ECM132-The Economics of Financial Markets

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Ms Thi Anh Tho Pham

Email: t.pham@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The primary focus of this module is on understanding the underlying economic reasoning behind how asset prices are determined and how portfolio allocation decisions are made. This includes having an understanding of 1) the theory of choice and the objects of choice faced by an investor; 2) the optimal portfolio decision; 3) equilibrium asset prices; 4) equilibrium portfolio allocations given price and risk preference.


Aims:

The primary focus of this module is on understanding the underlying economic reasoning behind how asset prices are determined and how portfolio allocation decisions are made. This includes having an understanding of 1) the theory of choice and the objects of choice faced by an investor; 2) the optimal portfolio decision; 3) equilibrium asset prices; 4) equilibrium portfolio allocations given price and risk preference.


Assessable learning outcomes:
Students should be able to explain how asset prices are determined. They should be able to explain how investment decisions under certainty and uncertainty are made. They should be able to explain and critique the most prominent theories seeking to explain how portfolios are constructed.

Additional outcomes:
Students will learn skills required to do relevant research, write reports, understand technical articles and apply theoretical knowledge to real world situations.

Outline content:

Main topics include: inter-temporal optimisation of consumption, investment decision given certainty, introduction to expected utility theory, mean-variance portfolio theory, capital asset pricing model, capital market imperfections.  


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Detailed guidance on the topics covered will be provided in the 10 x 2 hours weekly lectures (and 1 x 1 hour revision class), together with comprehensive handouts covering the material discussed, examples, exercises and solutions to facilitate understanding of key concepts. Students may be required to do exercises corresponding to each topic, to read a significant amount of journal articles, and to undertake research using the library, internet, etc.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 21
Guided independent study: 159 20
       
Total hours by term 0 180 20
       
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Project output other than dissertation 25
Class test administered by School 15

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One 2-hour unseen written paper, intended to be comprehensive of everything covered in the module.
Postgraduate examinations are held in the Summer term.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Coursework will count for 40% of the overall mark and comprises: one mid-term test (15%) and one written project report (25%).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum weighted average mark of coursework and examination of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination for all modules takes place in August/September of the same year.
Re-assessment is by examination only; coursework is not included at the second attempt.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: Recommended, but not a compulsory purchase, is Frank J. Fabozzi, Edwin H. Neave and Guofu Zhou, Financial Economics, John Wiley and Sons, 2012 (e-book price approximately £30).  Copies are available in the library.

 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 4) Printing and binding: 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:


Last updated: 17 June 2019

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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