Course Intro: Econ 2: Spring 2014: UC Berkeley
Notes for "Aristotle and Finley": Making Sense of Slow Pre-Industrial Technological Advance

Course Policies: Econ 2: Spring 2014: UC Berkeley

Economics 2: Principles of Economics: University of California at Berkeley: Spring 2014

Course Website:
This Document:
Lecturer: J. Bradford DeLong 925-708-0467 Evans 691A 
GSIs: Maria Constanza Ballesteros; Connie Min

Course Meetings: Lecture: MW 4-5:30, 101 Barker. Sections:

  • Th 8-9, B51 Hildebrand
  • Th 10-11, 7 Evans
  • M 9-10A, 3 Evans
  • M 1-2P, 101 Wheeler

Course Policies

Responsibility: You are responsible for knowing what is in this course policies document--assignments, due dates, policies, et cetera...

Principles of Economics Course: This is an introductory course in the principles of economics. It is a go-faster-do-more course than Econ 1, and the instructors intend that the curve be such that students taking Econ 2 get the grade they would have gotten in Econ 1. The course covers both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Topics include: economic modeling; allocation of resources; firm decision-making; imperfect competition; economic analysis of unemployment, inflation, and economic growth; the role of government in the domestic economy; international trade and finance; and U.S. economic policies of the last quarter century. Primary emphasis is placed upon acquiring skills with which to analyze current economic issues.

USLI: As part of Berkeley's Undergraduate Student Learning Initiative (USLI), the Economics Department has developed learning goals for the Economics major at: The specific learning goals which this course aims to achieve are:

  • CT1: understand everyday economic problems
  • CT2: use economic theory to understand and evaluate policy proposals
  • PS1: solve problems with clear solutions; CS1, communicate effectively about economic issues
  • LL2: primary data sources
  • LL3: understand the economic news.

Enrollment Policies: U.C. Berkeley as an institution is not doing a terribly good job at dealing with its budget crisis while still matching teaching resources with undergraduate demand. At the moment, more people want to take this course than there are seats. To maximize efficiency in this sorting process, the Economics Department relies completely on TeleBears for enrollment purposes. To add the course, first check the online schedule of classes to see which sections have space and then access TeleBEARS. Your chances are better if you choose a section that is underenrolled. If you are already on the waiting list but want to change your section choice, simply access TeleBEARS and use the change section option. Do not drop yourself from the course wait list, or you will lose your place “in line.” Simply change sections. See Econ Undergrad Advisor Ginnie Sadil for assistance.

Textbooks and Other Materials: Required textbook: Paul Krugman, Robin Wells, and various Essentials of Economics oR Economics (any edition--buying new seems a waste of your money).

Also required:

  • Partha Dasgupta, Economics: A Very Short Introduction;
  • Milton Friedman and Rose Director Friedman, Free to Choose;
  • Tom Slee, Nobody Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart.
  • Purchase, test, and register an iClicker--it's the way to get your class participation points.

Communication: All announcements will be sent by email. Some announcements contain links to required additional assignments for the course. We will use your bSpace email address. Be sure your email address registered with the University is correct, your spam filters are not set too tight, and that your inbox is not full. Emails will be archived at

No announcements are made in lecture. If you would like to submit a written announcement that can be emailed to all Econ 2 students, you should send it to, including the name of the student seeking to make the announcement with contact information. Instructors, reserve the right to determine whether the announcement is relevant to Econ 2 and to edit all submitted announcements.    Emails sent to [email protected] relevant to Econ 2 need to have “Econ 2--Spring 2014” at the start of the subject heading. One of the glories of our modern communications technologies is that everybody in the world can potentially speak to anybody they wish.

The chatroom for the course will be at:

Grading: 35% of your grade will be based on the final exam on May 14. 25% each will be based on the midterm on March 10. 24% will be based on 6 problem sets, an introductory letter to your GSI, and a (short) final paper. 6% will be based on lecture participation. And the remaining 10% of your grade will be based on section participation. Thus it is strongly in your interest to attend section, and to attend your section.

The anticipated median grade in this course is a high B--but it could be higher if the class as a whole works enthusiastically and learns effectively, or it could be lower. The idea is that people should get the same grade in this course that they would get if they took Econ 1.

Doing Your Own Work: Cooperation in doing problem sets is encouraged. Asking friends or classmates for advice on revising essays is encouraged. Handing in others’ work--work either for this class or for other purposes—as your own is not. Cheating off of others during exams is not. Knowingly allowing others to cheat off of you during exams without bringing the matter immediately to the instructors' attention is not. Any of these will earn you an F for the course, and referral to the University authorities. We do have an honor code.

More important: you are paying a lot of money to take this course to build your human capital. If you don’t do the work yourself, you won’t build your human capital. Don't cheat yourself.

Late and Missed Assignments: Problem sets are due at the start of lecture. Short essays are due at the start of section. Late assignments can be handed in for (at most) half credit within 24 hours of the due date. Students missing exams must contact instructors before the midterm is scheduled to begin. Students with valid excuses may take the missed exam as a take home within 7 days of the exam date, and if they succeed in gaining a score of at least 90%, they qualify for imputing their other exam grade as the grade on the missed exam.      Regrades: Regrade requests will be considered if they are submitted (a) in writing, and (b) after discussing the issues with your GSI. Be aware that the entire exam will be regraded.

Letter of Introduction: The first short essay requirement: by the start of your section meeting during the week of January 20-26, please write a 500-word essay--a “letter of introduction”--to your GSI. Include your name, and discuss:

  • the reasons why you are choosing to spend 3% of your scarce college curriculum time taking this course this year,
  • what you hope to learn from this course,
  • what you hope to do in the future as a result of this course, and
  • whatever else about yourself that you would like to share with your GSI.
  • Please include or embed a photo of yourself, as this will help us learn your name. 
 Section: Section meets one hour per week. If you do not attend your assigned section in the opening week of class, you will be removed from the class by the Economics Department administration. Sections will be run on the small group format--a mixture of discussions doing example problems, going over homework, and correcting errors and confusions introduced during lecture.

Accommodations: If you require accommodations for exams or will miss substantial section or lecture times due to other schedule commitments, inform the instructors as soon as possible. If you require special accommodations for exams or lecture or section due to learning or other disability, inform the instructors as soon as possible. You will ultimately need to obtain forms from the Disabled Students' Program 230 César Chávez Center).

See also: Course Intro