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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin -

Course Descriptions

Course name                                                                                                                                   

Language

Type of Course Winter Term 18/19 Summer Term
19
Bachelor
Mikroökonomie I DE LE/EX x  
Mikroökonomie II/Microeconomics II DE LE/EX   x
Strategie, Organisation und Information Technology DE LE/EX  

x

Grundlagen der Personalökonomik/Principles of Personnel Economics

DE LE/EX   x
Außenhandel/International Trade DE LE/EX x  
Einführung in die Spieltheorie/Introduction to Game Theory DE LE/EX x  
Grundlagen der Finanzwissenschaft DE LE/EX x  
Labour Economics EN LE/EX   x
Verhaltökonomische Aspekte der Finanzwissenschaft DE LE/EX   x
Empirische Forschung  DE SE x  
Aktuelle Probleme der Wirtschaftspolitik/Current Problems of Economic Policy DE/EN SE x x

Studienabschlussseminar – Personal- und Organisationsökonomik/Graduation Seminar – Personnel- and Organisational Economics

DE SE x x
Wirtschaftstheoretisches Seminar DE SE x x
Bachelor/Master
Organization and Management EN LE/EX x  
Theory of Social Choice EN LE/EX   x
Studienabschlussseminar zu Themen der angewandten Arbeitsmarktökonomik DE/EN SE x x
Master
Introduction to Advanced Microeconomic Analysis EN LE/EX x  
Incentives in Organizations EN LE/EX x  
Personnel Economics EN LE/EX   x
Empirical Labor Economics EN LE/EX x  
Competition Policy EN LE/EX   x
Information Economics EN LE/EX   x
Decision-Making under Uncertainty EN LE/EX   x
Public Economics EN LE/EX   x
Social Preferences - Theories and Evidence EN LE/EX x  
Theory of Incentives EN LE/EX   x
Game Theory EN LE/EX   x
Behavioral Economics  EN SE   x
Advanced Topics in Management  EN SE   x
Berlin Applied Micro Seminar (BAMS) EN SE x x
Graduate Student Seminar Econometrics and Applied Labor Markets EN SE x  
PhD
Advanced Microeconomic Theory (PhD level) EN LE/EX x  
Advanced Microeconomic Analysis II (PhD level) EN LE/EX   x
Research Seminar in Microeconomics (PhD level) EN SE x x
Theory Reading Group EN SE x x
Seminar and Colloquium in Behavioral Economics EN SE/CO x x
Microeconomic Theory Literature Study Group (PhD level) EN SE x x

 


Course Descriptions

Bachelor

 

Mikroökonomie I (6 ECTS)

In der Veranstaltung werden grundlegende wirtschaftstheoretische Ansätze vermittelt und die Allokationsfunktion des Marktes dargestellt. Die wichtigsten Themenbereiche umfassen die Theorie der Präferenzen, Haushalts- und Unternehmenstheorie sowie die Theorie des Marktgleichgewichts. Die Übungen befähigen zur Anwendung theoretischer Grundlagen auf einfache ökonomische Fragestellungen.

Hörerkreis: 1. Fachsemester

 

Mikroökonomie II/Microeconomics II (6 ECTS)

Die Vorlesung behandelt den unvollständigen Wettbewerb, die Theorie des Monopols, Preisdiskriminierung, die Theorie homogener sowie heterogener Oligopolmärkte, Funktionsweise von Märkten bei externen Effekten, öffentlichen Gütern und asymmetrischer Information. Grundlagen der Spieltheorie werden vermittelt. Themen: Theorie des Monopols, Preisdiskriminierung, oligopolistischer Wettbewerb, Auktionen, externe Effekte und öffentliche Güter, asymmetrische Information: adverse Selektion, Prinzipal-Agenten-Probleme; dazugehörige Übungsaufgaben.

 

The lecture  covers chapters 17 (auctions), 24 (Monopoly), 25 (Monopoly Behaviour),27-30 (Oligopoly, Game Theory, Game Applications, Behavioral Economics), and 34-37 (Externalities, Information Technology, Public Goods, Asymmetric Information) of Varian's "Intermediate Microeconomics".

The lecture is more formal than the textbook and the exercises concentrate on the mathematical methods taught. 

 

Strategie, Organisation und Information Technology (6 ECTS)

Woche 1 bis 7: Existenz und Grenzen von Unternehmen; Wettbewerb und Kooperation; Zielkonflikte und Organisationsprobleme; strategische Selbstbindung.

