Two tenets of teaching
There are two key tenets with inform my teaching philosophy and practice, which are also useful for research. The first, echoing Dani Rodrik in Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science is that the appropriate degree of abstraction in a model depends on the context of the problem. Pedagogically, it is sensible to teach simple content and gradually complicate it, expanding the range of questions we can address and the robustness of the answers. I carefully structure the order of topics in my courses to adhere to these guidelines.
The second principle is that it is crucial, especially in macroeconomics, to carefully interweave theory, empirics, and computation. At a minimum, students new to know which data sources are available, conceptually distinguish cycles from trends, and identify key patterns. Early exercises should help students visualize, for instance, that investment is a much smaller fraction of output than consumption but exhibits much higher volatility, and thus plays an important role in business cycles. Along these same lines, instruction should provide well-tested, clean programs for baseline applications and ask students to develop extensions.
Hong Kong Baptist University
Master's level Macroeconomics, Fall 2021, Syllabus
Economics of Digital Currencies (undergraduate and Master's level), Spring 2022
PhD Macroeconomics II, Spring 2019, Syllabus
Second semester of the macroeconomics core curriculum. The first chunk focuses on time series and recursive methods, in particular dynamic programming. We discuss the implementation of value function iteration and related dynamic programming methods together with Euler-equation based methods. We take advantage of some of the excellent modules and libraries developed in quantecon. The second chunk analyzes real business cycle models and various extensions. These include investment-specific productivity shocks, heterogeneous agents, and New Keynesian models, which provide a role for monetary policy shocks in aggregate fluctuations. We focus heavily on calibration and simulation of these models. The last section introduces the role of business formation/endogenous variety and unemployment. The first model gives rise to an extensive margin of investment, accounts for procyclical profits, and gives rise to a new source of persistence. The monetary version links inflation to equity prices and the stock of firms, causing inflation to be partly backward looking. Lastly, we develop the theory of unemployment based on a frictional labor market. After developing the basic model, we consider the business cycle version and study the interactions of frictions in labor markets, good markets, and credit markets. These models can explain much more amplification and propagation of business cycles than possible under standard real business cycle or New Keynesian models. They also provide a much more reasonable model of the labor market, and can be used to study many applications beyond the business cycle: shopping time, heterogeneity in the labor market, on-the-job search, unemployment insurance, the interaction between unemployment, and precautionary savings, etc.
Money and Banking in China (Fall 2018, 2019), Syllabus
Advanced undergraduate exposition to monetary economics and banking. Follows Modeling Monetary Economies by Champ, Freeman, and Haslag closely to help explain the fundamental frictions that money helps overcome, barter and commodity money, inflation, money and capital as competing assets, foreign exchange markets, financial intermediation, money-output correlations, central banking, liquidity risks, and national debt. The course also does a careful study of settlement risk and bank risk and examines the tradeoffs and complementarity between different regulations (government deposit insurance, minimum capital requirements, etc.). We conclude with a treatment of credit cycles following the seminal work of Kiyotaki and Moore (1997). Lenders must secure debt with tangible assets, so that durable assets double as collateral and factors of production. Under an adverse shock, financial constraints redistribute land toward less productive firms, reducing aggregate output and productivity.
Market Structure, Innovation, and the Macroeconomy, (Spring 2018, 2019), Syllabus
This is a Masters level course which incorporates insights from industrial organization and imperfect competition into macroeconomics. It is concerned with forces that drive imperfect competition and the ramifications for innovation, growth, trade, and business cycles. It starts with a benchmark treatment of imperfect competition and oligopoly theory, and then proceeds to economies of scale and product diversity by Krugman (1979). We discuss the role of imperfect competition and partial appropriation of innovation in the model by Romer (1994), and then turn to the business cycle treatment by Bilbiie, Ghironi, and Melitz (2012). The course also mixes empirical studies on the transmission of marginal costs to prices and markups and the production approach to markup estimation.
Teaching Assistant (University of California, Irvine)
Introductory Microeconomics (20A)
Introductory Macroeconomics (20B)
Intermediate Microeconomics (100A)
Intermediate Microeconomics: Game Theory (100B)
Intermediate Macroeconomics (100C): Fall 2
Intermediate Econometrics (122B)
Introduction to Global Economy (13): Winter 2014
Economics of International Business (169)
Money, Payments, and Liquidity by Ed Nosal and Guillaume Rocheteau, MIT Press
A general framework for frictions that make money and liquid assets useful in trade. Discussion of suitable properties of the medium of exchange, inflation-output tradeoff,
the welfare cost of inflation, the coexistence of money and credit, delayed settlement.
Labor, Credit, and Goods Markets: The Macroeconomics of Search and Unemployment by Nicolas-Petrosky-Nadeau and Etienne Wasmer, MIT Press
Integrated treatment of frictions in labor markets, credit markets, and good markets. Self-contained and with excellent intuition. Studies business cycle properties
of the models.
Economic Dynamics: Theory and Computation by John Stachurski, MIT Press
Rigorous treatment of stochastic dynamic programming, Markov processes, and measure theory for macroeconomic dynamics.
Well-accompanied with examples from Python and with an excellent companion website as well.
Intertemporal Macroeconomics by Costas Azariadis, Blackwell Publishers Inc
Thorough treatment of economic dynamics with applications to growth theory, business cycles, national debt and fiscal policy, and more.
The ABC's of RBC's by George McCandless
This text is probably the most hands-on and intuitive exposition to real and New Keynesian business cycle models. It is a focused text, offering neither as much of the theoretical toolkit as Stokey, Lucas, and Prescott (1989), or the breadth of in Ljunqvist and Sargent (4th ed., 2018), but instead provides a more accessible and concrete introduction.
Numerical Methods in Economics by Kenneth Judd, MIT Press
Broad treatment of numerical analysis, optimization, solution algorithms for nonlinear equations,
approximation methods, numerical integration and differentiation, numerical dynamic programming methods. An important resource for computational macroeconomics.
Asset pricing: Revised edition by John Cochrane, Princeton University Press
"This is a beautiful book that uses the elegant simplicity of the stochastic discount factor to present a general theory of the pricing of stocks, bonds, and derivatives and a practical approach to estimating particular models derived from the general theory. It will help experts in the field to consolidate their knowledge and beginners to appreciate the unity of asset pricing theory. Cochrane uses his mastery of the subject to present it in a clear and compelling manner that is easily accessible."
--Michael Brennan, Anderson School, University of California, Los Angeles
Modeling Monetary Economies by Bruce Champ, Scott Freeman, and Joseph Haslag, Cambridge University Press
"This book is the most rigorous and accessible treatment of monetary issues based on dynamic, micro-founded models of monetary exchange for advanced undergraduate students. It answers fundamental questions: Why is fiat money valued? Can money coexist with interest-bearing assets? What is the role of banks and central banks? It also addresses topical questions relative to payment systems, liquidity risk, and the effects
of national debt on growth. It is a must-read for all students eager to learn advanced monetary economics."
--Guillaume Rocheteau, Department of Economics, University of California, Irvine