EUBA PhD Macroeconomics

Fall 2015 --- Jeffrey Parker

Course Description

This course covers macroeconomic analysis at an advanced level. The analysis will use calculus and other more advanced mathematical methods to examine modern macroeconomic theories. Two sections of the course will cover (1) economic growth and (2) macroeconomic fluctuations (business cycles). Depending on the requirements of their program of study, students may take the first section, the second section, or both.

The class meets Thursdays 9:00-10:30 and 10:45-12:15 in D117, except that we will meet on Wednesday 21 October rather than the following day. The first section of the course meets on the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 21st of October. The second section meets on the 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th of November.

Instructor and Office Hours

The instructor is Jeffrey Parker, a visiting Fulbright scholar from Reed College in the United States. He will hold office hours in room 5B-12 on Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 and Wednesdays from 13:30 to 14:30. You may arrange an appointment for another time or ask questions directly at any time via email at

Assignments and Requirements

There will be homework problems assigned each week that are to be completed by each student. Collaboration is allowed, as long as it is true collaboration with each student contributing. Individual students will be called upon from time to time to present their homework answers in class, so it is important that each student has a full understanding of the answer he or she submitted. In addition to the homework, students are responsible for completing assigned reading for each class.

There will be two exams, one after the growth section of the course (after four weeks) and one at the end covering only the second section on business cycles. The questions on the exams will consist of short written questions and analytical problems applying the methods learned in the course.


Separate grades will be assigned for the two sections of the course; for students taking both sections the average of the two grades will be assigned for the full course. For each section, the final exam will comprise 60% of the grade, 10% will be based on seminar participation, and 30% on the written assignments and presentations.

Textbook and Readings

The principal text for both halves of the course will be David Romer’s Advanced Macroeconomics, 4th edition. (In the second half of the course there is one reading from the 3rd edition covering material on the open economy that was omitted in the 4th edition.) Every student needs to have access to this text; the instructor will attempt to accommodate those who have difficulty in obtaining it. There are additional readings on the list below. Some of these are required supplemental readings, usually from journal articles. Others are recommendations for further study. Students who are planning to specialize in macroeconomics should read these recommended papers and textbook chapters.

In addition to the text and published papers, the instructor has written a coursebook for use in his advanced macroeconomics course at Reed College. This will serve as a complement to the textbook, covering topics that are not treated deeply in the text and providing background explanations for the chapters of Romer’s text. The chapters of the coursebook can be downloaded in pdf form from

Important note about access to readings: If you have difficulty obtaining access to a reading, it is your responsibility to notify the instructor by email early enough that he can provide a copy for you. Normally, he can provide you with a pdf copy of any reading on the list by return email within 24 hours of your request. So please be aware that lack of access is not a valid excuse for failing to complete the reading or assignments.

Background Preparation

Those who are not confident of their background in macroeconomics should read Chapters 1 and 2 of the coursebook. This covers the basic material that is usually covered in intermediate-level macroeconomics courses. You will be assumed to have command of this material at the beginning of the course.