[Woche 8 bis 14: IT-Implikationen für Strategie und Oranigsation; Geschäftsprozessmanagement und -modellierung; Betriebliche Informationssysteme; Datenmanagement]

Studierende der StO/PO 2010 besuchen nur den Teil Strategie und Organisation der VL/UE.

 

This course addresses the following selected problems in the area of Strategy and Organisation: explanatory approaches for the existence and boundaries of firms; Competition and cooperation; conflicting goals and organizational problems in companies; strategic self-commitment.

Using the selected problems, students learn to apply the theoretical approaches of industrial economics and new Institutional economics, to the questions of strategic interaction with competitors and the internal organization of companies.

 

Grundlagen der Personalökonomik/Principles of Personnel Economics (6 ECTS)

Dieser Kurs beschäftigt sich mit grundlegenden Fragestellungen aus dem Gebiet der Personalökonomik. Die folgenden Themen werden behandelt: Investitionen in Humankapital; Selektion und Motivation von Mitarbeitern bei Informationsasymmetrien (Rekrutierungsstrategien, Anreizverträge,  relative Leistungsentlohnung, Beförderungen, nicht-monetäre Motivation); Teamarbeit.

Bestandteil der Veranstaltung ist eine unbenotete Präsentation (30 min).

 

This course addresses the core questions of personnel economics. The following topics are discussed: Interventions in human capital, selection and motivation of workers in case of information asymmetries (reconstruction strategies, incentive contracts, relative performance-based remuneration, promotions, non-monetary motivation).

Literature:

Lazear, Gibbs (2009): Personnel Economics in Practice, Wiley.
Garibaldi (2006): Personnel Economics in Imperfect Labour Markets, Oxford University Press.

 

Außenhandel/International Trade (6 ECTS)

Die Teilnehmer an diesem Modul lernen grundlegende Konzepte der Außenhandelstheorie kennen. Sie lernen, wie man die Theorie des allgemeinen Gleichgewichts auf Fragen des Außenhandels anwenden kann und wie man mit Hilfe einfacher komparativ statischer Analyse außenhandelspolitische Fragen beantworten kann. In den Übungen wird vor allem das Verständnis der Modelle vertieft. Themen: Ricardo, spezifische Faktoren, Heckscher-Ohlin, Standard-Handelstheorie, monopolistischer Wettbewerb, Handelsrestriktionen im Partialmodell, Beispiele.

 

The module covers the first part (chs. 2-12: World Trade, Ricardian Model, Specific Factors, Heckscher-Ohlin Model, Standard Trade Model, External Economies of Scale, Firms in the Global Economy, Instruments of Trade Policy, Political Economy of Trade Policy, Trade Policy in Developing Countries, Controversies in Trade Policy ) of Krugman, Obstfeld and Melitz' "International Economics". The participants get to know fundamental concepts of the theory of international trade. They learn how to apply general equilibrium theory to questions of trade, and how simple comparative statics can be used to answer trade policy questions.

Exercises deepen the understanding of the models and their applications. 

 

Einführung in die Spieltheorie/Introduction to Game Theory (6 ECTS)

Dieser Kurs liefert eine Einführung in die Spieltheorie für Studierende, die spieltheoretische Methoden in verschiedenen Gebieten der Volkswirtschaftslehre anwenden möchten. Themen: Spiele; statische und dynamische Spiele mit vollständiger und unvollständiger Information; Lösungskonzepte: Nash-Gleichgewicht, teilspielperfektes Gleichgewicht, Bayes-Nash-Gleichgewicht, perfektes Bayes-Gleichgewicht; Übungsaufgaben.

Voraussetzungen: Mikroökonomie I und II.

 

This course is designed to introduce game theory to students who want to apply game-theoretic methods in different fields of economics. Topics: games; static and dynamic games with complete and incomplete information; solution concepts: Nash equilibrium, subgame-perfect equilibrium, Bayes-Nash equilibrium, perfect Bayesian equilibrium; exercises.

Prerequisites: Microeconomics I and II.

 

Grundlagen der Finanzwissenschaft (6 ECTS)

Die Vorlesung behandelt die grundlegenden Fragen der Finanzwissenschaft. Die Begründung staatlichen Handelns zur Bereitstellung öffentlicher Güter, der Armutsbekämpfung und des Wohlfahrtsstaates bildet zusammen mit Theorie und Politik der öffentlichen Einnahmen als auch der öffentlichen Ausgaben den Schwerpunkt. Kenntnisse der Mikrotheorie werden vorausgesetzt. Wesentliche Konzepte sind asymmetrische Information, insbesondere zwischen Staat und Marktteilnehmern, die Interaktion zwischen verschiedenen Märkten (allgemeines Gleichgewicht) und die Verbindung von Theorie, Empirie und aktueller finanzpolitischer Diskussion.

