This lecture offers an introductory course in urban and regional economics. We are mainly concerned with the main economic forces that lead to the existence of cities and regional agglomeration. In particular, we will study the theory and empirics on the emergence of cities and their effect on worker productivity, urban amenities, and congestion. We will further discuss the challenges in measuring these urban characteristics, the methodologies to do it, as well as the design of optimal urban policy. We will also study the economic theory and evidence on the internal structure of cities together with the urban and housing policies that can enhance urban living. Finally, the course will analyze the role cities play in aggregate economic development.

  • A simple model of a city
  • Agglomeration
  • Externalities
  • Amenities
  • Labor Markets and Sorting
  • Transportation Costs and Congestion
  • Measuring Agglomeration
  • Systems of Cities
  • Housing and Real Estate

Participants will learn to apply conventional growth models for the analysis of environmental topics, such as environmental pollution, climate change or health and environment. Students apply econometric as well as dynamic mathematical tools within their research projects to evaluate inter alia recent environmental policy endeavors.


We start with a review of the Ramsey and Solow growth model to provide a starting point for the integration and analysis of environmental aspects into (endogenous) growth models. The course provides a short review of econometrics tools, which may be helpful to analyze environmental topics from an empirical point of view. Topics, which are covered, are pollution and health, pollution and the business cycle, non-renewable resources, energy prices, pollution and development. Students should have a high motivation using both empirical as well as mathematical tools.

This course provides a very basic introduction to modern simulation and solution techniques for nowadays regulary employed models in macroeconomics and finance. We start with the well-known Solow Model (Part 1) and discuss the savings decision in the so-called Overlapping Generation (OLG) Model (Part 2). With Part 3, we introduce infinitely lived agents. Part 4 deals with recursive, deterministic models, followed by Part 5, which adds stochastics to the recursive models. Part 6 introduces the so-called Hansen Real Business Cycle (RBC) model.

A DYNARE/Matlab session concludes each part where the students can solve computer-based problems. Students with a focus on macroeconomics and finance, but also students working at the fringe between modern, dynamic microeconomics and macroeconomics or students simply interested in simulation and solution techniques are likely to find the course contents interesting.

  • The Basic Solow Model
  • Savings in the OLG Model
  • Infinitely lived Agents
  • Recursive Deterministic Models
  • Recursive Stochastic Models
  • Hansen's Real Business Cycle Model