OF MACROECONOMICS ECON
2030 SPRING SEMESTER 2011
Purpose and Scope of the Course: ECON 2030 is the second semester of a two-semester sequence in the principles of economics. This course is designed to extend the students' understanding of basic economic principles in the direction of economywide issues. After having learned in ECON 2020 how a market economy works, students will learn in ECON 2030 how policymakers attempt to influence the level of economic activity and how the economy responds to various fiscal and monetary policies. By the end of the semester, students should have a good understanding of the economics and politics of unemployment, inflation, economic growth, and business cycles. And as students will soon realize, the recent episode of boom and bust gives increased relevance to ECON 2030.Organization and Exam Schedule: The reading and lecture material is divided into four sections: (1) introductory concepts, (2) mainstream macroeconomic theory, (3) monetary theory and the Federal Reserve System, and (4) the anatomy of boom and bust. Exams are given after the second, third and fourth sections as shown in the table below.
The subject matter covered in class will parallel the assigned reading, but in some instances the lectures will go beyond the text. Thus, the text and the lectures should be seen as complements and not as substitutes. The analytics of macroeconomic phenomena will be the primary focus of the lectures. The table indicates reading assignments from the Case, Fair, and Oster text and the exam dates. These assignments may be modified as the course progresses. Also, additional readings, available through the course web site, will be assigned as appropriate.
Examinations: There will
33-question, one-hour exams plus a 33-question comprehensive
final exam. The first exam (February 21) will cover the first two
Topics, i.e, Chapters 1-3 and 5-9 plus pp. 79 and 266 as well as the
lectures and the related PowerPoints,handouts, and readings.) On exam
responsible for bringing a
(8 ½ by 11), a soft-leaded pencil, and a University ID. Caps and
other headgear are disallowed on exam day. Correctly bubbling-in your
name on the scantron is essential for minimizing
errors. Enter your last name first, leaving a space between your last
and first name. Also, use "Robert" and not "Bob"; "Richard" and not
"Aloishous" and not "Bubba." The exams' analytical questions requiring
numerical answers are
designed to keep the math simple. There is little or no need for a
However, the official exam-day policy is an "unenforced prohibition" of
basic-function calculators. Other electronic devices, including cell
Posting Scores: Exam scores will be posted on Blackboard as soon as they are available (usually within 24 hours of the exam).
Class Attendance: Students are invited to attend all class meetings. The material presented in class is cumulative in nature. This means that if a student misses some lectures, he or she will not be able to make sense out of subsequent lectures. Further, as past experience confirms, there is a strong correlation between class attendance and examination scores. (Excessive absences may directly affect the student's course grade, and chronically absent students may be asked to drop the course.)
Participation: Despite the size of the class, student participation is encouraged and welcomed. Questions for the purpose of clarification will benefit most all of the students; critical questions and comments tend to make the course more interesting. The professor will call on individual students from time to time to answer questions in class. Some students like this type of interaction while others do not. In order that the professor can avoid calling on unwilling participants, please observe two simple rules: (1) If you don't mind being called upon occasionally, wear a cap in class; (2) if you want to be called upon all the time, wear it backwards.Grading System: Grades will be based entirely on exam scores. Scores for each of the 33-question exams will be determined by the formula SCORE = 100 - 3X, where X is the number of incorrect answers. (This formula has the effect of rounding percentage scores to the next higher integer.) For the determination of course grades, each student will have the benefit of two alternative weighting schemes. The two one-hour exams plus the final exam will count 1/3, 1/3, and 1/3 or 1/4, 1/4, and 1/2, depending upon which weighting gives the higher score. (Only the final exam can count for half of the course grade.) Letter grades for the course will be based on the rounded and weighted exam scores. The grade breaks are set at 90, 80, 70, and 60. (Students are expected to refrain from lobbying for additional points (and from requesting extra-credit assignments) to raise their course score above the next grade break.)
Make-ups: Because of the size of the class, students cannot be permitted to take the exams early or late. Should it become necessary for a student to miss an exam, he or she should notify the instructor in advance of the exam date. Students with excused absences should present their university excuses by the Friday that follows the Monday exam. Only those students who have met this deadline will be allowed to take the make-up exam, which will be given within two weeks of the scheduled exam (and, in the case of the first exam, before the mid-semester date of March 1). The date, time, and place of the make up will be announced once all the students in need of a make up are accounted for.
Supplemental Materials: The Handouts, Readings, PowerPoints, Important Dates, Links, and FAQ & IAQs available through this web site should be helpful. The FAQ & IAQs deal with some questions that students frequently (or infrequently) ask. The Links are intended to anchor class material to some of the institutions and economic data being discussed. The Important Dates allow students to keep tabs on the unemployment rate and the Consumer Price Index. The Handouts include summaries of some of the key ideas discussed in class. The Readings help reinforce ideas that are not covered in the text. The PowerPoints, which will be updated throughout the course, are the ones shown in class as complements to the lectures. They are not indended as stand-alone tutorials, but are made available to the students for reinforcement and review.