Studierende, die die Prüfungen Einführung in die Finanzwissenschaft I (70806) und/oder Einführung in die Finanzwissenschaft II (70807) von Herrn Prof. Dr. Blankart bereits bestanden haben, sind von der Prüfung Grundlagen der Finanzwissenschaft ausgeschlossen.

 

Labour Economics (6 ECTS)

The actors in the labor market: workers, firms, government; labor supply and labor demand; labor market equilibrium; compensating wage differentials; human capital; the wage structure; labor mobility; labor market discrimination; unemployment; labor market policy.

 

Verhaltensökonomische Aspekte der Finanzwissenschaft (6 ECTS)

Die Vorlesung behandelt verhaltensökonomische Einsichten zu Fragen der Finanzwissenschaft. Insbesondere werden theoretische Modelle zu systematischen Abweichungen von rationaler Eigennutzmaximierung sowie empirische und experimentelle Evidenz zu Verhaltensvorhersagen der Finanzwissenschaft betrachtet. Beispiele sind (freiwillige) Beiträge zu öffentlichen Gütern, Effektivität von Mechanismen zur Bereitstellung öffentlicher Güter, Steuerehrlichkeit, Steueräquivalenz, Abstimmungsverfahren, Verzerrungen in Versicherung- und Pensionsentscheidungen.

Voraussetzung: Grundlagen der Finanzwissenschaft oder Äquivalent

 

Aktuelle Probleme der Wirtschaftspolitik/Current Problems of Economic Policy (6 ECTS)

Die Teilnehmer an diesem Seminar lernen wirtschaftspolitische Fragestellungen zu formulieren und mit Hilfe wirtschaftswissenschaftlicher Ansätze zu diskutieren. Sie recherchieren und dokumentieren zunächst aktuelle Ereignisse aus einem von vier bis fünf vorgegebenen Themenblöcken. Nach der Diskussion der Ergebnisse dieser Recherche im Seminar suchen die Teilnehmer wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Arbeiten, die Aspekte der Problematik aufgreifen. Sie stellen dar, wie die aktuelle politische Diskussion theoretisch erfasst wird und diskutieren die Möglichkeiten und Grenzen des Ansatzes. Jeder Seminarteilnehmer diskutiert darüber hinaus je eine einführende und eine weiterführende Arbeit. Das Seminar ist Voraussetzung für das Anfertigen einer Bachelorarbeit, die jedoch auf jeden Fall (auch im Umfang) deutlich über die beiden Seminararbeiten hinausgeht. Die Themen werden aus der jeweils aktuellen wirtschaftspolitischen Diskussion ausgewählt.

Voraussetzung: Mikroökonomie I.

 

This seminar prepares the Bachelor thesis and is therefore not open for exchange students.

 

Studienabschlussseminar – Personal- und Organisationsökonomik/Graduation Seminar – Personnel- and Organisational Economics (0 ECTS)

Studierende erlernen den Aufbau wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten und die selbständige Recherche zu einer wissenschaftlichen Fragestellung. Weiterhin werden Methoden vertieft, die für die Erstellung einer Bachelor-Arbeit im Bereich der Personal- und Organisationsökonomik notwendig sind. Themen: Aufbau einer wissenschaftlichen Arbeit, Recherche zu einer wissenschaftlichen Fragestellung, Vertiefung von Methoden. Zur Erarbeitung eines Themas für die Bachelorarbeit präsentieren die Studierenden Ideen und die dazugehörige grundlegende Literatur im Seminar.

Die endgültige Vergabe des Themas und Anmeldung zur Bachelorarbeit erfolgt nach Abschluss der Vorträge. Mögliche Themen sollen einem der folgenden personalökonomischen Bereiche zuordenbar sein: Anreizsysteme, Teamarbeit, Leadership, Soziale Präferenzen oder der Delegation von Entscheidungsrechten.

 

Students learn to independently research and structure a scientific paper, addressing a scientific question. Additionally, methods on how to write a bachelor thesis are developed further.

In preparation of a topic for the bachelor thesis, students present their ideas and the corresponding literature in the seminar. The final allocation of the topic and the registration of the bachelor thesis take place after completion of the presentations.

