Department of Economics

Honours in Economics

The Department of Economics offers a Bachelor of Commerce Honours (Hons BCom) in Economics degree. The programme provides students with the opportunity to understand how theories learned in the core economics modules are linked to economics in practice.  The programme is a two-year programme only. Students who are registered for this degree are expected to complete the compulsory modules and choose two of the four elective modules. All students must complete the advanced Microeconomics, advanced Macroeconomics and advanced Econometrics modules. In addition to the core honours modules, students are required to complete the research report module. Students then have a choice of any two from advanced International Economics, advanced Public Economics, advanced Development Economics, and advanced Monetary Economics. Please click here for more information on Honours modules offered by the department.

The requirements and selection criteria for Honours studies in Economics are explained on Unisa's admissions page.

Honours modules offered by the department

Level coordinators: Prof B Moyo, Ms T Uys
Module leader Prof D Hodge
Module members Dr J Hart
Purpose The main focus of this module is to critically compare and contrast the different schools of thought in macroeconomics. The module studies different theories of the economy as a whole, focussing on economic aggregates such as the level and change of national output, income and employment, inflation and interest rates and the relationships between them. The way in which the authorities can use economic policy to influence the economy is studied, especially the role of monetary and fiscal policy.
  1. The old classical school of thought in macroeconomics
  2. Keynes’ critique of classical theory
  3. The orthodox Keynesian school
  4. The orthodox monetarist school
  5. The new classical school
  6. New Keynesian economics
  7. The Post Keynesian school
  8. The new political macroeconomics
  9. Economic growth in the long run
  10. Measurement and costs of inflation
  11. Measurement and costs of unemployment
  12. Measurement and significance of economic growth
Module leader Prof B Moyo
Module members Dr S-Y Ho
Purpose This module will equip students with insight into the economic behaviour of households, firms and markets as presented in microeconomic theories, such as neoclassical microeconomics and new institutional economics. Along with Advanced Macroeconomics, this module provides the basic knowledge and tools to be used in the other advanced modules in Economics.
    • The basics of supply and demand
    • Theory of demand
    • Theory of production and cost
    • Historical development of the theory of the firm
    • Markets
    • General equilibrium theory and welfare economics
    • Choice under uncertainty
    • Oligopoly, game theory and competitive strategy
    • Oligopoly: collusive models
    • Input markets
    • The structure-conduct-performance (SCP) paradigm
    • Criticism of neoclassical microeconomic theory
    • Testing the SCP paradigm by measuring and comparing market concentration and performance
    • Managerial theory of the firm
    • Behavioural theory of the firm
    • Transaction-cost theory of the firm
    • New institutional economics
    • Strategic competition
    • Theoretical arguments for microeconomic policy
    • Competition policy
    • Regulation, nationalization and privatization
Module leader Mr F Joubert
Module members Prof S Nhamo
Purpose This module is an advanced course in econometrics and goes beyond elementary statistics and regression analysis. It builds on prior knowledge of econometrics and introduces topics such as non-stationary time series analysis and simultaneous equation modelling. There is a strong emphasis on the practical application of econometric techniques to equip students to duplicate these techniques in their working environment.
  1. Single-equation regression analysis
  2. Hypothesis testing, specification and inference
  3. Multicollinearity, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation
  4. Stationarity and unit roots
  5. Cointegration in single equations
  6. Error-correction models (ECM)
  7. Dummy variables
  8. Qualitative response regression models
  9. Simultaneous-equation models
  10. Macroeconomic cointegration model
Module leader Prof P-H van Eeghen
Module members Dr C Vermeulen
Purpose Learners credited with this module will have an advanced understanding of theoretical and practical issues in money, banking and financial markets. They will be able to interpret events and trends in the world of finance and banking, explain how banks influence the real economy, evaluate the merits and demerits of the SARB’s monetary policies and interpret the contents of financial publications
  1. The basics of financial markets, financial institutions and government intervention
  2. The basics of money and banking
  3. The payments system
  4. Money-use as potentially disrupting real production
  5. The determination of assets prices and interest rates
  6. The organization and structure of financial markets
  7. The mechanics of monetary policy
  8. Inflation and inflation targeting
  9. The quantity theory, monetarism and exogenous money
  10. Post-Keynesianism and endogenous money
  11. Prudential supervision and the potential instability of banks
  12. The subprime crisis
Module leader Dr S-Y Ho
Module members
Purpose This module will provide students with a thorough grasp and understanding of the main theoretical aspects of international trade and international monetary systems. The module will enable the students to critically analyse the current policy debates on international trade and finance, as well as the economic implications of different monetary systems.
  1. Part 1: International Trade Theory
    • The Rybczynski theorem
    • The Stolper-Samuelson theorem
    • The specific factors model
    • Trade based on differentiated products (intra-industry trade)
    • The technological gap model by Posner and the product-cycle model by Vernon
  2. Part 2: International Trade Policy
    • The general effects of tariffs and non-tariff barriers
    • The optimum tariff argument and retaliation
    • The Meltzler paradox
    • The theory of domestic distortions
    • The theory of economic integration
  3. Part 3: International Finance
    • The exchange rate determination
    • The balance of payments adjustment under different exchange rate regimes
    • The monetary approach to the balance of payments
    • The portfolio approach to the balance of payments
    • Devaluation in developing countries
    • International parity conditions
    • Spot and forward foreign exchange markets
    • Futures and options
    • Uncovered interest rate parity (UIP) and covered interest rate parity (CIP)
    • Arbitrage and hedging
    • Speculative bubbles versus rational bubbles
    • The efficient markets hypothesis (Martingale theory)
    • Fiscal and monetary policies under fixed and floating exchange rate systems
    • Fiscal and monetary policies under perfect capital mobility, perfect capital immobility and imperfect capital mobility
    • Exchange rate overshooting and undershooting models, etc.
Module leader Prof T van der Merwe
Module members Dr I Maloma
Purpose The module will enable students to critically discuss and analyse the complexities regarding the role of government in a market economy. Students will be able to analyse and reflect on public expenditure and sources of government revenue and its implications for efficiency and equity and will also be able to engage with additional sources on these topics.
  1. Efficiency, markets and governments
  2. Externalities
  3. Public goods and imperfect competition
  4. Public choice and government failure
  5. Public expenditure on social assistance and security
  6. Introduction to government finance and taxation
  7. Personal and corporate income taxation (direct taxes)
  8. Taxes on consumption, sales, wealth and property (indirect taxes)
Module leader Prof P Lalthapersad-Pillay
Module members Ms K Nchoe
Purpose The module will enable students to critically assess the fundamental differences between developed and developing countries to identify underlying problems and challenges that confront developing countries with the aim of formulating appropriate policies for mitigation.
  1. Measuring development
  2. Economic performance of developing countries
  3. Trade
  4. Education
  5. Health
  6. Population
  7. Gender
  8. Investment and finance
  9. Rural-urban migration and the informal sector
  10. The role of the State
  11. Development and the environment

Last modified: 2023/08/07