedman: The Role of Monetary Policy.

Robert J. Gordon: The History of the Phillips Curve: Consensus and Bifurcation

John M. Roberts. New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve (JSTOR).

Richard Clarida, Jordi Gali, and Mark Gertler (1999). The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective.

Jordi Gali and Mark Gertler (1999). Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Econometric Analysis

Jeremy Rudd and Karl Whelan (2005). Modelling Inflation Dynamics: A Critical Review of Recent Research

Julio Rotemberg and Michael Woodford (1997). An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy.

Alistair Hall, Atsushi Inoue, James Nason and Barbara Rossi (2010). Information Criteria for Impulse Response Function Matching Estimation of DSGE Models.

Peter Ireland (2004).  A Method for Taking Models to the Data.

Francisco Ruge-Murcia (2007). Methods to Estimate Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models.

Jesus Fernández-Villaverde (2009). The Econometrics of DGSE Models.

Frank Smets and Rafael Wouters (2007). Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach. (ECB working paper version here; appendix with full model here).

Video of Chris Sims at INET conference: How Empirical Evidence Does or Does Not Influence Economic Thinking.

Ben Bernanke and Mark Gertler (1989). Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations.

Ben Bernanke, Mark Gertler and Simon Gilchrist (1999): The Financial Accelerator in a Quantitative Business Cycle Framework.

Mark Gertler’s lecture notes on financial frictions.

Joseph Stiglitz and Andrew Weiss (1981). Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information.

Charles Goodhart (1998): Two Concepts of Money

Piergiorgio Alessandri and Andrew Haldane (Bank of England): Banking on the State

Simon Johnson: Economic Recovery And The Coming Financial Crisis.

Douglas Diamond and Raghuram Rajan: The Credit Crisis: Conjectures about Causes and Remedies

Documentation for the Basle 2 Internal Ratings Based model.

Philipp Hildebrand: Is Basel II Enough? The Benefits of a Leverage Ratio

New York Times: Risk Mismangement

Patrick Honohan: Bank Failures: The Limits of Risk Modelling

Andrew Haldane and Vasileios Madouros. The Dog and the Frisbee.

Karl Whelan: Containing Systemic Risk

Ben Bernanke: Implications of the Financial Crisis for Economics

Tobias Adrian and Hyun Song Shin (2008). Liquidity and Leverage.

Andrew Crockett: Marrying the Micro- and Macro-Prudential Dimensions of Financial Stability

Samuel Hanson, Anil Kashyap and Jeremy Stein: A Macroprudential Approach to Financial Regulation

Basle 3 Agreement

Accenture: Basle 3 Handbook

Andrew Haldane: The Bank and the banks.

Financial Stability Board press release on TLAC.

Bank of England (2009). RAMSI: a top-down stress-testing model

Olivier Blanchard, Giovanni Dell’Ariccia, and Paolo Mauro (2010): Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy

Olivier Blanchard, Giovanni Dell’Ariccia, and Paolo Mauro (2013): Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy II: Getting Granular.

Olivier Blanchard: Five Lessons for Economists from the Financial Crisis

Lawrence Summers (1991): The Scientific Illusion in Empirical Macroeconomics

Ricardo Cabellero (2010): Macroeconomics after the Crisis : Time to Deal with the Pretense-of-Knowledge Syndrome

Advanced Macroeconomics (ECON30120)

This is the class website for University College Dublin module Advanced Macroeconomics (ECON 30120) which was taught by Professor Karl Whelan in Spring 2020.

 

Lecture Notes and Slides

1. Introducing the IS-MP-PC Model. Slides here.

2. Analysing the IS-MP-PC Model. Slides here.

3. The Taylor Principle. Slides here.

4. The Zero Lower Bound and the Liquidity Trap. Slides here.

5. Rational Expectations and Asset Prices. Slides here.

6. Rational Expectations and Consumption. Slides here.

7. Exchange Rates, Interest Rates and Expectations. Slides here.

8. Growth Accounting. Slides here.

9. The Solow Model. Slides here.

10. Determinants of Total Factor Productivity. Slides here.

11. Before Growth: The Malthusian Model. Slides here.

12. Population & Resources: Malthus and the Environment. Slides here.

 

Readings

Carl Walsh (2002): Teaching Inflation Targeting: An Analysis for Intermediate Macro

Milton Friedman (1968): The Role of Monetary Policy.

