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Monetary Policy and Banking (MSc Economics)

The study programme

The study programme of the Monetary Policy and Banking track focuses on how monetary policy attempts to mitigate the risks of the financial economy.

What is this Master's about?

Find out what our MSc Economics is about and why you should study it at the UvA.

The programme

Monetary Policy and Banking is one of the tracks of the MSc Economics. During your Master's you will follow 3 general courses and 4 track-specific courses. You will finish with a thesis. If you have excellent analytical and leadership abilities and it is your goal to use applied research to tackle complex real-life problems, you can participate in our Honours programme.

  • Compulsory courses


    In this course you will learn about modern macroeconomic models. You will learn how to use these models to explain and evaluate recent events and policy interventions. For example, the effect of uncertainty on savings, welfare and investment, the causes and nature of unemployment and inflation and the role of monetary and fiscal authorities. 

    Microeconomics and Game Theory

    In this course you will learn to understand the workings and limitations of the market. You will learn how to analyse consumer and producer behaviour and how to use basic game theory. The central question is: what can markets do and when do they fail? What determines the outcome, and how does that depend on market structure?

    Applied Econometrics

    In this course you will learn about regression analysis. In applied economics this is a powerful tool to analyse empirical relationships. You will learn how to interpret estimation and testing results and build a satisfactory empirical model. You will follow lectures and take part in lab sessions to acquire practical econometric skills by making computer exercises.


  • Track-specific courses

    Monetary Theory

    In this course you look at monetary economics through a theoretical lens. You will specifically explore a money-in-the-utility-function model, cash-in-advance models and a shopping-time model. Also you will learn about optimal monetary policy and look at New Keynesian monetary economics.

    International Finance

    In this course you will study advanced topics in international financial and monetary relations, such as:

    • modern exchange-rate theories including target-zone models and speculative attack models;
    • recent currency crises and ways to prevent them;
    • exchange rate policies;
    • international capital mobility, capital flight, management of and capital controls;
    • the international spill-overs of unconventional monetary policy and the induced portfolio rebalancing.

    Financial Institutions and Banking

    What are the key issues in bank management and the role of banks in the financial system? This is 1 of 2 core topics you will study in this course. You will learn about:

    • the major risks banks face;
    • spot lending and asymmetric information, credit rationing;
    • financial fragility and bank runs;
    • bank regulation. 

    The other core topic is the recent global financial crisis. How did it change the global financial system and the macroeconomy? We look at:

    • trends and cycles in the financial system;
    • policy responses to the crisis;
    • current challenges for policy makers. 

    Public Finance and Fiscal Policy

    Get introduced to theory and empirics of fiscal policy and public finance. You will look at these subjects both from a short-run perspective (the business cycle) and the long-run perspective (sustainability and the intergenerational dimension).

    Learn how to apply different fiscal policy models and how to estimate policies. 

    Topics you will cover: 

    • Population ageing and long run sustainability of public finances
    • Tax smoothing
    • Intergenerational aspects of fiscal policy
    • EU debt crisis and EU fiscal framework
    • Theory and empirics of cyclical fiscal policy
    • Recent policy cases depending on what is topical at the moment of the course
  • Thesis

    The academic programme culminates in a thesis, which allows you to engage with state-of-the-art data analysis and statistical techniques. The Master’s thesis is the final requirement for your graduation. It is your chance to dive deep into a topic in your field of choice (track) that you are enthusiastic about, and allows you to do an independent research project. A professor of your track will supervise and support you in writing your thesis.

  • Honours programme

    If you are a student of the Economics MSc and you have a record of academic excellence, a critical mind and an enthusiasm for applied research, then our Economics Honours programme is a great opportunity for you.

    More about the Honours programme
Check more detailed information about the specific courses in the course catalogue
Real life case: monetary policy in Europe

Monetary policy and the financial system played a central role in the 2008 credit crisis. The European Central Bank was a key player in stabilising the Eurozone in the following debt crisis. We have realised that the financial system can work as a transmission channel through which problems in one country or sector can spread out and result in a worldwide recession. How to prevent this contagion? What is the role of expectations? And finally, how should monetary policy makers respond to these economic fluctuations?

Contemporary issues

Examples of current newspaper headlines and relevant issues that could be discussed in your classroom.

  • Does the transmission of monetary policy depend on inequalities within a country?
  • Should central banks care about cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin?
  • Is the supply of public debt relevant for banks’ decisions to provide credit for firms’ long-term investments?
Copyright: Nee
This MSc perfectly blends my two passions: economics and policy analysis. It's a challenging programme, that teaches you hard and soft skills. Anouk Roethof Read about Anouk's experiences with this Master's
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