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Department of Economics

Macroeconomics is the study of aggregate economic outcomes, their dynamics and their interaction. Put differently, it is the study of the workings of economies as a whole.

Traditionally, macroeconomics is organised around a long-term ‘growth’ part and a short-to-medium-term ‘business cycle’ part.

The growth part is concerned with some of the most important structural questions in economics. Why are some countries rich and others poor? Does it have to be this way? Are there any factors we can point to (and perhaps change) that lead to the enormous gaps in economic development across the world? Growth is also concerned with the determinants of increases in income over time and the interconnection of markets and economies in a global perspective. What determines an economy’s rate of technological innovation and the diffusion of knowledge across countries? Are international trade and cross-border investments equally drivers of economic development?

The business cycle part is concerned with issues such as fluctuations in unemployment and production, how to control inflation, understanding the sources and consequences of public budget deficits etc.

In the macroeconomics research platform, we take a broad view of the subject matter of macroeconomics. We consider all research that takes an aggregative analytical approach to be macroeconomic in nature. A cross-national study of the link between migration and health outcomes would therefore be macroeconomics; so would a cross-national study of the determinants of democracy, and the same goes for a study of institutions and institutional change –e.g. through the process of European economic integration – for aggregate living standards.

The platform is interested in research questions that take a long-term perspective. Members of the platform have worked on the link between climate and global income differences; the link between China’s WTO accession and economic growth in countries with natural resource abundance; the link between EU membership and economic growth; and the consequences of an unreliable power infrastructure for economic growth in Africa. The platform is also interested in making short-term predictions about economic developments and studying the response of economic variables to exogenous shocks and crisis situations. Examples of the platform’s research in this area include the study of migration flows during large-scale recessions; the study of exchange rates and economic growth during the great recession; the response of international knowledge flows to the imposition of economic sanctions; and the economic implications of public health actions taken during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the platform have published in leading international journals such as Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Energy Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Growth and Journal of Common Market Studies.

The platform is chaired by Professor Thomas Barnebeck Andersen.