John Taylor (1993): Discretion Versus Policy Rules in Practice

Bank of England (2012): State of the Art of Inflation Targeting

Richard Clarida, Jordi Gali and Mark Gertler: Monetary Policy Rules
and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory

Ben Bernanke:  Some Thoughts on Monetary Policy in Japan

Paul Krugman: Earth to Ben Bernanke. Chairman Bernanke Should Listen to Professor Bernanke

Robert Shiller: Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?

John Campbell and Robert Shiller. Valuation Ratios and the Long-Run Stock Market Outlook: An Update.

Robert Lucas. Econometric Policy Evaluation: A Critique.

Robert Hall. Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence.

Maurice Obstfeld, Jay C. Shambaugh, Alan M. Taylor (2004). The Trilemma in History: Tradeoffs among Exchange Rates, Monetary Policies, and Capital Mobility

Robert Solow: Technical Change and the Aggregate Production Function.

Bureau of Labor Statistics MFP Trends — 2018

Karl Whelan: Is the U.S. Set for an Era of Slow Growth?

Alwyn Young: A Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change
in Hong Kong and Singapore

Edward Miguel and Gerard Roland: The Long Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam

Paul Krugman: The Myth of Asia’s Miracle.

Paul Romer: Endogenous Technological Change.

Robert Gordon: Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds

Robert E. Hall and Charles I. Jones. Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?

Douglass North. Institutional Change: A Framework of Analysis.

Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson and James Robinson. The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation.

Dani Rodrik, Arvind Subramanian, and Francesco Trebbi. Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development.

Robert Gillanders and Karl Whelan. Open For Business? Institutions, Business Environment and Economic Development.

Gregory Clark (2007). A Farewell to Alms. Chapter One: The Sixteen Page Economic History of the World.

Gregory Clark (2007). A Farewell to Alms. Chapter Two: The Logic of the Malthusian Economy.

Thomas Malthus (1798). An Essay on the Principle of Population.

Gapminder: Wonderful animated graphs on health, incomes and other things.

James Brander and M. Scott Taylor (1998). The Simple Economics of Easter Island: A Ricardo-Malthus Model of Renewable Resource Use.

Links to Macro and Development Data

Presentation on macro data sources.

StatBank: The CSO’s main database.

Irish Housing Statistics from the Dept. of the Environment.

National Account Data for EU Countries: AMECO Database.

Cross-country and and cross-sector data for Europe: The EU KLEMS Project.

US National Accounts data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

US macro and financial data (and some international data) from the St. Louis Fed’s FRED. Good for charts.

IMF World Economic Outlook database

Cross-Country PPP-comparable data from the Penn World Table.

Jorda-Schularick-Taylor MacroHistory database. Covers 17 advanced economies since 1870

US financial data from the Federal Reserve Board.

The ECB’s Statistical Data Warehouse.

US stock market data from Robert Shiller.

Ken French‘s data on returns for various types of stock portfolios.

Data from the World Bank on health, development, finance and other things.

Data from the World Bank Project: Doing Business.

Development data from Markus Eberhardt

Data Sources and Websites for International Money and Banking

Data Sources

Asset and Liabilities of US Banks. From the Federal Reserve.

Statistical Data Warehouse. From the ECB.

FRED. The St. Louis Fed. Very good for charts.

The EONIA rate (European Overnight Interest Average)

Volume of overnight unsecured lending in the Euro area.

The ECB’s Balance Sheet.

The Fed’s Balance Sheet (Factors Supplying Funds is Assets, Factors Absorbing Funds is Liabilities)

Selected Interest Rates from the Federal Reserve.

 

Economics Blogs That Sometimes Cover Issues Related to this Course

My blog.

FT Alphaville.  Detailed coverage of financial news stories.

