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Summer School - Alternative Approaches to Macroeconomics, 4-29 July 2016, University of Edinburgh, UK

Publish Date: Oct 16, 2015

Deadline: Apr 08, 2016

Event Dates: from Jul 04, 2016 12:00 to Jul 29, 2016 12:00

About Alternative Approaches to Macroeconomics Summer Program

Since the global financial crisis of 2008 there has been awareness of a divergence between theory and an effective approach to macroeconomic policy issues. There is increased recognition of the incompleteness of economic knowledge in an uncertain and changing social setting. This has been felt by professional economists as well as by students who have been active in demanding a more 'pluralist approach' to their study of economics. This course therefore aims to introduce students to critical analysis of the building blocks of 'mainstream' macroeconomics, and to some of the approaches offered as alternatives.

This course intends to familiarise students with competing current macroeconomic theories, offering students a 'pluralist' approach and the opportunity to examine the underlying pre-suppositions of different approaches and how different motivating questions and goals set may affect inquiry and policy.

This course considers the main features and internal criticisms of the current 'standard model' of macroeconomics, considering its variants and historical development from orthodox IS-LM Keynesianism and monetarist quantity theoretical roots. In this process the course will study subsequent 'New Classical' developments involving rational expectations and 'New Keynesian' models incorporating nominal and real rigidities.

It will analyse and contrast these approaches and their points of departure from the 'Post-Keynesian' approach that identifies Keynes's fundamental uncertainty and effective demand along with the role of price setting by firms and the endogeneity of money to production. The course will also consider the Austrian approach to macroeconomics that emphasises the allocation and misallocation of factors at various stages of production, with the latter driven mainly by policy errors. There may be the opportunity to introduce other approaches, such as Feminist, Institutionalist and Evolutionary economics.

The ethos of the course will be to approach different macroeconomic theories on the background of critical or 'structured' pluralism, paying particular attention to the ontological presuppositions of alternative macroeconomic theories. Thus students will gain insight into some current issues in economic methodology.

Students should usually have at least 3 Economics courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. This must include courses in both Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. We will only consider University/College level courses.

Course Organiser: Dr Diarmid Weir 

Graduating from Edinburgh University in Economics and Philosophy in 2003, I then completed the Scottish Graduate Programme MSc in Economics. In 2008 I completed a doctoral thesis on comparative monetary and macroeconomic theory under the supervision of Professor Sheila Dow at the University of Stirling. Subsequently, I have continued to research and publish in the field of monetary theory and macroeconomics. I have taught on microeconomics, macroeconomics and international economics courses at Stirling and Edinburgh Universities.

The core content of the course will be delivered in the form of lectures.  Each student will present a summary and analysis of selected research reading to a weekly seminar. Feedback will be provided for these presentations, which will be written up and submitted as part of the course summative assessment.


Research literature written summary and analysis: 25%

Written examination: 75%

Please note that this course is for students who completed after 2nd yr UG. Students should usually have at least 3 Economics courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. This MUST INCLUDE courses in both Macroeconomics and Microeconomics.

After completing the course, students will have developed knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

  • the main features of key macroeconomic theories, their points of departure and sources of criticism;
  • the value of critical analysis of contested and competing ideas in macroeconomics;
  • the role of ontology, epistemology and methodology as applied to economic theory evaluation;
  • how macroeconomic theory has developed in response to theoretical and historical motivations.

Furthermore, the course will have provided each student with the ability to undertake the following learning activities:

  • analyse the main distinguishing features of competing approaches to macroeconomic theory;
  • communicate (in a group setting) understanding of sources relevant to macroeconomic theory and related debates;
  • analyse and summarise in writing economics research literature.


The fees for this course have been laid out fully on our course fees page.

As course fees and accommodation costs are payable separately, it will not be possible to reduce the tuition fee cost for those students who opt to arrange their own accommodation off-campus.

Tuition Fee

£575 per week


You have a choice of accommodation options for varying prices, dependent on your preferences:

  • Standard Single, DB&B: £294.00 per week
  • En-suite Single, DB&B: £469.00 per week
  • Self-Catered, Shared: £168.00 per week

Social Programme

To enhance your experience at the University of Edinburgh Summer School, a variety of social and cultural activities will be organized to allow you to explore and discover the history, traditions and beauty of Scotland whilst meeting people from across the world. Each student can participate in the social and cultural activities which are included in the course fee.  A free gym membership is included as well as a variety of fun and interesting things to do and see in Edinburgh.  Additionally, students can book on to day and weekend tours to explore the rest and best of Scotland (at a discounted rate for Summer School students).

Other costs

Please note you will also need to pay for any essential books on the reading lists provided and any entrance fees for exhibits and other related fees on study visits.

Scholarship - Scottish Summer Endeavour

Scholarship application opens on 1st December 

Scottish Summer Endeavour Scholarships are offered to students from all countries who can display evidence of outstanding academic merit.  

The scholarship equates to a partial tuition fee waiver for any course listed on


The scholarships are competitive and awarded broadly on the basis of academic merit. A minimum of 3.3 GPA or equivalent is required and evidence of this must be provided along with your application.

 In order to apply, you should be a full-time university/college student who can demonstrate that you meet the academic and language requirements of your preferred course.

To apply:

1. Choose the course you are interested in.

2. Go to your preferred programme page and select ‘click here to apply now’, located towards the top right of your screen. This will enable you to request an application form and further guidance regarding the application process.

2. Fill out the application form and attach the documents required in order to support your application. This will include the following:

  • one letter of recommendation provided by your academic referee (no longer than 500 words)
  • (interim) degree transcripts
  • Evidence of an internationally recognised English language qualification (if appropriate).

4. Send back the application form stating in your email that you would like to apply for the Scottish Summer Endeavour Scholarship.

5. Remember to enclose any other documents that will support your application.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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Host Countries

United Kingdom