This course is a detailed, but non-mathematical, examination of modern macroeconomics. Its central subject matter concerns the relationships among major aggregate economic variables such as national output, the interest rate, unemployment, and inflation. Emphasis will be placed both on theory and on empirical tests using contemporary and historical data.
This course is offered as an alternative to Economics 314: Macroeconomic Theory. Students who have a strong quantitative orientation should take Econ 314 instead. It is not generally a good idea to take both 304 and 314.
This class meets for three 50-minute lecture/conference sessions per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9:00am in Vollum 116. The format of class sessions will vary, including components of lecture, discussion, and sometimes other activities. Students are expected to be in the classroom ready to participate at 9:00. Most classes will begin with an informal "9:00 quiz," following which one or more students will be selected to answer the quiz questions in front of the class.
You should have completed Economics 201: Introduction to Economic Analysis prior to taking this course. Because Econ 201 now includes relatively little analysis of macroeconomics, there will be minimal presumption of familiarity with macroeconomics. We will, however, assume that you are comfortable with basic economic concepts such as supply and demand, elasticity, the theories of the consumer and the firm, competitive equilibrium, and imperfect competition.
The instructor will hold office hours in Vollum 229 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30-2:00.Students for whom these hours are inconvenient may make appointments at other times by contacting the instructor at extension 7308 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exams: There will be one mid-term exam, which may include both take-home and in-class components. The final exam will be comprehensive, but will cover the second half of the course more intensively. The final exam may be as late as: Thursday, December 14. Do not schedule a flight earlier than Thursday evening!
Homework: There will be regular homework assignments scattered through this course. Homework problems will usually be due at the beginning of class on Fridays. They will be returned on Monday, at which time we may discuss specific points from the assignment. Work received later in the day will be penalized, and no homework will be accepted after 3:00pm of the due date without a documented medical or similar excuse. You are permitted, indeed encouraged, to collaborate with your peers on the homework projects. However, this collaboration must take the form of learning together or from one another. Each student must submit a paper that is his or her own work in his or her own words. It is OK for the logic to be similar; it is not OK for the papers to be copies or mere paraphrases of one another.
Late work: You are expected to turn in assignments on time. You will lose 10% of the points on a late assignment for each 24 hours it is late. No assignments are accepted after the beginning of the class period following the one at which they are due (Monday, for Friday deadlines). If you have an illness or emergency, please submit documentation from the Health and Counseling Center to the instructor along with your request for an extension.
Grades will be based on all information the instructor has about your level of understanding of macroeconomics. This includes evidence from exams, homework, project assignments, class participation, and individual discussions.reading list. Readings from sources other than Burda and Wyplosz will be on reserve in the Reed Library or linked from the reading list to an available online source. In cases where a published book is cited, the entire book is on physical reserve. Successful class conferences depend on all students being adequately familiar with the assigned readings. Students who come to class unprepared to discuss the assigned materials not only diminish their own involvement with the course but unfairly "free-ride" on the preparation of others. If it is beneficial to conference interaction, the instructor may call on individual students to answer questions during class. Evidence of preparation will count heavily in the class participation component of your grade.