Pluralist Economic Analysis
This unit will push and support you to look at the world in a more questioning and critical manner. You will use realist and plural approaches to economic ideas to address important perennial difficult (“wicked”) problems. The unit is then the perfect vehicle in which to develop “Masters level” critical analysis and develop an understanding and application of economic language in the confrontation of principles and perspectives fundamental to their development throughout the course. Basing our course on pluralist approaches and concepts means it is now on the Economic Pluralism list of accredited courses.
You will develop your understanding of financial risk faced by modern organisations across a range of sectors. You will identify and price various financial instruments (derivatives) that can be used to manage financial risk. You will also explore historical examples of both corporate and market failings and how said instruments could have been employed to better protect affected corporates, governments and stakeholders. We will place particular emphasis on the bigger risk-picture, namely the; macroeconomic context, financial strategy, instruments, behavioural finance, the impact of regulation and corporate reporting. The assessment will be a 3,000 word individual assignment based on a case study through which you will have to critically explore market practices and instruments.
The Behavioural Economics Unit is taught in an intensive block to give students a learning experience comparable to those in top firms and the Civil Service, in this unit you will learn about behavioural decision making, generating behavioural economic models and behavioural fintech, including cryptocurrency and intervention design. This unit is assessed entirely by coursework where you will use live research data to plan a behavioural intervention, design an investment product or conduct a relevant consultancy type project.
This unit enables you to build core statistical analysis skills, from understanding distributions, through basic regressions with interactions to Panel estimators. We will not do this in the standard disembodied fashion with student datasets. We will use authentic data to replicate a published piece of work on social mobility and the influence of parents on their children’s outcomes. For the applied assignment using real data. For example, in the past we have used data on a range of OECD nations to explore how social transfers and income taxes combine to partially offset growing market inequality but also cause redistribution paradoxes.
This unit builds on your learning in Quantitative modelling and Intervention Design and Social Media Analysis in that you will now examine the evaluation of policy and plans using specific statistical methods, such as difference-in-difference, employed by leading firm and state analysists. These tools will be linked to applied examples. For the assignment, we will give you real data on a current issue to address using tools explored in the unit, but there will be space to go further than this.
In this unit you will learn how to interrogate real world financial data typically in as a time series. The underlying mathematical theory and principles will be explored but with particular emphasis on real world examples using Stata to apply the theoretical learning. This unit will be particularly important for students who envisage working with time series (including forecasting) financial data in the dissertation research / postgraduate careers. Time series data and techniques are additionally used in a wide range of fields. Your assignment will be a 3,000 word individual assignment based on a case study. The case study will typically be provision of real financial data from, e.g., capital markets, share prices or macroeconomic data. You will be required to interrogate this data using the methods used in class to better describe, model and predict future out-of-sample forecasts.
Economic and Financial Analysis Dissertation
A 15,000 word research project on a topic related to your programme, reading and interests.
You are expected to identify, structure, frame and investigate a complex finance, institutional or policy issue using quantitative techniques, unless there is a strong reason to use other methods.
Likely Optional Units
You will develop an understanding of advanced corporate finance techniques, both theoretical and applied across a range of sectors. You will also examine the principles of advanced valuation techniques building upon your prior learning where relevant, although there is no prerequisite knowledge. The learning will focus upon equity and fixed income (bonds) advanced valuation techniques as well as the alt investment space including but not limited to cryptocurrencies and the disruptive impact of Blockchain and FinTech. The assessment will be a 3,000 word individual assignment based on a case study critically exploring financial products and practices.
Crypto Currency, Banking Crisis and Human Behaviour
In this unit you will explore the 2007-09 banking crisis including the causes and consequences. The emphasis of study will be on a post crisis world including the development of behavioural finance as an alternative means to better describe (and predict) the wider economy as well as the birth of Fin-Tech, with particular emphasis on the impact and future of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Your assignment will be a 3,000 word individual assignment based on a case study that will typically be the analysis of a company, country, market or asset class pre, during and post crisis. You will then need to apply critically the theories of behavioural finance and Fin-tech.
Intervention Design and Social Media Analysis
This unit comprises two parts: The first part will equip students with a framework for analysing public policy and business problems and designing appropriate solutions, with reference to real world case studies. This will be assessed by a short report on a policy problem of the student’s choice.
The second part will examine the use of social media as a data source. You will use variety of techniques to gather and analyse publically available data sources, such as tweets, blogs, YouTube comments etc. You will use social media data to address a research problem/issue, and produce a portfolio, which will inform policy or business decision making.