Micro and Macro Economics (for Public Policy)

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ethan Ilzetzki and Professor Daniel Sturm


This course is compulsory on the Double Master of Public Administration (LSE-Columbia), Double Master of Public Administration (LSE-University of Toronto), MPA in Data Science for Public Policy and Master of Public Administration. This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo) and MSc in Political Science (Political Science and Political Economy). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course has a limited number of places after students for whom it is compulsory have been accommodated (it is controlled access). Priority is given to students from the School of Public Policy, students from other programmes will be considered if places remain.

Course content

This course is an introductory graduate course providing an economics background suitable for high-level public policy-making. The emphasis is on acquiring sound models and methods suitable for appraising policy-making issues in a wide variety of contexts. The first term covers microeconomics and the second term covers macroeconomics.

Autumn Term (Microeconomics): competitive markets and economic efficiency; consumer optimisation and the demand for goods; firm optimisation and the supply of goods; market power; externalities in consumption and production; optimal provision of public goods; and asymmetric information

Winter Term (Macroeconomics): understanding macroeconomic data; long-run economic growth; business cycles; aggregate demand; money, inflation and monetary policy; stabilization policy;  fiscal policy and government debt; the labour market and unemployment; exchange rates and international economic policy; the financial system and the macroeconomy.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 60 hours across Autumn Term and Winter Term and week 1 of Spring Term. 

Formative coursework

Students will complete weekly problem sets. Some of these will be marked to provide indicative assessment.

Indicative reading

A full reading list will be distributed at the beginning of the course.


Exam (70%, duration: 3 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the spring exam period.
Policy memo (10%) in the AT.
Policy memo (10%) in the WT.
Continuous assessment (10%) in the AT and WT.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 29.5
Merit 53.8
Pass 12.4
Fail 4.3

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2022/23: 117

Average class size 2022/23: 20

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.