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Unit of study_

ECOS3021: Business Cycles and Asset Markets

Semester 2, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

The unit of study provides theoretical and empirical training in analysing macroeconomic fluctuations and the interactions between the real economy and asset markets. The unit of study will introduce theoretical models of the business cycle to identify sources of economic fluctuations. It then provides a theoretical framework in which the asset market-the real economy can be analysed. In addition to theoretical analysis, the unit will develop empirical tools for analysing economic and financial indicators as well as evaluating the performance of theoretical models. The role of government policy will also be discussed by taking both Australian and global episodes.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ECOS3021
Academic unit Economics
Credit points 6
((ECOS2001 or ECOS2901) and (ECOS2002 or ECOS2902)) or (ECOS2040 and ECMT2130)
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Marcel Cortes Peruffo,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
Final exam
Pen-and-paper exam
50% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Short release assignment Mid-semester test
Mid-semester test
25% Week 08
Due date: 21 Sep 2023 at 15:00

Closing date: 21 Sep 2023
1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment group assignment Assignment
Online group collaboration is required
25% Week 13 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Mid-semester test: This assessment is designed as an early indicator of the student’s progress in the unit. It will consist of short-answer problems.
  • Assignment: This is a group report and may only be completed by groups of two (2) or three (3) students.
  • Final exam: The final exam (two hours) will be held during the November exam period. It will consist of short-answer problems.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High Distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a Credit a good standard, and a Pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to business cycles and asset pricing Lecture (2 hr) LO1
Week 02 Theories of the business cycle (1): introduction to the Neo-Classical business cycle model Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Theories of the business cycle (2): the inter-temporal Neo-Classical business cycle model Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 04 Theories of the business cycle (3): money, inflation, and the New-Keynesian business cycle Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 05 Uncertainty, expectations, precautionary saving, and asset prices Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 06 Introduction to asset pricing: concepts, models, measurement, and issues Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 07 Asset prices, consumption, and the business cycle (1) Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 08 Mid-semester test Lecture (1.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 09 Housing markets (1): house purchase decisions Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 10 Housing markets (2): mortgage costs and borrowing constraints Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 11 Interest rates and the business cycle Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO3
Week 12 International business cycles and the exchange rate Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 13 Review of the Unit: What have we learnt, and where to from now? Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3

Attendance and class requirements

  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

  • Sanjay K. Chugh (2015), Modern Macroeconomics, MIT Press.
  • William A. Lord (2002), Household Dynamics: Economic Growth and Policy, Oxford University Press.

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library’s reading list system Leganto, available on Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. explain the business cycle indicators that should be part of every economic analyst’s and decision-maker’s information set
  • LO2. employ empirical or theoretical models for understanding and analysing fluctuations in the aggregate economy and asset prices, while understanding the limitations of the models
  • LO3. assess domestic and global economic conditions using key economic and financial indicators and critically evaluate government policy measures
  • LO4. work with other students cooperatively and responsibly.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

A change has been made to the content in Week 11.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.