ECONOMICS 102 – Principles of Macroeconomics (2014)

Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics

ECONOMICS 102 – Principles of Macroeconomics

 8:35-10:00 –TTh

 Professor Jim Casey

Rm. 214, Ext. 8102

Email: Caseyj

Office Hours:

MWF 9:00 – 11:30

Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to gain an understanding and appreciation for the basic principles of macroeconomics.  Macroeconomics is the study of economy-wide behavior.  The framework for this course centers on a set of questions.  Here are a few examples.  How should we measure economy-wide economic performance?  What causes fluctuations in inflation, unemployment, and economic growth?  Can government policies help reduce these fluctuations and stimulate growth in the economy? How does the US economy fit into the global economy?  What is the relationship between the economy and the environment?  Our goal throughout the term is to use what we learn to better understand and explain current events in the world – including austerity measures, the financial crisis and reform, global climate change, and economic stimulus, to name a few.  My hope is that you will become more informed citizens, better able to judge the current debates in global macroeconomic policy-making.

Required Readings

Text:   Macroeconomics, 2 nd edition by Krugman and Wells


  1. Class Participation: 10%
  2. Semi-Weekly Quizzes (5): 20%
  3. Blog Assignments: 10%
  4. Final Exam:  60%
    1. You will be expected to come to class prepared to discuss the day’s topics and to ask questions if you have them.   If you do not have any questions pertaining to the assigned reading, I will assume you understand the material and move on to another topic.  Additionally, if you do not ask questions in class – you will not be permitted to ask questions during office hours.  Office hours are for clarifying material already discussed in class.
    2. We will have a quiz on random Thursdays at the beginning of class.  The quiz will consist of one or two questions from material that was covered in class Tuesday.  If you miss class on Thursday, you will NOT be allowed to make up the quiz. .  I will drop your lowest score.
    3. I will post numerous articles during the week and you are expected to comment on one of them each week.
    4. We will have a comprehensive final exam during exam week.

Classroom conduct: As a courtesy to your classmates, please turn off all cellphones, pagers, and laptop computers at the start of class.  Also, use the restroom before class and do not get up during class to leave the room. If you are having an emergency then please raise your hand and I will certainly dismiss you from class.  Lastly, be on time – do not enter the classroom late.

Outline for the course

Section 1. Introduction to Macroeconomics

Week 0:

  • Introductions and Review

Week 1:

  • chs. 1 (First Principles) and 2 (Economic Models: Trade-offs and Trade)
  • chs. 3 (Supply and Demand) and 4 (The market strikes back)

Week 2:

  • ch. 6 (Macroeconomics: The Big Picture)
  • ch. 7 (Tracking theMacroeconomy)
  • Discussion of events

Week 3:

Week 4:

  • ch.9 (Long-Run Economic Growth)  Economic Growth
  • ch.10 (Savings, Investment Spending, and the Financial System)

Discussion of events

Section 2. AS-AD, Fiscal and Monetary Policy

Week 5:

  • ch. 11 (Income and Expenditure)
  • ch. 12 (Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply)
  • Quiz, Discussion of events

Week 6:

  • ch. 12 (Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply)
  • ch.13 (Fiscal Policy)
  • Discussion of events

Week 7:

Week 8:

  • ch. 15 (Monetary Policy)
  • ch.16 (Inflation, Disinflation, and Deflation)

Section 3. The International Economy

Week 9:

Section 4. Special Topics in Macroeconomics

Week 10:

  • ch. 17 (Macroeconomics: Events and Ideas)
  • Discussion of events

Week 11:

Week 12 – TBA