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Economics 301
Intermediate Macroeconomics

Course Description

Eric Zivot
310 F Savery Hall
Office Hours: F 11-12

Winter 2000

This is an intermediate course in macroeconomics intended for economics majors. In this course we will develop theories for understanding key aspects of the macro-economy including economic growth, employment and unemployment, wage determination, inflation, interest rates, the business cycle and the budget deficit. Due to time constraints, international issues will be excluded. The goals of the course are: (1) to present an overview of empirical macroeconomic facts and (2) to provide general models and a framework for thinking about the relationships among macroeconomic variables.

Course Prerequisites

I will assume that everyone has had an introductory course in macroeconomics. However, I will start from scratch in the presentation of the material. I will not stress the use of calculus in the presentation of material but I will use formal algebraic representations of models and I will point out where calculus can be helpful. I will extensively use graphs of all kinds to develop the key ideas in the course. If you have any trouble reading or creating analytical graphs please seek help (either from me, the TA's your friends or others) otherwise this course will be very difficult.

Course Requirements

There will be weekly homework assignments, two in-class midterm exams and a final exam. The grading breakdown is as follows:

		Homework:  	10%
		1st Midterm:    25%
		2nd Midterm:	25%
		Final Exam:  	40%

The homework assignments are due at the beginning of class each Tuesday and primarily designed to give you practice with analytical questions.

I expect everyone to take the exams on the announced times. If there are any foreseeable problems, see me at least a week before the exam so we can work something out.

Required Texts

Macroeconomics, fourth edition, by N. Gregory Mankiw, Worth Publishers. Please see the website for the textbook for additional materials and study aids.

Optional Supplemental Reading

Macroeconomics, Third Edition, by Andrew Abel and Ben Bernanke, Addison Wesley, 1998. This text is a very readable, modern treatment of intermediate macroeconomics. It gives a nice balance of theory, real world applications and political considerations. The text stresses intuition over formal models and mathematics. I have used this textbook in the past for econ 301. It is at a slightly more advanced level than Mankiw's textbook.

The Age of Diminished Expectations, Revised and Updated Edition, by Paul Krugman, MIT Press, 1997. This is a very well written short monograph on current economic conditions and economic policy. Paul Krugman is a professor of economics at MIT and is thought of as one of the brightest economists of his generation. He is also a regular contributor to the online current affairs magazine Slate and to Fortune magazine.

I also recommend several other short monographs on current issues in macroeconomics. The first is Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in the Age of Diminished Expectations, by Paul Krugman, Norton, 1994. This monograph is a more politically oriented discussion of economic conditions and policy during the 1980s and early 1990s than Krugman's The Age of Diminished Expectations

The next is Memos to the President: A Guide through Macroeconomics for the Busy Policy Maker, by Charles L. Schultze, Brookings, 1992. Charles Schultz was on President Carter's Council of Economic Advisors and this monograph is a collection of "memos" briefing a hypothetical president on economic issues. 

Also of interest is Hard heads, Soft Hearts, by Alan Blinder, Addison Wesley, 1987. Alan Blinder is a professor of economics at Princeton University and was recently on President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors and was vice chairman of the Federal Reserve System. 

Last, I recommend Macroeconomic Essentials for Media Interpretation by Peter Kennedy, MIT Press, 1997.