Bruegel. Think-tank covering European economic policy issues.

Economist’s View. Academic Mark Thoma from Oregon offers views and links to articles on the US economy.

Calculated Risk. An excellent site for US economic news, with a particular focus on housing.

Paul Krugman. Thoughts on macro from a Nobel prize winner. Best accessed via Twitter or you’ll run into the New York Times’s 10 articles per month limit.

Econbrowser. US macroeconomic commentary from academics Menzie Chinn and Jim Hamilton.

Mainly Macro. A thoughtful UK-oriented blog from Simon-Wren Lewis of Oxford

Monetary Dialogue with the ECB. Not a blog but lots of papers by leading European economists on monetary policy issues.

International Money and Banking

This is the class website for University College Dublin module International Money and Banking (ECON30150) which was taught by Professor Karl Whelan in Spring 2020.

 

Lecture Notes

0. Introduction

1. Money as a Medium of Exchange and Some History

2. Banks and Financial Intermediation

3. Liquidity and Solvency

4. Central Banks

5. The Money Supply and Monetarism

6. Problems with Monetarism

7. The Fed and the ECB

8. Central Banks and Interest Rates

9. Banking Crises

10. Banking Regulation

11. Long-Term Interest Rates

12. Default Risk and Collateral

13. Quantitative Easing

14. The Phillips Curve: Evidence and Implications

15. Real Interest Rates and the Taylor Rule

16. Exchange Rate Regimes and the Euro

17. The Euro Crisis and Developments Since

 

Source Material and Readings

A Comparative Chronology of Money. Website based on A History of Money from Ancient Times to the Present Day by Glyn Davies.

Jevons on Barter

Milton Friedman: The Island of Stone Money

R. A. Radford:  The Economic Organisation of a P.O.W. Camp

Charles Goodhart: Two Concepts of Money

A History of Money: From AD 800 by John F. Chown. Google Books version. Chapter 5 is “The Great Debasement of Henry VIII’s Reign”

Karl Whelan: How Is Bitcoin Different From The Dollar?

Karl Whelan: So What’s So Special About Bitcoin?

Bank of Ireland 2018 Annual Report

Cleveland Fed: Bank Capital Requirements: A Conversation with the Experts

Patrick Honohan’s Report: The Irish Banking Crisis Regulatory and Financial Stability Policy 2003-2008.

Bank of England: Understanding the fair value of banks’ loans

Bad Journalism on Bank Capital Example One: London Review of Books

Bad Journalism on Bank Capital Example Two: Fortune

Bad Journalism on Bank Capital Example Three: Article on Reserve Bank of New Zealand 

Federal Reserve: Recent Balance Sheet Trends

The weekly consolidated balance sheet of the Eurosystem from the ECB.

Karl Whelan:  Is the ECB Risking Insolvency? Does it Matter?

Karl Whelan: Should Monetary Policy be Separated From Banking Supervision?

Information on Payments Systems: TARGET2 and Fedwire.

ECB: The demand for currency in the euro area and the impact of the euro cash changeover

Paul De Grauwe and Magdalena Polan: Is Inflation Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon?

Steve H. Hanke and Nicholas Krus: World Hyperinflations

Top Five Hyperinflations

AFP: Venezuela releases new banknotes in cash crisis

New York Times: Venezuala Issues New Banknotes Because of Hyperinflation

Todd Keister and James McAndrews Why Are Banks Holding So Many Excess Reserves?

ECB Protocol (i.e. the legal statute underlying the ECB and Eurosystem).

ECB Press Conferences: Transcripts and Video

ECB monetary policy meeting accounts

ECB: Banking Supervision

San Francisco Fed: Information on the Fed’s role in banking supervision.

