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ECON 3080-004 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

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ECON 3080-004 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
ECON 3080-004
Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory, Fall 2014
Instructor:
Email:
Office:
Office Hours:
Lecture:
Website:
Joseph Vavrus
[email protected] (preferred contact method)
ECON 309c (3rd floor of the Economics building)
Tu 5:00-6:00 p.m., Th 2:00-3:00pm, and by appointment.
TuTh: 3:30-4:45, Aug 25-Dec 12, MUEN E432
https://learn.colorado.edu/
Course Overview
Macroeconomics is the study of the aggregate (macro) economy. The course is roughly divided into two parts. First, we
will learn tools to analyze long-run patterns of economic growth, labor markets, and price changes. Next, we will deal
with the short-run and discuss monetary policy, fiscal policy, and how they relate to current economic issues.
In general, we will be using many simple equations to build “toy models” of the economy. By playing with these, we can
gain deeper intuition into the highly complex economic interactions that create real problems and benefits for people
worldwide. Some of the most important national and international political issues concern the potential costs and
benefits of economic policy (in)action. While these models don’t give easy, perfect answers, from them you will have a
stronger understanding of the mechanisms and chains of causality that underlie these issues.
Prerequisites
1. ECON 1000 or ECON 2020 or equivalent from another institution
2. ECON 1078 and 1088, or MATH 1300, or MATH 1310, or MATH 1081, or MATH 1080, 1090 and 1100, or APPM
1350, or equivalent from another institution
The toy models we will be using require basic calculus and algebra. The math is not highly advanced, but it is a consistent
part of the course. Additionally, much of this course applies the economic intuition you will have learned in your
principles courses. If you have any concerns about your mathematic/economic preparation for this course, please come
talk with me ASAP and we can discuss whether this class is right for you.
Administrative deadlines:
Sept 10: Last day to drop without any grade penalty.
Oct 31: Last day to drop and receive a grade of “W” without any additional approvals. After this day, dropping requires a
signature from the Dean, which isn’t given out without good reason. This is also the deadline to alert me that you have
three or more final exams on the same day.
Wed. Dec 17 1:30 p.m. -4:00 p.m.: Final exam: This is set by the university and cannot be changed. By signing up for this
class, you are saying “I am available on December 17 to take the final exam.”
Readings:
Required text: Charles I. Jones (2011). Macroeconomics, W. W. Norton & Company, 2nd Edition.
You are welcome to use any other editions of this book; however you may need to come to office hours or consult a
classmate with the 2nd edition to determine how the chapters line up. If I assign any problems directly from the
textbook, I will reproduce them in full.
Additional: Some of the tools we use will occasionally feel a bit divorced from the real policy debates that are
happening. One thing to reconnect you is to keep abreast of current economic news in the Financial Times, the Wall
Street Journal, the Economist, etc. I highly recommend doing so; this will make the course much richer for you. (It is also
necessary to do article analyses) Additionally, I recommend Mark Thoma’s blog http://economistsview.typepad.com/.
Along with his own writings, Professor Thoma links to many blog posts and articles on debates both about
macroeconomics and how macroeconomics should be practiced.
Grading Policies
Your final grade will be weighted as follows:
Midterm 1 20% October 2
Midterm 2 20% November 6
Final 25% Wednesday, December 17, 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Problem sets 15% Due dates in lecture schedule
Participation/Attendance 5%
Articles Analyses 15% Due Dec 11 at 6pm.
A
AB+
B
BC+
94.00-100.00
90.00-93.99
88.00-89.99
82.00-87.99
80.00-81.99
78.00-79.99
C
CD+
D
DF
72.00-77.99
70.00-71.99
68.00-69.99
62.00-67.99
60.00-61.99
<59.99
Notice that it is slightly harder to get a straight A.
Midterms and Final:
Together these count for the bulk of your grade. I will not give makeup exams or early exams except for the exception
listed below. If you have a documented emergency that precludes you from taking an exam on the given date the other
final will be weighted at 45%. You will receive a 0 for any exams you miss without a documented excuse. Cell phone
calculators are not allowed under any circumstances for exams. Other calculators are fine and should be brought with
you.
If you have three or more final exams scheduled on the same day, you are entitled to arrange an alternative exam time
for the last exam or exams scheduled on that day. Also, if you have two final exams scheduled to meet at the same time
you are entitle to arrange an alternative examination time for the later course. To qualify for rescheduling final exam
times, you must provide evidence that you have three or more exams on the same day or two exams meeting at the
same time, and arrangements must be made with your instructor no later than October 31.
Lectures and participation:
Students benefit from attending class, therefore there will be a small participation grade to incentivize you to come.
Every now and then I will take attendance (either through an in-class assignment or a written prompt of some kind) or
call on students randomly to answer questions when there is a lull. You may miss a total of two lectures without any
penalty, missing any more than that would require an excuse for having missed all three, four, etc.