Supervision of a Bachelor Thesis

Prerequisite for the supervision of a bachelor thesis at the chair of Management is a pass in the exam of the lecture “Personnel Economics”. The bachelor thesis is supervised as part of the Graduation Seminar (see above). The number of participants is limited to 20. Details as to the registration are published on the webpage of the Management Chair nearer the time.

 

Wirtschaftstheoretisches Seminar (0 ECTS)

Leading researchers in microeconomic theory present their current research.

 

 

Bachelor/Master

 

Organization and Management (6 ECTS)

Students get familiar with fundamental incentive and coordination problems in organizations. They learn how to identify and discuss these problems based on concepts from new institutional economics.

Topics: boundaries and structure of the firm, incentive contracts, ownership and property rights

 

Theory of Social Choice (6 ECTS)

This course discusses the problem of aggregating the preferences of citizens or voters from different angles. It starts out with Arrow’s famous Impossibility Theorem, then looks at the majority rule under various domain restrictions, examines the exercise of individual rights in social choice, the issue of manipulability of preferences and takes a look at various scoring rules. Furthermore, the aspect of equity and justice is related to Rawls and Utilitarianism. Finally, axiomatic bargaining is discussed from the perspective of proposals made by Nash as well as by Kalai and Smorodinsky.

Students who want to take the final exam have to write a short essay (6-8 pages, ungraded) on a topic related to this course which should be presented in class (15 min.).

 

Studienabschlussseminar zu Themen der angewandten Arbeitsmarktökonomik (0 ECTS)

This seminar offers bachelor and master students the opportunity to write an empirical thesis on a labor market topic. Participants are expected to perform an empirical analysis, discuss the relevant literature, data sources, methodology and to acquaint themselves with the necessary institutional details and to present and discuss their work.

Generally, the seminar presentations will be held in English. Bachelor students may hold their presentations in German after consultation with the lecturer.

 

Master

 

Introduction to Advanced Microeconomic Analysis (6 ECTS)

The course emphasizes a sample of topics ranging from the theory of competitive markets to industrial organization, welfare economics, information, and incentives. The lectures are supplemented by problem-solving exercises and in-class presentations by participants.

Topics: general equilibrium; partial equilibrium; externalities; imperfect competition; asymmetric information; behavioral aspects; model application exercises.

 

Incentives in Organizations (6 ECTS)

Students get familiar with advanced problems of coordination and incentive provision within and between firms. They learn how to identify and discuss these problems based on concepts from organizational economics and contract theory.Topics: incentive and coordination problems within and between firms: adverse selection, team problems, relational contracts, relative performance evaluation.

Part of the course is an ungraded presentation.

 

Personnel Economics (6 ECTS)

The course covers advanced topics from personnel economics such as monetary and non-monetary forms of motivation, problems of performance measurement, multitasking problems, delegation of authority, and career concerns.

A component of the class is an ungraded presentation (30 min).

 

Empirical Labor Economics (6 ECTS)

This course provides an overview on the economic analysis of labor markets. The emphasis is on applied microeconomics and empirical analysis. Topics to be covered include: labor supply and demand, human capital, education and training, changes in the wages structure and inequality, biased technological change and returns to skills, organizational change and skill demand, the closing gender gap.

The introduction of topics will be on textbook level, but the focus will be on the discussion of empirical implementation strategies used in recent publications.

 

Information Economics (6 ECTS)

This course is about the effect of asymmetric information in economic markets. Students learn about the crucial role of the information structure that underlies an economic market and to apply these ideas and concepts to concrete economic problems. Topics: incomplete quality information (Lemons problem); labor markets with asymmetric information (signaling, efficiency wages, equilibrium unemployment); insurance markets with asymmetric information (screening); credit markets with asymmetric information (rationing); principal-agent problems.

 

Decision-Making under Uncertainty (6 ECTS)

Topics: Preferences over uncertain prospects, expected utility under risk, probability weighting, exptected utility without known probabilities, ambiguity attitudes, standard financial investment problems, dynamic investments.

 

Public Economics (6 ECTS)

The course covers core concepts of public economics, namely the foundation for government intervention, public good problems, externalities, collective action problems, taxation. Theoretical analysis will be combined with empirical results and connections to policy debates.

 

Social Preferences - Theories and Evidence (6 ECTS)

Social or other-regarding preferences refer to preferences of economic agents regarding other people’s outcomes. These preferences can be both benevolent and malevolent, but crucially they differ from selfish preferences without any regard for others. The course provides an introduction to key evidence about the relevance of social preferences in economic interaction as well as the most important theoretical approaches that aim at explaining these results. Most of the discussed evidence will be from controlled laboratory experiments. Critique regarding the relevance of (laboratory) experiments on social preferences will be discussed as well. Apart from methodological critique, experimental studies that critically reflect on prominent papers and research agendas will be presented in order to highlight the relevance of apparent subtleties in experimental design. 