FOMC Statements, Minutes, and Transcripts

Joseph Gagnon and Brian Sack: Monetary Policy with Abundant Liquidity: A New Operating Framework for the Federal Reserve

New York Fed (2019). Stressed Outflows and the Supply of Central Bank Reserves

Steve Cechetti and Kermit Schoenholz (2019). The Brave New World of Monetary Policy Operations

Karl Whelan: The Secret Tool Draghi Uses to Run Europe

The ECB’s ELA Procedures

Vítor Constâncio (2018). Past and future of the ECB monetary policy

Karl Whelan (2019): Recommendations for the ECB’s Monetary Policy Strategy Review

Philip Lane (2019). Monetary Policy and Below-Target Inflation

Ben Bernanke: Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in the Propagation of the Great Depression (American Economic Review, June 1983. Not available outside UCD. Go through UCD Connect and the Library Page.)

Hyun Song Shin: Reflections on Northern Rock: The Bank Run that Heralded the Global Financial Crisis

Karl Whelan: Banking Union and the ECB as Lender of Last Resort

Press Release: A single rulebook for the resolution of failing banks

Bloomberg: Italy Commits $19 Billion for Veneto Banks in Biggest Rescue

Bloomberg: Testing Europe’s Resolve on Failing Banks

Piergiorgio Alessandri and Andrew Haldane (Bank of England): Banking on the State

Douglas Diamond and Raghuram Rajan: The Credit Crisis: Conjectures about Causes and Remedies

Documentation for the Basle 2 Internal Ratings Based model.

Philipp Hildebrand: Is Basel II Enough? The Benefits of a Leverage Ratio

New York Times: Risk Mismangement

Patrick Honohan: Bank Failures: The Limits of Risk Modelling

Andrew Haldane and Vasileios Madouros. The Dog and the Frisbee.

Dan Davies. Facts and Myths About Bank Leverage Ratios

Andrew Crockett: Marrying the Micro- and Macro-Prudential Dimensions of Financial Stability

Samuel Hanson, Anil Kashyap and Jeremy Stein: A Macroprudential Approach to Financial Regulation

Basle 3 Agreement

Andrew Haldane: The Bank and the banks.

Financial Stability Board press release on TLAC.

Basel Committee on Banking Supervision: High-level summary of Basel III reforms

McKinsey: Basel “IV”: What’s next for banks?

Selected Interest Rates from the Federal Reserve.

NTMA Bond report website.

Spreadsheet with bond yield examples

ECB Euro Area Yield Curve

Historical yield curve data from the Federal Reserve

FOMC Statements.

Ben Bernanke: Why are interest rates so low, part 4: Term premiums

Chicago Fed: Why Does the Yield-Curve Slope Predict Recessions?

San Francisco Fed: Information in the Yield Curve about Future Recessions

Ben Bernanke: The Financial Accelerator and the Credit Channel

Karl Whelan: How Does QE Work? A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Joseph Gagnon, Matthew Raskin, Julie Remache, Brian Sack: Large-Scale Asset Purchases by the Federal Reserve: Did They Work?

Stefania D’Amico and Thomas B. King: Flow and Stock Effects of Large-Scale Treasury Purchases

Milton Friedman: The Role of Monetary Policy.

Ben Bernanke: The Benefits of Price Stability

Olivier Blanchard (2016). The US Phillips Curve: Back to the 60s?

Ben Bernanke: The zero lower bound on interest rates: How should the Fed respond?

Olivier Blanchard, Giovanni Dell’Ariccia, and Paolo Mauro: Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy

Brad DeLong: Central Bank Credibility and Consistency: The Analytics

John Taylor: Discretion Versus Policy Rules in Practice

Glenn Rudebusch: The Fed’s Monetary Policy Response to the Current Crisis

Karl Whelan (2013): Sovereign Default and the Euro

Karl Whelan (2019): The Euro at 20: Successes, Problems, Progress and Threats

Stephen Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz (2018). Sudden stops: A primer on balance-of-payments crises.

CEPR (2015): Rebooting the Eurozone: Step 1 – Agreeing a Crisis narrative

Bénassy-Quéré et al (2018), Reconciling risk sharing with market discipline: A constructive approach to euro area reform

Barry Eichengreen (2007). The Breakup of the Euro Area

Phoebus Athanassiou (2009). Withdrawal and Expulsion from the EU and EMU, ECB Legal Working Paper.