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The European Economy

Module Code: EC3030

Module Title: European Economy

  • ECTS Weighting: 10
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas Term & Hilary Term
  • Contact Hours: 44 hours of lectures and 8 hours of tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Professor John O'Hagan / Lecturer – Professor Michael Wycherley

Module Learning Aims

The aim of this course is to equip students with a critical understanding of the major issues facing the European economy. The course provides a blend of descriptive information, theory and empirical analysis. The emphasis is on economic issues but these issues are studied in their political, institutional, and historical context. Theoretical analysis forms an essential part of the course and requires knowledge of intermediate micro- and macroeconomics. Particular attention is devoted to policy areas in which EU co-ordination has progressed furthest: monetary integration, internal market, external trade policy, regional policy, factor mobility, agriculture, and competition policy. The course is suitable for any JS student who has taken Economics in his/her SF year and all Visiting Students who have acquired an equivalent level of Economics training.

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Review and summarise published material on various key aspects of European economic integration.
  • Explain the importance and relevance of the information contained in this reading material on European economic integration.
  • Explain and apply some basic economic theory and diagrams to issues of European economic policy.
  • Compare and contrast, using this theoretical economics framework, different aspects of the policy debate surrounding European economic integration.
  • Formulate a balanced, critical judgment on the status of each of these debates.

Module Content

Michaelmas Term (Prof. O'Hagan):

  • Historical evolution of the European Union.
  • Law, institutions and budget.
  • Decision making: fiscal federalism, distribution of power and legitimacy.
  • Economic growth. Facts and explanations.
  • Employment. Performance, labour market rigidities and EU labour market institutions.
  • Location effects, economic geography and regional policy.
  • Agriculture: reasons for intervention, history, reforms and outlook.

Hilary Term (Professor Michael Wycherley)

  • Customs Union: The microeconomics of preferential liberalization
  • The EU Trade policy: theory and practice, policy making, multilateralism vs bilateralism, policy coherence
  • The macroeconomics of monetary integration
  • European exchange rate history
  • European Monetary Union.
  • Fiscal policy in EMU.
  • EMU and financial markets.

Recommended Reading List

Baldwin, R. and Wyplosz, C. (2015) (5th edition), The Economics of European Integration, McGraw-Hill.
De Grauwe, Paul (2016). The Economics of Monetary Union (11th edition), OUP.

The first of the above is essential reading for both modules. Lectures will follow closely the material in this book. The second of these books provides more information on European monetary issues covered in the second module. In addition to the above, students should keep abreast of current European economy issues through newspapers and magazines, particularly the: Financial Times and the Economist, and the Web references provided in the Baldwin and Wyplosz book.

Contact Hours/Methods of Teaching and Student Learning

The main mode of teaching is the use of standard lectures, running for 50 minutes twice a week, throughout both semesters. The lectures will be used primarily to stimulate interest in the subject, provide introductions to some of the more difficult material in the core textbook, and to supplement the book where relevant. While the numbers taking the course can exceed 75, questions are welcomed, at least to a limited extent, during lectures.

There are no lecture notes produced for Module A, just bullet points to provide a context and focus for students during lectures.

There will also be a class programme (details to be provided later) at which students will be asked to contribute to class discussion. Both lecturers will also be readily contactable by email to answer queries in relation to the course and to make face-to-face appointments if required.

Students will be asked to evaluate the course and any overall suggestions for improvement taken on board where possible.

Assessment Details

  • 10 per cent for short test Week 8, MT
  • 10 per cent for essay due Tuesday 19th December (details to follow later)
  • 15 per cent for an essay assignment due in Week 8 HT. Late submissions that have not been agreed in writing beforehand will be penalised 10% per day
  • 65 per cent for examination

There will be two parts in the examination, two questions to be answered from each part, all questions carrying equal marks.

Module Website

Michaelmas Term:
Hilary Term:

Both websites are available via Blackboard