Principles of Macroeconomics
preliminary — subject to changes
An introductory course on issues relating to the economy as a whole.
Topics include, but are not limited to, the study of national income and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), national income determination, investment, consumption and consumption theories; classical economic theories, Keynesianism, monetarism, rational expectations, supply-side economics; the business cycle, inflation, unemployment; money and the money supply, the banking system, monetary and fiscal policy, budget deficits and the national debt.
The course will enable students to gain an understanding of how the market economy works and how economic theory can be used to understand issues of public policy and public finance.
Additionally, material from the following text may be used:
Goodwin et. al., 2014, Principles of Economics in Context, Routledge.
Available from amazon and bookdepository.
Relevant chapters are listed below as [PEC:Chapter number].
The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume Two: Macroeconomics by Grady Klein / Yoram Bauman, Macmillan
Students must read the corresponding chapters of the textbook before each session. Reading the economic and political press will also be helpful.
I recommend that you try to solve the end of chapter problems in preparation and review of each class session.
Class meets each Monday at 16:00 till 17:15 and Thursday at 16:45 till 18:00. Please bring a hard copy of the problems we want to discuss (see below) to each class.
Electronic devices, i.e. laptops, are discourage from use during class sessions. See http://economicscience.net/content/laptop-use/ for the reasons.
Prof. Dr. Dennis A. V. Dittrich
You can always contact me via email. For meetings in my office appointments can be arranged through the my webpage at: http://economicscience.net/content/book-appointment.
Updated information, links to the literature, additional materials, etc. can be found on my webpage as well.
|Midterm Exam 1||20%|
|Midterm Exam 2||20%|
If the final exam is better than one or both of the midterm exams the corresponding midterm exam grade(s) will be replaced by the grade of the final exam.
A typical 3 credit course requires 150 hours of your time. The table below identifies how I expect those 150 hours will be allocated. While you do not receive direct marks for reading, reading will affect your class participation mark (your ability to participate in class discussions and activities) and your final exam mark.
|Class Time (3 hours / week)||45 hours|
|Reading (3 hours / week)||45 hours|
|Preparation and Review (4 hours / week)||60 hours|
Topics and Reading Assignments
- Economics: The Big Ideas (Ch. 1, PEC: 1)
- GDP (Ch. 26, PEC: 0, 1, 19, 20, 21)
The New Yorker, September 9, 2015, The End of GDP?
The Economist, April 30, 2016, The trouble with GDP
The Economist, April 30, 2016, How to measure prosperity
Alexander Tziamalis, February 13, 2018, Why our obsession with GDP ignores harm done to welfare and the world.
The Economist, May 5, 2018,. Economists focus too little on what people really care about.
Coyle, D., 2015. GDP: A brief but affectionate history. Princeton University Press.
- Growth (Ch. 27 & 28, PEC: 20, 32)
Coyle, D., 2011. The economics of enough: how to run the economy as if the future matters. Princeton University Press.
The Economist, August 5, 2017, Human capital: The people’s champion.
Video: The Economic History of the World in Less than 5 Minutes
Video: The Hockey Stick of Human Prosperity
Video: Africa Is the Most Landlocked Continent
Video: The Magic Washing Machine
Video: Why Are So Many Poor Countries Located Close to the Equator?
Video: New Report Reveals Where You Live and Work Affects Your Economic Mobility
In “Comparative Economic Systems” we will discuss economic performance and institutions in more detail.
- Growth and
- Saving, Investment, & the Financial System (Ch. 29, PEC: 30, 26)
- Saving, Investment, & the Financial System
Ferguson, N., 2008. The ascent of money: A financial history of the world. Penguin.
The Ecomomist, February 3, 2018, Negative justice.
Kabil, A., 2018. How Warren Buffett Won His Multi-Million Dollar Long Bet
In “Principles of Finance” we will discuss these topics in more detail.
- Labor Markets (Ch. 18, PEC: 10)
- Unemployment (Ch. 30, PEC: 23)
The Economist, August 26, 2017, The natural rate of unemployment.
Midterm Exam 1
- Money and Inflation (Ch. 31 & 34, PEC: 27)
NPR, 2011, The island of stone money: Yap
Friedman, M., 1991. The island of stone money. Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Martin, F., 2014. Money: The unauthorized biography. Vintage.
Voxeu.org, 2017. Competition between government money and cryptocurrencies.
- Business Fluctuations (Ch. 32 & 33, PEC: 24)
- The Central Bank & Monetary Policy (Ch. 34 & 35, PEC: 27, 28)
McLeay, M., Radia, A. and Thomas, R., 2014. Money creation in the modern economy, Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin.
Deutsche Bundesbank, 2017. How money is created.
- Monetary Policy
The Economist, 20th February 2016, Unfamiliar ways forward
The Economist, 20th February 2016, Out of ammo?
The Economist, October 27, 2016, Hands off
- Monetary Policy
- Taxes & Government Spending (Ch. 36, PEC: 25, 31)
- Taxes & Government Spending
In “Public Finance” we will discuss Taxes in more detail.
Midterm Exam 2
- Fiscal Policy (Ch. 37, PEC: 25, 28)
The Economist, July 30, 2016, Minsky’s moment
The Economist, August 11, 2016, Where does the buck stop?
The Economist, September 2, 2017, Kicking the can down an endless road
- Fiscal Policy
- Public Goods (Ch. 19, PEC: 14)
- Political Economy & Public Choice (Ch. 20)
- Political Economy & Public Choice (Ch. 20)
- Economics, Ethics, & Public Policy (Ch. 21, PEC: 11)
Bentham, J., 1996. The collected works of Jeremy Bentham: An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation. Clarendon Press.
Mill, J.S., 1901. Utilitarianism. Longmans, Green and Company.
Rawls, J., 2009. A theory of justice. Harvard university press.
Nozick, R., 2013. Anarchy, state, and utopia. Basic books.
In “Public Finance” we will discuss the role of Government in the Economy, Taxes, Public Choice, and Public Policy in more detail.
Topics and reading assignments are subject to changes.
We will discuss problems – mostly taken from our textbook – in class. You will find the problems for download in a dropbox folder. [Click Here!]
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