Specific requirements: Some knowledge of game theory is helpful, but fairly basic experience is mostly sufficient. Knowledge of statistical analysis will make it easier to follow the data analysis in the experimental papers and thus enable a more critical view, but is not strictly necessary.

 

Theory of Incentives (6 ECTS)

The course reviews the main topics and models of incentive theory. It focuses on the principal-agent paradigm where the principal delegates an action to a single agent through the take-it-or-leave-it offer of a contract. Major topics are the problem of adverse selection, which occurs when the agent learns some piece of information relevant to the contractual relationship, and the problem of moral hazard, which appears as soon as the agent’s actions are not observable. First, the trade-offs that emerge in these contexts are characterized: the rent extraction-efficiency trade-off under adverse selection and the trade-offs between the extraction of limited liability rent and efficiency and also between insurance and efficiency under moral hazard. Then, extensions of the basic framework to more complex environments are discussed. Mixed models with adverse selection, moral hazard and nonverifiability of the state of the world are also covered. Principal-agent models with adverse selection and moral hazard are finally considered in a dynamic context. Topics: problem of adverse selection; revelation principle; solution techniques; ex post vs. ex ante contracting; limited liability; problem of moral hazard; first-order approach.

Prerequisites: "Introduction to Advanced Microeconomic Analysis" and "Game Theory".

 

Game Theory (6 ECTS)

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with game-theoretic methods that are used in various fields of economics. Topics: Normal-form games, extensive-form games, games with incomplete information, standard solution concepts and refinements; exercises.

 

Behavioral Economics (6 ECTS)

Topics: Behavioral and experimental economics studies the effects  of psychological, cognitive, and social factors on the economic decision making of individuals in order to explain observed puzzles and to improve the predictive power of models. Prevalent themes are the study of false perceptions, e.g., framing effects, projection bias or time inconsistency, of preference anomalies in the form of, e.g., present-biasedness or ambiguity aversion, and of non-standard and social preferences. Requirements: Participants are expected to  give a presentation in class (ungraded).  A list of possible topics will be provided to registered participants before the first meeting. 

Prerequisites: good knowledge of Microeconomics, in particular game theory. Active participation in class is essential.

 

Advanced Topics in Management (6 ECTS)

Specific current problems in personnel, managerial, and organizational economics with an  eye on the master thesis .

A component of the seminar is also an ungraded presentation (30 min).

 

Berlin Applied Micro Seminar (BAMS) (0 ECTS)

Click here for topics, locations and further information.

 

Graduate Student Seminar Econometrics and Applied Labor Markets (0 ECTS)

Graduate students in the field of econonometrics and applied labor markets present and discuss their ongoing research projects.

 

PhD

 

Advanced Microeconomic Theory (PhD level) (6 ECTS)

The students understand fundamental microeconomic concepts and tools on a very advanced level.

Topics: theory of consumption and production, optimal decision under uncertainty, general equilibrium, matching, introduction to game theory.

 

Advanced Microeconomic Analysis II (PhD level) (6 ECTS)

The students understand fundamental microeconomic concepts and tools on a very advanced level.

Topics: decision under uncertainty, market power, strategic interaction, game theory, asymmetric information, incentives, mechanism design, contract theory; exercises.

 

Research Seminar in Microeconomics (PhD level) (0 ECTS)

Discussion of specific aspects of the respective papers.

 

Seminar and Colloquium in Behavioral Economics (0 ECTS)

The Berlin Behavioral Economics Colloquium and Seminar are a joint effort between DIW, WZB, HU Berlin and TU Berlin (in cooperation with CRC TRR 190) with the aim of fostering the exchange between active researchers in the areas of behavioral and experimental economics.

 

Microeconomic Theory Literature Study Group (PhD level) (0 ECTS)

Focusing on a specific topic within microeconomic theory, the seminar studies recent developments in the literature of mechanism design, contract theory, industrial organization, and organization theory. Students discuss and present related research papers, pointing out their interrelations and discussing their main contributions. The seminar puts a particular emphasis on understanding the theoretical underpinning behind the papers’ results and the economic mechanisms they capture. A major goal of the seminar is to find new open questions for future research. Participants are expected to attend all the sessions, read all the discussed papers beforehand, and participate actively in discussions.

Prerequisites: "Advanced Microeconomic Analysis" I and II.