Principles of Macroeconomics

Important dates:

December 2nd
No class
December 23rd
No class: The college is on a Friday schedule this day

Course Description

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.

Course Objectives

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.

Course Materials


The course will follow the textbook: Cowen & Tabarrok, 2015, Modern Principles of Economics, 3rd edition, Worth Publishers.
Available from amazon. You can also get the newer 4th edition on amazon, the chapter numbers may, however, differ to those given below.

The mandatory reading asignments listed below include pre-recorded short video lectures on the corresponding topics as we will follow a flipped classroom approach.

Further recommendations:

Additionally, material from the following text will be used:
Goodwin et. al., 2014, Principles of Economics in Context, Routledge.
Available from amazon.
Relevant chapters are listed below as [PEC:Chapter number].

The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume Two: Macroeconomics by Grady Klein / Yoram Bauman, Macmillan

To prepare for exams, Schaum’s Outlines of Principles of Economics offers a huge number of fully solved problems.
Available from amazon or bookdepository

Course Requirements:

Students must read the corresponding chapters of the textbook and watch the pre-recorded lecture video clips before each session. Reading the economic and political press will also be helpful.

Only watching the video clips will not be sufficient. I recommend that you try to solve the end of chapter problems in preparation and review of each class session.

Instructor Information:

Prof. Dr. Dennis A. V. Dittrich
Twitter: @davdittrich

You can always contact me via email or twitter. For meetings appointments can be arranged through the my webpage at:

Updated information, links to the literature, additional materials, etc. can be found on my webpage as well.

Grading Guidelines:

Grading ComponentWeight
Problem Sets70%


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 and Preparation (4 hours / week)60 hours
Problem Sets and Review (3 hours / week)45 hours

Topics and Reading Assignments

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

In “Comparative Economic Systems” we will discuss economic performance and institutions in more detail.

Session 5

In “Principles of Finance” we will discuss these topics in more detail.

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

Session 9

Session 10

Session 11

  • Monetary Policy (Ch. 34 & 35, PEC: 27, 28)

  • Taxes & Government Spending (Ch. 36, PEC: 25, 31)


In “Public Finance” we will discuss Taxes in more detail.

Session 12

Session 13

Session 14

  • 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.

Problem sets

We will discuss problems – mostly taken from our textbook – in class. You will find the problems for download in a pCloud folder. [Click Here!]

Upload you solutions to this pCloud folder [Click Here!] Please use PDF or plain text for your uploads.

If you do not have a pCloud account yet: Get one for free!