A tentative lecture schedule is below. All exam dates and due dates are set. Topic dates and chapters are subject to
change.
Date
Topic
To do
Topic 1 – Long-run growth
Week of Aug 25
Intro and Math review
Jones 1 & 2
Week of Sep 1
Growth basics and production
Week of Sep 8
Production and Solow
Week of Sep 15
Solow and Romer
Jones 5&6
Week of Sep 22
Romer Model
Jones 6
Week of Sept. 29
Review and Midterm
PS 2 due Sept 30
Midterm 1 Oct. 2
Jones 3&4
No class Sept. 1
Jones 4&5 PS 1 due Sep 11
Sept. 10 last day to withdraw
without grade penalty
Topic 2 – Transitioning from the long-run to the short-run
Week of Oct 6
Labor markets and inflation
Jones 7&8, Article analysis
check-in Oct. 9
Week of Oct 13
The short-run model and IS
curve
Jones Ch. 9 and 11
Week of Oct. 20
Phillips Curve/Monetary policy
Jones 12, PS3 due Oct. 23
Week of Oct. 27
AS/AD Model
Jones 13
Week of Nov. 3
Review and Midterm
PS 4 due Nov. 4
Midterm 2 Nov. 6
Topic 3 – Applications, policy extensions, and the open-economy
Week of Nov. 10
Government and fiscal policy
Jones 17, previous chapters
Week of Nov. 17
The Great Recession
Jones 10 & 14, previous
chapters
Week of Nov. 24
Fall break
Week of Dec. 1
Open-economy chapters, extra topics etc, time permitting.
Week of Dec. 7
Final review/catch up
FINALS WEEK
Final exam: Wed. Dec 17 1:30 p.m. –
4:00 p.m.
Article analyses due Dec 11 by
6pm on D2L
Problem Sets:
There will be four problem sets assigned over the term. These will include questions similar in style and difficulty as
what will be on the three tests. You may work in groups, but I want a separate assignment turned in by every student.
On the date they are due, you must turn them in at the beginning of class. I do not accept late problem sets – especially
because I often post solutions immediately after they are turned in! These will be graded mostly on completion, but I
will be sure to grade some of the most important parts/questions for accuracy.
Article analyses:
There are two of these due during the semester. You may turn them in at any time, but the final due date is December
11 by 6pm on the D2L dropbox. You also must submit at least one article you plan on using by October 9 at 6pm.
For this project I want you to think outside the text. First, find a newspaper article or blog post in the last couple of years
(the more recent the better) on an economic policy issue that interests you. See the readings list for ideas of where to
look. I want you to do three things within 1-2 single-spaced pages.
(1) Summarize the issue, emphasizing why it is newsworthy or interesting
(2) Analyze the issue and relate it to the course. In particular, I want you to be thinking about the models, cause and
effect relationships, and economic intuition that you have used over the semester when you discuss it. This can
include your (informed) opinions.
General guideline: be precise about a topic rather than exhaustively discussing every aspect in general terms when
engaging in analysis.
Both articles can be related, but different enough to do two separate analyses.
Desire To Learn:
All course materials including this syllabus, problem sets, project details, additional readings, etc. will be posted at
https://learn.colorado.edu/
University Policies
Disability Policy –
If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit a letter from Disability Services to me in a
timely manner so that your needs may be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on
documented disabilities. Contact: 303-492-8671, Willard 322, and http://www.Colorado.EDU/disabilityservices
Religious Observance Policy –
Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort reasonably and fairly deal with all
students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments, or required
attendance. If you have a conflict, please contact me at the beginning of the semester so we can make proper
arrangements.
Code of Behavior Policy –
Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Students who fail to
adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Faculty have the professional responsibility to treat all
students with understanding, dignity, and respect to guide classroom discussion and to set reasonable limits on the
manner in which they and their students express opinions. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important
with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, culture, religion, politics, sexual orientation,
gender variance, and nationalities. Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student’s legal name. I will
gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference
early in the semester so that I may make the appropriate changes to my records.
Honor Code –
All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity
policy of this institution. Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty,
fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the
Honor Code Council ([email protected]: 303-725-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic
integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions
(including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). Other information on the Honor Code can
be found at http://www.colorado.edu/policies/honor.html and at http://www.colorado.edu/academics/honorcode
Discrimination and Harassment Policy –
The
University
of
Colorado
at
Boulder
policy
on
Discrimination
and
Harassment
(http://www.colorado.edu/policies/discrimination.html, the University of Colorado policy on Sexual Harassment, and
the University of Colorado policy on Amorous Relationships applies to all students, staff, and faculty. Any student, staff,
or faculty member who believes s/he has been the subject of discrimination or harassment based upon race, color,
national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status should contact the Office of
Discrimination and Harassment (ODH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Judicial Affairs at 303-492-5550. Information
about the ODH and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be
obtained at http://www.colorado.edu/odh.
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