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Euro Area Business Cycle Network Training School: Beliefs and Social Networks, Online Seminar, June 14-17, 2021

Hosted By: University of Mannheim
Organizers: Klaus Adam and Eleonora Granziera

General Description

We are pleased to announce details of the latest EABCN Training School, a course over 2 weeks entitled “Beliefs and Social Networks”. Professor Johannes Stroebel (NYU Stern School of Business) will teach the course. It is primarily aimed at participants in the Euro Area Business Cycle Network, but applications will also be considered from doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers, and economists working in central banks and government institutions outside of the network, as well as commercial organisations (fees are applicable for non-network non-academic organisations).

Course outline

This course will introduce participants to a recent literature that studies the interaction between household and investor beliefs, social interactions, financial markets, and the broader macroeconomy. The first lecture explores the role of investor beliefs in affecting financial markets, reviewing a number of recent research papers that combine survey evidence of investor beliefs with (largely behavioural) models of asset pricing. The second class then discusses the determinants of investor beliefs. The third class explores how social interactions affect investor beliefs and behaviors in the housing market. And the fourth class explores how social networks and social interactions affect a range of other economic outcomes, such as mutual fund investments and international trade patterns. In the process, we will introduce a new data set, the Social Connectedness Index, that measures the extent to which indiviudals across various regions are connected on Facebook. Participants are then encouraged to work on a group project with this publicly available data set to explore how social networks affect a range of economic outcomes. Possible projects include using the Social Connectedness Index to explore the propagation of economic shocks across geographies, or to forecast the spread of Covid-19.

The course is divided into four lecture sessions taught over four days, followed by a practice/presentation session the following week.

14-17 June 2021:

Session 1: Investor Beliefs and Financial Markets

Session 2: The Determinants of Household and Investor Beliefs

Session 3: Social Interactions and Beliefs in the Housing Market

Session 4: Social Networks and Economic Outcomes

25 June 2021:

Group presentations: Data work with Social Connectedness Index

Administrative Information:

The course will take place online. More information about logistics will be circulated closer to the date.