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ECON 206: Macroeconomic Analysis Fall 2011 Professor Francesc Ortega

Class number 6474. Monday and Wednesday, 15.05 - 16.20, Kiely Hall 270 Email: [email protected] Office: Powdermaker Hall 306-H Web: Office Hours: Wednesday 14.00-15.00. For help with the problem sets you can see the teaching assistant for this class. His name is Garrick Turano. He will be available on Wednesdays from noon to 1pm but you need to contact him beforehand at [email protected] COURSE OVERVIEW. The US economy is currently struggling to get out of the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. In this course we will study the basic economic models used to analyze short and long-run fluctuations in economic activity. These models are the basis for the policy decisions that President Obama, Congress and Ben Bernanke (the chairman of the Fed) have to take. They are also the basic analytic tools used by CEOs and financiers to manage their businesses and portfolios. LEARNING OBJECTIVES. Your specific learning objectives in Econ 206 include the following: · Obtain, manipulate and interpret the official macroeconomic data. · The basic neoclassical model. · Economic growth. The Solow model. The open economy. Exchange rates. · Price rigidities. The ISLM model. · The key current debates in Macroeconomics. MATH. You do not need to have taken Math 131, Calculus with Applications to the Social Sciences, before taking Econ 206. That is, you do not need to know calculus to do well. But you will find that there is plenty of other math in Econ 206. Although the undergraduate bulletin does not mention it, you must have a working knowledge of algebra and graphs in order to pass Econ 206. Some macroeconomic models can be understood through graphs alone, but others require algebra. If you find yourself struggling with math, I suggest you either postpone Econ 206 until you have taken Math 131, which you must do to major or minor in economics, or make use of tutoring in Kiely 131. ACADEMIC HONESTY. I take cheating extremely seriously. Cheating on an exam earns you an immediate F for the class and a referral to the VP for Student Affairs. TEXTBOOK. We will use the book Macroeconomics by Professor Gregory Mankiw as our main textbook (editions 5 through 7). The book is available both on paper copies and in electronic form from the usual outlets (the QC book store, Amazon,, and so on). I will post my class slides and problem sets on the course webpage. Also exam dates and other important announcements. My slides heavily rely on the book but at times I will go into greater depth. Since class time is scarce you will find it useful to read the book, where the material is explained more thoroughly and you will find plenty of examples.


COURSE OUTLINE. 0. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Introduction The data of Macroeconomics The basic neoclassical model Economic growth. The Solow Model The basic neoclassical model with Money Short-run economic fluctuations. The IS-LM model The open economy

COURSE REQUIREMENTS. We will have three exams. The final grade will be calculated as follows: · Exams 1 and 2 will each count for 25% of your final grade. · Exam 3 will account for the remaining 50% of your final course grade. I'll announce the dates for the exams with at least two weeks notice. If you miss one exam and fail to provide a valid justification your grade in that exam will be zero. If you miss two exams you will fail the class. PROBLEM SETS. I will hand out problem sets for each topic that we cover. These problem sets will not be collected or graded. But you will receive answer sheets and we will spend some time going over the solutions in class. I cannot stress enough how important doing the problems is. This course is about creative thinking and problem solving. The ideal method of preparation for the exams is to complete all the problem sets and be pro-active both in office hours and in class. Working through the problem sets is VERY important. As with everything in life, only by applying the theory by yourself you will get the most out of the course. Questions from the problem sets will be recycled for the exams. I also encourage the use of Excel (or a similar spreadsheet) in solving numeric exercises. It's part of your education. For the problem sets start early and ask questions of me and of other students. Take responsibility. STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES are encouraged to see the instructor, who will work with students and the Queens College Office of Special Services in Kiely 171 (718-997-5870) to address special needs. FINAL REMARKS: · Be on time! I reserve the right to deny entry to those arriving significantly late.

· It is very important to be up to date with the course material. Each week's lectures build on the material

of the previous weeks. · I expect you to be considerate and respectful of your classmates and myself at all times. No cell phone use in class or any other behavior that goes against a smooth classroom experience. · You can always contact me by e-mail. But keep in mind that I may not be able to respond to all your emails. I have many students and other demands on my time. · I encourage you to talk to me at anytime about suggestions or complaints about the course. I promise to take them very seriously. · Don't bother asking for extra credit at the end of the semester. You get extra credit by doing well in your exams. Period.




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