Macro Syllabus

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0928 ECON 2113 Principles of Macroeconomics
Fall 2012
MWF 10:10-11:10
Troutt 305

Jennifer Long, Ph.D.

Office: Troutt 317
Phone: 574-1217
Email: jlong@usao.edu
Office Hours: MWF 8:30-10:00; TTh 8:00-9:00 and1:00-2:30, or by appointment or luck

 

Course Description

Economics can be defined in many ways, and textbooks usually mention something relatively boring about the coordination of production and distribution, scarce resources and competing wants, rational choice, and a bunch of graphs and complicated mathematics.

But at its heart, economics is fairly simple, as it’s concerned with a narrow band of human behavior—the provision of the material goods of life. Of course, humans are incredibly complex creatures, so economics turns out to be just as complex. To make our models easier to understand, economists often assume that people are “rational economic maximizers,” taking all information into account before making a decision, and then opting for the choice that will be in their best self-interest. But as anyone who has been a human for a while will tell you, people are often very irrational. In fact, rationality makes demands on our brains that goes against its very wiring.

Macroeconomics adds a different dimension to the conversation, as it is concerned with the provision of the material goods of life not just for individuals, but to a society as a whole. As strange, complex and aggravating as human behavior can be on an individual level, it’s a whole other world of crazy when a group of individuals get together and form a society. Group decisions tend to magnify the irrationality of human behavior, from the behavior of stock investors to the appalling lack of common sense that teenage boys in possession of a car can often display.

Because of all this craziness, societies create social, political, and economic institutions to deal with the complex decisions. Sometimes these institutions derive policies that can not only take care of people’s needs, but help create a vibrant, growing, healthy society. At other times, the opposite happens: at best, institutions may fail to do as much good as they can; at the worst, people and societies are harmed. We’ll talk about all those possibilities. And we’ll have a lot of fun along the way, asking complex questions and seeing what brilliant solutions we can devise to some very tough problems.

Texts

  • Colander, David. Economics, 8th edition. McGraw-Hill, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-07-337588-5
  • Various readings linked through the syllabus; check the tentative schedule below often

Assignments

Exams

Three exams are scheduled throughout the semester, including the final exam. Each exam is worth 100 points, and will be a mixture of problems, short answers, and essays. See the tentative schedule below for dates.

Problem Sets

Problem sets from the text are due on the dates indicated by the schedule below. The specific problems to be turned in will be indicated on the course webpage at least one week before the due date. Problem sets are due at the beginning of class on the date listed, and no late assignments will be accepted. These problems will help you not only understand the material presented in class and in the text, but help prepare you for exams.

Blog Responses

Students will submit, over the course of the semester, 12 responses to entries on economic blogs (see list below for approved blogs). Responses should communicate, in grammatically correct and academically styled writing, the substance of the blog entry and your analysis of it, using the tools learned in class. Each entry should be at least 2 paragraphs in length, but can be as lengthy as you like. The blogs listed below represent the entire spectrum of political and ideological foundations of economic analysis, and you should try a wide sample of them to get a sense of that spectrum. Each response is worth from 0-10 points. You will submit your responses to a discussion board on turnitin.com [class id: 5386115;  password: blogs], so the rest of the students in class can read and respond to your posts. Responses are due on the following dates: 8/31, 9/7, 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, and 11/16

Blog List

Grading

 

Points

First Exam

100

Second Exam

100

Final Exam

100

Blog responses (12 at 10 points each)

120

Problem Sets (14 at 15 points each)

210

 

 

Total

630

Final grades will be calculated as a percentage of the total points possible.

Class Policies

Attendance

It t is your decision whether to attend class or not. You will not be penalized directly for missing class, but no make-up exams or quizzes will be given, and you are responsible for all information disseminated in any classes that you miss.

Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices

Cell phones, laptops, and other beeping, chirping, singing, game-playing, text-messaging and noise-making electronic things must be turned OFF during class and kept out of sight. Because of the potential for distraction (for you and those sitting around you), laptops use is not allowed in class. (Exceptions can be made only in the case of a documented accommodation need. Please inform the instructors if this is the case).

We know you think that you can listen to lecture, check your Facebook, take notes, text your friends about where to meet for lunch, formulate intelligent questions, read your email, participate in class discussion and listen to your iPod all at the same time, but you can't. Lots of good research tells us that multitasking detracts from the learning experience and can actually make you dumber (see, for example, "The Myth of Multi-Tasking" at http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-myth-of-multitasking).

Be fully present in the classroom; treat class as a one hour refuge from all the other electronic demands in your life. You might find that all those pressing demands on your time—all those incoming texts, all the new Facebook statuses, all the waiting messages—really aren’t all that urgent. You might even find that the electronic silence gives you a calm space in which to really think and learn.

