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FIRST DRAFT: SYLLABUS: Economics 101b Fall 2006

FIRST DRAFT: SYLLABUS: Economics 101b Fall 2006:

Before class begins: background reading: chapters 1, 2, and 3 of DeLong and Olney...


Week of August 22: DeLong and Olney, ch. 4: The Theory of Economic Growth
Week of August 29: DeLong and Olney, ch. 5: The Reality of Economic Growth


Week of September 5: DeLong and Olney, ch. 6: Building Blocks of the Flexible-Price Model
Week of September 12: DeLong and Olney, ch. 7: Equilibrium in the Flexible-Price Model
Week of September 19: DeLong and Olney, ch. 8: Money, Prices, and Inflation in the Flexible-Price Model


September 26: REVIEW


Week of October 3: DeLong and Olney, chs. 9-10: The Sticky-Price Framework: THe IS Curve
Week of October 10: DeLong and Olney, ch. 12: The Phillips Curve, Expectations, and Monetary Policy
Week of October 17: DeLong and Olney, chs. 13 and 15: Stabilization Policy
Week of October 24: DeLong and Olney, ch. 14: Budget Balance, National Debt, and Investment

October 31: REVIEW


Possible topics include:

  • America's Huge Trade Deficit
  • Japan's Decade-Long Slump
  • Europe's High Unemployment
  • America's "New Economy"
  • Emerging Market Financial Crises
  • U.S. Income Inequality
  • Reform in Eastern Europe
  • The East Asian Miracles
  • The Rise of China
  • The Rise [?] of India


This is the short and sketchy syllabus for Economics 101b, Intermediate Macroeconomics. I have found that putting out a long, complete, and detailed syllabus at the start of this particular class never works well: things wind up going either much more quickly and smoothly or much more slowly and bumpily than the syllbabus expects. So we will start out, we will see how we do, and we will adjust along the way.

Things to Read:

  1. The intermediate macroeconomics textbook I am most comfortable with is the one that I and Marty Olney have written. DeLong and Olney (2005), Macroeconomics 2nd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0072877588
  2. Here is our explanation of why we wrote it the way we did: http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/Teaching_Folder/manifesto.html
  3. The Economic Report of the President, available online at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/eop/
  4. Recent economic data at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/indicators/browse.html

Course Details:

This is the go-faster and do-more version of intermediate macroeconomics--the study of the determination of output, production, income, employment, and prices in the economy as a whole. Since this is a go-faster do-more course, we will go faster and do more. As a group, the class will be made up of people comfortable using calculus, so we'll feel free to use it in lectures, handouts, and in problem sets (and on exams). If you aren't comfortable using calculus, you probably don't belong here and may well not have a good time...

We are keenly aware that almost everybody signing up for this course could alternatively take and do very well in Economics 100b. We are anxious not to have students vote with their feet for an easier course and learn less because they fear the consequences of lowering their grade point average. Therefore this course will have a high curve: the idea is that nobody should get a lower grade than they would have gotten had they decided to take Economics 100b instead.

There will be three exams: a first midterm on September 28 (primarily to serve as a reality check for the instructors), a second midterm on November 2, and a final on TBA. These three exams count for two-thirds of your grade. No makeups will be offered. Miss one exam and the other two will be upweighted. Miss two exams and do not expect to pass.

The rest of students' grade will depend on class and section participation and on problem sets--fail to hand it in on time, no credit; hand in a piece of paper with markings on it, half credit; hand in a piece of paper that represents a serious and largely successful attempt to answer all the questions, full credit. Problem sets will be due on Tuesdays at the very start of lecture.