Seminar: Macroeconomic Expectations

No Seminar in Summer Term 2021

Due to the research sabbatical of Prof. Dovern, this seminar is not offered in the summer term 2021.


Expectations are at the heart of modern macroeconomic theories. The commonly made assumption of full information rational expectations, which has dominated the profession for a long time, is very simplistic and has lately been criticized more and more. In particular, this model does not allow for heterogeneity of macroeconomic expectations.

Over the recent years, researchers, central banks, and other institutions have collected more and more survey data on macroeconomic expectations that allow analyzing the nature of those expectations. How large is the observed heterogeneity? Which factors can explain differences in, for instance, inflation or growth forecasts? Do agents with different expectations behave differently?

In this seminar, students will discuss different empirical papers that analyze various aspects which are relevant in the context of macroeconomic expectations. Students will be able to explain different models of expectation formation in macroeconomics. They will get to know different surveys of macroeconomic expectations and be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different survey designs. They will discuss how one can use such survey data to test models of expectation formation. In addition, students will enhance their presentation skills and practice how to write an academic text.


This course is a weekly seminar (2 SWS).

The course is taught in the summer term. The course language is English.

During this first meeting we will discuss organizational issues and I will give a brief overview about the history of expectation modelling in economics. During all subsequent meetings students will present their work.

You earn 5 ECTS by passing the seminar for which you have to hand in a seminar paper, present your work in the seminar, and participate in the discussions during the seminar meetings.


More information about how to register for the seminar, grading, available topics, and the course in general can be found in the syllabus.