Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, we are committed to running the Summer School. This includes provisions for live-streaming of all the content and interactions if necessary. 


The Tools for Macroeconomists Summer School offers two courses: The Essentials and Advanced Tools. These intensive graduate-level courses are aimed at students, researchers and professionals and provide a combination of lectures and hands-on computer sessions. Participants will leave with a deep understanding of numerical methods and a portfolio of Matlab codes implementing them.

The summer school is hosted by the University of Oxford between August 3 and 14, 2020.

 More information here: https://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/tools-for-macroeconomists

The Essentials

August 3-7, 2020

Wouter den Haan and Petr Sedlacek

This course covers basic building blocks of numerical analysis, their use in solving modern macroeconomic models and an introduction into model estimation. Students will use Matlab code to solve and analyse macroeconomic models.

Topics include:

  • function approximation, numerical integration
  • perturbation, projection methods
  • Kalman filter, Bayesian estimation, MCMC methods

Advanced Tools

August 10-14, 2020

Wouter den Haan and Pontus Rendahl

This course teaches state-of-the-art methods for solving and analyzing advanced macro-economic models. Participants will not only write their own code, but also learn how to resolve problems that researchers may run into when using these advanced methods.

Topics include:

  • models with heterogeneous agents
  • continuous time models
  • models with occasionally binding constraints

Wouter den Haan, Thomas Drechsel, 16 January 2019

It is unavoidable that empirical models are misspecified in various ways, but adopted empirical methodologies rarely address this. This column focuses on the misspecification of exogenous structural disturbances which are the forces that drive fluctuations in modern business cycle models. It shows that the conclusions drawn from estimated models can be severely distorted if structural disturbances enter the model in an incorrect way, even if the misspecification is minor. It proposes the novel concept of an agnostic structural disturbance, which can be used to detect and correct for misspecification of structural disturbances. While agnostic in nature, studying how ASDs affect model properties enables us to give them an economic interpretation.

Wendy Carlin, David Soskice, 23 January 2018

Following the post-financial crisis recession, the UK and other high-income countries have experienced slow growth and stagnant productivity, along with both low inflation and, more recently, low unemployment. This column introduces an intuitive macroeconomic model that helps explain this puzzling combination.

Charles Goodhart, 25 October 2017

How did banks respond to regulations following the crisis? Charles Goodhart stresses the need to incorporate the financial system in macroeconomic models. This video was recorded at the "10 years after the crisis" conference held in London, on 22 September 2017.

Michele Ca' Zorzi, Marcin Kolasa, Michał Rubaszek, 03 March 2017

Macroeconomic models have been criticised for their inability to forecast exchange rates better than the random walk model. This column argues that open-economy DGSE models are useful in forecasting the real exchange rate but not the nominal exchange rate, owing to their failure to capture adequately the international co-movement of prices. They correctly predict, however, that the bulk of the real exchange rate adjustment occurs through the nominal rate. The central role of the nominal rate in restoring price competitiveness in flexible exchange rate regimes can be exploited from a forecasting perspective. 


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