That said, if your cell phone or other beeping, chirping, singing, game-playing, text-messaging or noise-making electronic thing goes off in class, you will be asked to leave. If you're texting or emailing or checking your Facebook in class, you'll be asked to leave.

Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this or any other class on campus. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to: Plagiarism, Fabrication, Cheating, and Forgery and Altering Documents. All instances of dishonesty will be result in penalty without exception. The maximum penalty for the first offense is a grade of "F" for the course  and the incident will be reported to the Academic Vice President for inclusion in the student's permanent university file. A second and all subsequent offenses (in any course across the university) may result in the student's expulsion from the university. A full explantion of the University's Academic Code of Conduct can be found in the Student Handbook, pages 9-11. We're really not kidding about this. Don't cheat. We mean it.

ADA Statement

According to the ADA, each student with a disability is responsible for notifying the University of his/her disability and requesting accommodations. If you think you have a qualified disability and need classroom accommodations, contact the office of Student Services located on the third floor of the Student Center.  Please advise the professor of your disability as soon as possible, to ensure timely implementation of appropriate accommodations. Faculty have an obligation to respond when they receive official notice of a disability from Student Services but are under no obligation to provide retroactive accommodations.  To receive services, you must submit appropriate documentation and complete an intake process during which the existence of a qualified disability is verified and reasonable accommodations are identified.  Call 405-574-1278 for more information.

Tentative Schedule

Date

Topic

Reading/Assignments

M 8-27

Introduction

 

W 8-29

Economic Reasoning

Colander Chapter 1

F 8-31

Economic Institutions

Colander Chapter 3

M 9-3

Labor Day; no classes

 

W 9-5

Economic Institutions

Colander Chapter 3

Chapter 1 Problem Set Due

F 9-7

Supply and Demand

Colander Chapter 4

Chapter 3 Problem Set due

M 9-10

Thinking Like an Economist

Colander Chapter 6

W 9-12

Thinking Like an Economist

Colander Chapter 6

Chapter 4 Problem Set due

F 9-14

Business Cycles

Colander Chapter 24

 

M 9-17

Business Cycles

Colander Chapter 24

Chapter 6 Problem Set due

W 9-19

Measuring the Aggregate Economy

Colander Chapter 25

 

F 9-21

Measuring the Aggregate Economy

Colander Chapter 25

Chapter 24 Problem Set due

M 9-24

Measuring the Aggregate Economy

Colander Chapter 25

 

W 9-26

First Exam (through Chapter 24)

 

F 9-28

Growth

Colander Chapter 26

 

M 10-1

Growth

Colander Chapter 26

Chapter 25 Problem Set Due

W 10-3

AD/AS Model

Colander Chapter 27

F 10-5

AD/AS Model

Colander Chapter 27

M 10-8

AD/AS Model

Colander Chapter 27

Chapter 26 Problem Set due

W 10-10

AD/AS Model

Colander Chapter 27

F 10-12

Multiplier Model

Colander Chapter 28

M 10-15

Multiplier Model

Colander Chapter 28

Chapter 27 Problem Set due

W 10-17

Multiplier Model

Colander Chapter 28

 

F 10-19

Fall Break; no classes

 

M 10-22

Thinking Like a Modern Economist

Colander Chapter 29

Chapter 28 Problem Set due

W 10-24

Financial Sector

Colander Chapter 30

F 10-26

Financial Sector

Colander Chapter 30

Chapter 29s and 30 Problem Sets due

M 10-29

Second Exam (from first exam through Chapter 29) 

 

W 10-31

Monetary Policy

Colander Chapter 31

F 11-2

Monetary Policy

Colander Chapter 31

M 11-5

Financial Crises

Colander Chapter 32

W 11-7

Financial Crises

Colander Chapter 32

Chapter 31 Problem Set due

F 11-9

Financial Crises

Colander Chapter 32

M 11-12

Debts and Deficits

Colander Chapter 34

Chapter 32 Problem Set due

W 11-14

Debts and Deficits

Colander Chapter 34

F 11-16

Debts and Deficits

Colander Chapter 34

M 11-19

The Modern Fiscal Policy Dilemma

Colander Chapter 35

Chapter 34 Problem Set due

W 11-21

Thanksgiving; no classes

 

F 11-23

Thanksgiving; no classes

 

M 11-26

The Modern Fiscal Policy Dilemma

Colander Chapter 35

W 11-38

The Modern Fiscal Policy Dilemma

Colander Chapter 35

F 11-30

 

Chapter 35 Problem Set due

M 12-3

 

 

W 12-5

Final exam; 10:00-11:30 (from second exam through Chapter 35)