AØKA08240U Economic Policy and the Welfare State
In this course, students learn about and work with different areas of economic policy related to some of the major economic challenges of today.
The course focuses on economic policy and the welfare state in Denmark, but in an international comparison and with examples from other developed countries. The course has an emphasis on recent empirical research on policy issues, and a focus on how to take theory to the data, critically evaluate the validity of empirical designs, and account for policy implications of research results. For each topic, we will look at economic facts and status quo policies in Denmark and elsewhere, work with the theoretical framework and economic reasoning behind, discuss empirical evidence and evaluations of “what works” in terms of policy in that area, and cover views from the public debate.
The course material is a mix of textbook, academic articles, and policy reports from government and other institutions. The aim is for students to get an academic foundation for thinking about different policy questions, but also an understanding of policy in an applied context and as part of the political system and the public debate. By the end of the semester, students should have a good understanding of contemporary economic issues in Denmark and other developed countries, be able to think as an economist about these issues, and be able to account for potential challenges, trade-offs, and solutions in an academic way.
Topics covered in the course include:
- Retirement and pensions
- Inequality in health and longevity
- Demographic change and future of the welfare state
- Transfer programs
- Inequality from technological change and globalization
- Spatial inequality and place-based policies
- Housing markets and housing policies
- Climate change and green growth policies
- Migration and the welfare state in a globalized world
- Politics and policy: political economy perspectives on economic policy
After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:
- Define the key economic challenges covered in the course and status quo policies related to these challenges in Denmark and other developed countries covered.
- Account for the economic theoretical background/framework for understanding these challenges.
- Account for policy solutions related to the economic challenges covered, both the theoretical reasoning and empirics of policies.
- Evaluate and discuss contemporary economic challenges facing developed societies
- Analyze potential policy solutions and public debate perspectives on these solutions.
- Discuss policy implications of academic findings.
- Independently initiate and engage in discussions about economic policy at an academic level.
- Write a master’s thesis or similar report on an economic policy topic of one’s own choice doing independent, novel work.
- Text book: Jonathan Gruber, Public Finance and Public Policy (6th ed.), Worth Publishers, ISBN13:9780691120355.
- Academic journal articles and policy reports specified in a course reading list.
Supplemental background reading (not required):
- Banerjee and Duflo, Good Economics for Hard Times, Penguin, SBN13:9780141986203.
- Angrist and Pischke, Mostly Harmless Econometrics, Princeton University Press, ISBN13:9780691120355.
Restrictions due to Coronavirus:
The teaching in this course may be changed to be taught either fully or partly online due to COVID-19. For further information, please see the course room on Absalon (for enrolled students).
2 hour lectures 1 to 2 times a week from week 36 to 50 (except week 42).
The overall schema can be seen at KUnet:
MSc in Economics => "courses and teaching" => "Planning and overview" => "Your timetable"
KA i Økonomi => "Kurser og undervisning" => "Planlægning og overblik" => "Dit skema"
Timetable and venue:
To see the time and location of lectures please press the link under "Timetable"/"Se skema" at the right side of this page (E means Spring).
You can find the similar information in English at
-Select Department: “2200-Økonomisk Institut” (and wait for respond)
-Select Module:: “2200-E21; [Name of course]”
-Select Report Type: “List – Weekdays”
-Select Period: “Efterår/Autumn”
Press: “ View Timetable”
Please be aware:
- It is the students´s own responsibility to continuously update themselves about their studies, their teaching, their schedule, their exams etc. through the curriculum of the study programmes, the study pages at KUnet, student messages, the course descriptions, the Digital Exam portal, Absalon, the personal schema at KUnet and myUCPH app etc.
The students receive oral collective feedback during the lectures.
Each student receives individual written feedback on the mandatory assignment.
Foreign students and guests: Information about admission requirements, application, tuition fee, registration at Study Economics.
Please read the curriculum before enrolment.
Gæste- og enkelfagsstuderende: Tilmelding via Uddannelse i Økonomi.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written assignment, 12 hoursindividual take-home exam. It is not allowed to collaborate on the assignment with anyone.
The exam assignment is in English and must be answered in English.
- Exam registration requirements
To qualify for the exam the student must no later than the given deadline during the course:
- Have approved one mandatory assignment.
All aids allowed at the written exams.
For further information about allowed aids for the re-examination, please go to the section "Re-exam".
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
for the written exam.
An oral re-examination may be with external assessment.
- Exam period
The regular exam takes place:
21 December 2021 from 10 AM to 10 PM.
More information is available in Digital Exam from the middle of the semester.
In special cases decided by the Department, the exam can change to another day and/or time than announced.
The written reexam takes place:
20 February 2022 from 10 AM to 10 PM.
If few students register for the re-exam, the exam might change to a 20 min. oral exam without preparation time.
No aids allowed during the examination.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, an oral re-sit might change to a 20 min. oral ONLINE exam with all aids, but without preparation time.
More information in Digital Exam early February.
In special cases decided by the Department, the re-sit can change to another type, day and/or time than announced.
Criteria for exam assesment
Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the course.
In order to obtain the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.
In order to obtain the grade “02”, the student must in a satisfactory way be able to demonstrate a minimal acceptable level of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.
- Course code
- 7,5 ECTS
- Full Degree MasterBachelor
- 1 semester
Go to 'Signup' for
information about registration and enrollment
- and venue for teaching:
Go to 'Remarks'.
For exam and re-sits: Go to 'Exam'.
- Course is also available as continuing and professional education
- Study board
- Department of Economics, Study Council
- Department of Economics
- Faculty of Social Sciences
- Amalie Sofie Jensen (3-677970466b69757434717b346a71)
See "Course Coordinators"