The course

International Economics Research Centre (CREI)

From 15th January to 19th March 2022

The Economics course from the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation's Mad for science programme is a course developed by the Centre for Research in International Economics (CREI) which has the support and collaboration of the Department of Economics at Pompeu Fabra University aimed at 1st and 2nd year A-Level students with a scientific and technical vocation, interested in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). This course was created with the idea of introducing the multidisciplinary environment offered by economics, where different disciplines such as mathematics and statistics come together to solve problems related to some of the most important economic phenomena. Students will have the opportunity to get a closer look at research in the main areas of macroeconomics.

During 10 theoretical and practical sessions students will get to know the research in the main areas of macroeconomics among others.

Registration for the Economics course from the Mad for Science programme will be open from 15th September to 25th October 2021 and among all those enrolled there will be 35 students selected from the 1st and 2nd years of A-Levels who will participate in the 10th edition of the Mad for Science programme that will take place in 2022.

The course will be held on different Saturdays from 15th January to 19 March 2022 at the facilities of the Pompeu Fabra University, Ciutadella campus. The different sessions will be given by researchers and professors linked to the CREI and the Department of Economics of the UPF. The sessions will be either in English, Spanish or Catalan.

The course will cover the following areas:

  • Globalisation and economic development
  • Financial markets
  • Gender inequality
  • Monetary policy
  • Economic geography
  • Immigration

Sessions

Session 1 - Financial markets and investor expectations

Day: Saturday 15th January

Opening hours: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

Location: International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27

Session coordination: Marko Irisarri

Session given by: Albert Marcet

Language: Spanish, Catalan and English

In this course, we talk about determining the prices of financial assets, such as stocks, private bonds, government bonds, options, and so on. We initially discuss the efficient market hypothesis, where the price reflects the real value of each asset at any given time. We then discuss the role of investor expectations in determining these prices. We will contrast the conventional approach to rational expectations with an approach based on the formation of expectations of financial bubbles.

Session 2 - The Role of Information in Markets​​

Day: Saturday 22th January

Opening hours: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

Location: International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27

Session coordination: Marko Irisarri

Session given by: Victoria Vanasco

Language: Spanish and English

The class introduces students to information frictions in economics, with an application to financial markets. The concepts of adverse selection and moral hazard are presented, followed by a discussion on how such frictions may affect the good functioning of financial markets and the real economy, and on which mechanism can ameliorate these frictions.

Session 3 - Career Choice and Business Cycles

Day: Saturday 29th January

Opening hours: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

Location: International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27

Session coordination: Marko Irisarri

Session given by: Isaac Baley

Language: Catalan, Spanisha and English

Am I in the right career path, or am I over- or underqualified? Should I look for a job that better suits my abilities? Are recessions better times to switch careers? In this lecture, we will study how imperfect information and labor market frictions affect workers' career choices and how these choices interact with the business cycle.

Session 4 - Economic fluctuations

Day: Saturday 5th February

Opening hours: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

Location: International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27

Session coordination: Marko Irisarri

Session given by: Jose Apesteguia

Language: Catalan and English

Economics is built on the basis of a model of individual behavior. In the first part we will outline the basics of the standard rational model of economic decision-making. We will emphasize it's instrumental value for the understanding of a large diversity of economic issues. In the second part we will cover recent attempts in the behavioral economics literature that have the aim of enriching the psychological foundations of economic models of decision-making in order to improve it's predictive power.

Session 5 - Gender Gaps among High-skill Professionals​​

Day: Saturday 12th February

Opening hours: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

Location: International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27

Session coordination: Marko Irisarri

Session given by: Rosa Ferrer

Language: Catalan, Spanish and English

During this session we will study the possible determinants of gender gaps in the labour markets among individuals with high-education level. We will study traditional explanations for gender gaps in earnings such as discrimination and child rearing, as well as more recently studied alternative hypotheses such as performance pay and the potential effects of gender roles in career aspirations.

Session 6 - The economy of climate change

Day: Saturday 19th February

Opening hours: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

Location: International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27

Session coordination: Marko Irisarri

Session given by: Humberto Llavador

Language: Spanish and English

Mitigating the impact of climate change requires a drastic reduction in emissions and significant investments in adaptation. Who has to reduce emissions and how much? Who finances the adaptation? or what mechanisms induce countries to reach agreements and comply with them? these are difficult questions to answer but for which the instruments of economic analysis can help. In this session we will see that the economy of climate change is a global and intertemporal social dilemma that requires cooperation and suffers from great uncertainties, negative externalities and the tragedy of the commons. His study demands a broad conception of economics, including behaviors, institutions, international relations, and ethical perspectives.

To participate in the session you will need a phone or tablet with internet connection and enough battery.

Session 7 - The Wind of Change: Globalisation and Economic Development​

Day: Saturday 26th February

Opening hours: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

Location: International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27

Session coordination: Marko Irisarri

Session given by: Luigi Pascali

Language: English

In this session we will analyse the deep roots of persistent differences in economic development across different regions of the world.

Session 8 - Monetary and Fiscal Policies

Day: Saturday 5th March

Opening hours: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

Location: International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27

Session coordination: Marko Irisarri

Session given by: Davide Debortoli

Language: Catalan and English

Government policies, such as government spending, taxation and interest rates, can have an enormous impact on the prosperity of our economies and social welfare. This session provides an overview of the empirical evidence on the effects of such policies, and of the economic models used to guide policymakers’ choices.

Session 9 - The Design of Moneyless Markets

Day: Saturday 12th March

Opening hours: 10 am to 1:30 pm

Location: International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27

Session coordination: Marko Irisarri

Session given by: Caterina Calsamiglia

Language: Catalan and English

In many economic contexts we find that resource allocation is not governed by a price system. For example, there is no market with prices for kidneys, or the allocation of children to schools or universities, or residents to hospitals or children to adoptive families. The rules that define these types of assignments have an impact on our society’s equal opportunities. We will analyze the specific case of the mechanisms for allocating children to public schools in Catalonia and around the world.

Session 10 - The Economics of Cities​​

Day: Saturday 19th March

Opening hours: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

Location: International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27

Session coordination: Marko Irisarri

Session given by: Giacomo Ponzetto

Language: Catalan and English

More than half of the world's population now lives in cities. Why do so many people live in so few places? This lecture will provide an overview of the economic study of the causes and consequences of urban agglomeration. We will introduce the seminal concept of spatial equilibrium: people choose to live where they are more productive, where they face a lower cost of living, and where they enjoy a higher quality of life. We will discuss housing markets as the crucial determinant of the urban cost of living. We will investigate why cities make us more productive, introducing the concept of agglomeration economies and focusing on the importance of the flow of ideas in a dense urban environment.

Schedule 2022
Schedule 2022
Saturday 15th January
International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Financial markets and investor expectations
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Saturday 22th January
International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
The Role of Information in Markets​​
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Saturday 29th January
International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Career Choice and Business Cycles
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Saturday 5th February
International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Economic fluctuations
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Saturday 12th February
International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Gender Gaps among High-skill Professionals
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Saturday 19th February
International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
The economy of climate change
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Saturday 26th February
International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
The Wind of Change: Globalisation and Economic Development​
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Saturday 5th March
International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Monetary and Fiscal Policies
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Saturday 12th March
International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
The Design of Moneyless Markets
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Saturday 19th March
International Economics Research Centre - Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
The Economics of Cities​​
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Date to be confirmed
Jardí de les aigües del Campus de la Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Closing ceremony
Closing ceremony. 10:30 am to 1:30 pm