B CUSP 201
Analysis of the aggregate economy: national income, inflation, business fluctuations, unemployment, monetary system, federal budget, international trade and finance. Prerequisite: B CUSP 200; recommended: B CUSP 123. Offered: AWSp.
The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared to the gradual encroachment of ideas.—J.M.Keynes Course Description
While every person is fundamentally involved in an economy, as a general rule they know very little about how the economic system within which they work operates or its historical origins. It is the goal of this course to introduce the student to the basic principles of how the aggregate economy works as well as some of the theories used to explain changes in overall economic activity. These principles will be placed in their historical and theoretical context. Issues to be looked at include: economic growth, unemployment, price stability, the international economy and the role government intervention during business cycles.
Student learning goals
Demonstrate the ability to read, interpret and use graphs, along with other quantitative tools, commonly used in macroeconomics.
Evaluate the impacts of business cycles on social well being and attempts to intervene in these market fluctuations.
Recognize and discuss the nature and causes of long run economic growth.
Forecast short run fluctuations in aggregate output and recommend macroeconomic policy regarding these fluctuations.
Describe and explain how the financial system impacts long and short run economic growth and discuss the policy choices regarding money supply.
Read and analyze contemporary debates regarding macroeconomic policy.
General method of instruction
Combination of active learning exercises and class discussion.
Class assignments and grading
Individual projects, reading journal, online assessments and exams.
Exams (two midterms and final) 55% Online Assessment 20% Reading Journal 15% Learning projects 10%