2159 Special Topics in Economic Policy
Dr. Matthias Schnetzer
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/14/22 to 09/20/22
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Friday 10/14/22 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM TC.3.10
Friday 10/21/22 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM TC.3.10
Friday 11/04/22 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM TC.3.10
Friday 11/11/22 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM TC.3.10
Friday 11/18/22 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM TC.3.10
Friday 12/02/22 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM D5.1.002
Friday 12/09/22 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM TC.3.10
Friday 12/16/22 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM TC.4.04
Friday 12/23/22 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 01/13/23 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM TC.3.10
Friday 01/20/23 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM D5.1.002

This course covers the triangulation of the distribution of income and wealth, economic growth and wellbeing, and policy making. The starting point is a broad survey of the recent empirical research on the distribution of income and wealth. Hereafter, we will address the nexus between inequality and economic growth from a theoretical and empirical perspective. Finally, students will discuss the linkage between inequality, political power, and policy aspects. All topics are approached with references to recent publications in scientific journals and a policy-relevant focus.

To sum up, students will gain:

  • an overview of the recent empirical research on inequality of income and wealth
  • a basic understanding of the theoretical and empirical relationship between inequality and aggregate demand
  • a multi-paradigmatic perspective on power relations and policy debates in economics


Learning outcomes

After completing this course, students will:

  • know the recent empirical research on the evolution of inequality in income and wealth
  • be aware of the complexity of the nexus between inequality, growth, and policy-related questions
  • have amplified their stock of arguments for economic debates about inequality, power, and growth
  • be capable of presenting their work in a poster session
  • be able to formulate a well-founded research question (e.g. for their bachelor thesis)
Attendance requirements

Attendance and active participation are mandatory. Missing two classes with prior notification is accepted. There are compensation assignments for missed classes.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The lecturer introduces the topics and provides an overview of the relevant literature. Specifically, the course offers a summary of applied research on distribution of income and wealth, some theoretical approaches and various policy-related papers. Students are expected to read three papers and write short summaries at home in order to prepare for specific units. Additionally, students will draft a rudimentary research proposal for an empirical study based on the provided starting literature. These proposals will be presented in a poster session. The short presentations should focus on the highlights of an elaborate research agenda and incite discussions in a small-group setting.

The course offers a lot of room for discussion in order to permit students to assess various arguments and perspectives, form their own opinion, and argue it in a group setting. The teaching is designed to encourage students to actively participate in the debates, raise questions, hone their arguments, and gain experience in drafting research proposals and presenting in a poster session.

  • Assignments: 30% (0-10 points for each homework)
  • Poster presentation: 30% (0-20 points for the quality of the presentation, 0-10 for the poster style and structure)
  • Essay: 40% (0-30 points for the essay)

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Please find detailed information about the course at

Last edited: 2022-08-12