Macroeconomics

Economics studies how rational people make choices trying to satisfy their unlimited wants with limited resources.  Macroeconomics studies how the economy operates. What determines prices of goods and services? Are we going not have another recession? Is budget deficit a problem? Who is in charge of interest rates? This course offers answers to these and many other questions. You will learn to think like an economist and to better understand current real world events.

TextbookMacroeconomics – OpenStax free pdf.  A different textbook may be used with instructor’s approval. Supplemental Khan Academy video course: Macroeconomics

Grades: HWs 50%, tests 30%, participation & presentation 20%

Course schedule, Readings, HWs

1.    Choices, costs & benefits, production possibilities (ch 1, 2, 20)

2. How are prices, wages and interest rates determined? (ch 3)

3.  GDP: Total production and real income  (ch 6)

4.   Economic growth  (ch 7)

5.    Unemployment  (ch 8)  

 6. Inflation  (ch 9)

7. AS-AD model  (ch 11,12,13)  Midterm test due

8.  Fiscal policy (ch.17)

9.    Extra credit module, guest speaker Moshe Adler

Extra credit reading:  Chapter on Wages from Moshe Adler

Answer one of the following questions in writing:

  • 1. What is the “natural wage” according to Adam Smith? What prevents workers from earning this wage?
  • 2. Are the profits of Capitalists due to the improvement in the production process that they introduce, according to Adam Smith?
  • 3. How are wages determined according to Adam Smith?
  • 4. When workers are well organized they earn higher wages. Is this a good thing, according to Smith?
  • 5. Do high wages cause unemployment according to Smith?

10.    Money and banking (ch 14) 

11.    Monetary policy (ch 15)  

12. Exchange rates  (ch 10, 16)

13. Presentations,  7-10 min.  Final test

Give us a short lesson on any topic related to the class. This can be a policy issue in healthcare, immigration, poverty, inequality, debt, foreign trade, etc.   Read an article or listen to a podcast, do online research.  A brief discussion of a book on an economic issue would be welcome too.

Econ sources to choose an issue:

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