Household Economics and Finance
This course covers the most fundamental financial decisions that you will make throughout your life. To give a specific example, we will discuss how you can decide whether to buy or rent a house or an apartment, and if you decide to buy, how to finance the purchase (say with a mortgage and what type of mortgage).
Broadly speaking, this course teaches methods for valuing assets, both real and financial, as it applies to your personal life. We learn how to value financial securities (e.g., life insurance, annuities, insurance products, pension plans, stocks, bonds) and real assets (e.g., a house, a car (lease or buy?), your human capital) in order to manage your own money. Therefore, this course is complementary to other courses offered in the Bachelor program, including courses in Economics (e.g., Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, Public Economics) and Finance (e.g., Corporate Finance, Finance Theory, Theory of Financial Markets). The course will be interactive and applied. We will discuss current issues and related political decisions as they are covered in the news. You are encouraged to bring your own laptop to class as we will work through practical examples in Excel.
The course is a mix of lectures, case studies and excercises.
Your grade in the course will be based on the maximum of the following:
- 10% midterm exam, 80% final exam, and 10% class participation.
- 0% midterm exam, 90% final exam, and 10% class participation.
In other words, the midterm exam is optional and will not count to your final grade if your final exam score is higher.
Household economics and finance (also known as personal economics, consumer finance or personal finance) is a relatively new research area in economics and finance. Therefore, there currently is no textbook available. Instead, lecture slides, cases, and readings will be assigned together with supporting material (if any) and will be posted on the course website.