Macroeconomic Analysis

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General course information and requirements

Semester: Spring 2016
Course: Economics 316, Macroeconomic Analysis (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Economics 216 (Principles of Macroeconomics), junior status, an overall GPA of at least 2.00 and a C- or better in HMXP 102.
Instructor: Dr. Stonebraker
Office: 401 Thurmond
Office phone: 323-2488
E-mail address: stonebrakerr@winthrop.edu
Office hours: M 3:30-5 pm, T 2-3 pm, W 1-2 pm, TR 2-4:30 pm and F 10 am-12 pm (no appointment needed)
                       Other times are available by appointment.

Objectives:

The primary objective is to develop a comprehensive framework within which students can analyze macroeconomic concepts such as equilibrium GDP, long-run economic growth, inflation, and unemployment.  We will use this framework to analyze macroeconomic data and macroeconomic policy in both closed and open economies.

Text:

Macroeconomics, 8th edition, by N. Gregory Mankiw, Worth Publishers, 2013. Be careful, a 9th edition recently came out, but we will be using the older 8th edition. Although all test questions are based on material from my lectures, a careful reading of the textbook is very helpful.  I will assign appropriate end-of-the chapter questions and problems from the text.  These will not be turned in and/or graded, but will be useful in learning, in assessing your own understanding of the material, and doing well on the exams.
 
The website for the textbook (http://bcs.worthpublishers.com/mankiw8/default.asp#t_796152____) contains flash cards for key terms, power point slides, self-tests, and software that allows you to (1) examine historical macroeconomic data in many different formats,  (2) manipulate all textbook models by playing "what if" scenarios, and (3) play a policy-simulation Presidential Game.
Attendance policy:
 
While I expect you to attend every class on time and will hold you responsible for all class material whether or not you attend, there are no attendance requirements.  However, based on past experience, there is a high probability that students who miss class frequently will have very low exam scores. I also expect you to come to class on time.  Students that consistently walk in late disrupt the learning environment and impose external costs on other students.
Grades:
The grading will be straight letter grades: no plusses or minuses. Three exams will determine most of your grade. The weight for each assignment is:

  • Data paper:                                       6%
  • Exam with lowest grade:                 27%
  • Exam with highest grade:                35%
  • Other exam:                                     32%

Click here for a spreadsheet that will calculate your course average.

Exams:

Exam questions will stress analysis rather than factual information and will be based on the material presented in class. You will be expected to write short essay/explanation answers and to solve graphical and numerical problems. Students caught copying/cheating will be dealt with harshly.  The final exam will be given at 11:30 am on Friday, April 29 and will include some specified review material. You may use non-programmable calculators during exams, but graphing calculators, cell phone calculators or other programmable calculators are NOT allowed.

The approximate grading scale for exams will be:

        86 - 100%      A
        72 - 85%        B
        60 - 71%        C
        50 - 59%        D
          0 - 49%        F

Make-up policy:

Make-up exams will be given to students with what I judge to be a valid excuse. Needing more time to study is not a valid excuse. If you cannot make an exam I expect to be notified as quickly as possible, preferably before the exam. Students who do not notify me in a timely manner should not expect a make-up exam.

Homework:

I will assign a variety of problems for your educational enjoyment.  Although I expect you to complete them, they will not be turned in and graded.  The best strategy is to work in small groups on a regular basis to complete the problems and then check the solutions.  To see the solutions to solved problems, Click here for answers to problems. Since I do not collect or grade these assignments, some students may choose to ignore them or try them the night before the test. This is an excellent strategy for those hoping to receive a poor grade.

Cell phones and electronic devices:

I expect never to see cell phones in class. That means no texting and no checking messages; even under the desk where you think I will not see them.  Laptops, tablets or similar electronic devices may be used for note-taking or specified course activities with the instructorís permission. Students using these devices must turn off the wireless function and close all applications/windows other than the allowed document or application. Each time a student is caught violating this policy I will deduct one point from his/her final average.

Data Paper:

In addition to exams, you will be expected to submit a short paper about macroeconomic statistics from a country of your choice. For detailed instructions, click here.

Course withdrawal:

Wednesday, March 9 is the last day to withdraw from this course.  (Automatic N grade is issued.)  Students may not withdraw from a course after this date without documented extenuating circumstances.

Expectations:

As a student you should expect me to take my class responsibilities seriously.  You should expect me to deliver quality instruction in each class, to start and end each class on time, to be responsive to student perspectives and questions, and to treat each of you with respect.  As an instructor, in addition to adherence to Winthropís Code of Student Conduct, I expect similarly responsible behavior from you.

Students with Disabilities:

Winthrop University is dedicated to providing access to education.  If you have a disability and need classroom accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 323-3290 as soon as possible.  Once you have your Professor Notification Form, please tell me so that I am aware of your accommodations well before the first assignment.

 

Course Outline

I.    Basic Macroeconomic Concepts
A. Introduction to macroeconomic concepts
     Chapter 1
B. GDP, inflation and unemployment: concepts and measurement
     Chapter 2
II.  The Long-Run Macro Economy 
A. Equilibrium in the long run with a closed economy
     Chapter 3
B. Equilibrium in the long run with an open economy
     Chapter 6 
C.  Long-run growth 
      Chapters 8 and 9
      So Much to Do

Exam #1: Approximately Tuesday, February 16

D. Unemployment and inflation and in the long run
     Chapter 7, chapters 4 and 5
     Money: What and Why 
     Money Supply: A Review
     A Dear Abby Quiz
III. The Short-Run Macro Economy: Fixed-Price Models
A. Fixed vs. flexible prices
     Chapter 10, chapter may be skimmed
B. IS/LM analysis in a closed economy
     Chapter 11 and 12
C. IS/LM analysis in an open economy
     Chapter 13
        Exam #2: Approximately Thursday, March 24
IV.  Extensions
A. Bridging the gap: AS/AD models
     Chapter 14
B. Policy debates
     Chapter 18
C. Deficits and debt
     Chapter 19
     The National Debt: So What?
D. Consumption theory (if you are lucky)
     Chapter 16
        Exam #3 (Final Exam): Friday, April 29 at 11:30 am

I reserve the right to modify this syllabus with cause if unexpected circumstances occur.

Are you interested in seeing current macroeconomic data? Click the links below for current data on:
     Unemployment
     Inflation
     Gross Domestic Product
     National debt
     Distribution of income
     International currency exchange rates

Last modified 01/06/16