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A Taste of Economics and Finance

Due to exceptional demand, applications for 2023 have now closed

Our Taste of Economics and Finance course will introduce you to exciting concepts in these disciplines, opening your mind to new ideas and will reflect the highest standards of Warwick learning.

We will cover a number of exciting and important topics that lie at the heart of economics and finance. In particular, you will be introduced to some of the key concepts and tools of game theory and behavioural economics.

These lie at the very core of economics - subjects that determine individual choice and collective choice, and in turn impact on the fundamental problem of economics, which is all about problems involving the allocation of scarce resources.

We will also introduce some of the burning issues concerning the world of money and banking, including some core ideas of finance and stock markets.

The political and social contexts matter for economic outcomes and we will touch on how and why that is so.

This course will show you how to think like an economist, and provide a perspective about the way economics is taught at the University level.

Haneen Fared

The quality of the lectures was excellent. Professor Abhinay always encouraged us to challenge him and present to him different opinions. Honestly speaking, after the programme I realised how much of an interest I have in Economics and now I'm even planning to become an Economist. Thank you for making it such a memorable experience for me.

    Haneen Fared (India)


    Dr Samuel Obeng (Macro/Micro)

    Dr James Massey (Game Theory)

    Dr Lory Barille (Environmental Economics)

    Dr Fatih Kansoy (Finance)

    TBC (Behavioural Economics)


    An introduction to macroeconomics and microeconomics

    We will look at the functioning of markets and consider how equilibrium prices and quantities are determined in a variety of cases. We will consider when markets allocate resources efficiently and if they don’t what causes the market failure. Topics will include externalities, monopoly power, imperfect information, public goods and the tragedy of the commons. This then leads to questions of the role of government and we will consider the effectiveness of government policy in a variety of areas, such as health care, education, housing and food.

    The Financial Crisis – we will look at the biggest financial event in decades that affected countries, firms and consumers across the world. We will discuss the background to the financial crisis and gain an understanding of the factors that created such a volatile banking system. By looking at some key markets, such as housing, construction, stocks and shares, we will analyse the impact of the financial crisis on the wider economy, consumers, investors and firms. We will bring in some key macroeconomic variables, such as interest rates and discuss government policy in countries around the world, thinking about their effectiveness in try to stabilise a vulnerable global economy.

    An introduction to game theory

    One of the biggest areas in economics is that of game theory and it is an area that can be applied to countless situations. Game theory is all about strategy and strategic thinking. Every day we have decisions to make and engage in economic interactions that involve some kind of trade. Understanding game theory can help consumers, firms, governments and society to make effective decisions. We’ll consider key concepts such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Nash Equilibrium using applications to a variety of areas.

    An introduction to behavioural economics

    Behavioural economics is one of the fastest growing branches of the discipline. We analyse how behavioural economics begins to move away from traditional theories and models, by relaxing some of our traditional assumptions. By doing this, behavioural economics looks to explain how agents actually behave in practice and what factors can sometimes explain seemingly irrational behaviour. The course will expose students to several major topics in behavioural economics and will look to link theory with empirical applications. We will analyse the role of behavioural economics in the context of both consumer and firm behaviour.

    An introduction to environmental economics

    In an interactive session, students will explore the behavioural factors that affect our decision-making under climate change. Students will also consider the ethics of climate nudges.

    Finance in the 21st Century (including cryptocurrencies)

        • Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, central bank digital currency: Will Bitcoin become the money of the future?

        In each single day, people around the world make more than 2 billion digital payments. Each of these transactions rely on the monetary system – the set of institutions and arrangements that surround and support monetary exchange. In other words a centralised system. This centralised system with the central bank at its centre has served society well. Yet digital innovation is expanding the frontier of technological possibilities, placing new demands on the system. Many believe that Bitcoin will replace the dollar and will be the money of the future. We will try to answer this question by considering other cryptocurrency and financial technology by comparison todays financial markets.

            • Global Climate Crises and Financial Stability

            The era of one policy objective –inflation targeting– and one tool – interest rates – is over for the central banks for the sake of financial stability. Today, there are many challenges that central banks have to face and climate crisis is at the top of the list. To deliver financial stability in a world that is now so financially interconnected poses fresh challenges such as climate risk and recent pandemic which affects the two policy goals pursued by central banks, financial and monetary stability. Central banks need to not just adapt to changing conditions but equip new tools too. In this theme, we are going to understand the channels and efficiency of central banks climate change policy over the world. Since, an effective monetary policy (green central banking) can help to shape the works of financial market and increase the policy effectiveness.

            • Big Financial Data, AI, Machine Learning and Algorithm Trade.

            Big financial data refers to large, diverse and complex data sets that has a potential to provide solutions to long-standing business challenges. In other words, big data is completely revolutionising in many different areas for the financial world. In this course we are going to look at how financial institutions can use real time big data to improve the ability for dealing with fraudulent activities, or how the functioning of financial markets will be changed. For example, trade pattern in stock exchanges all around world are going to be affected by algorithm trade by utilising high frequency data.

            Please note changes to the syllabus and teaching team may be made over the coming months before exact set of topics are finalised.