Economics 204
Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics



Notes, Homework, and Class Schedule          Textbook           Grading System

Course Description    Instruction and Preparation   Goals and Objectives 

 Erroneous Expectations  Helpful Expectations




Location and Time

Lecture:  MacLean Hall MWF  9:00


Gregory Stutes

Office: 374 MacLean Hall
Office Hours  MWF 2:00-4:00 and  T 9:00-11:00

Telephone: 477-4027


Course Description:

This course will introduce students to economic issues, tools that economists use to analyze these issues, and the associated public policy concerns. First, we will review economics in general and some of the tools of economists. Using these tools, we will overview how markets work and examine some economic problems. We will address national incomes and measurement in the macroeconomy so that we may monitor developments in the economy as a whole. Next, we will describe the forces that in the long-run determine key variables, including growth in GDP, saving, investment, real interest rates, and unemployment. In the last major section of our class we introduce the monetary system and examine how money and the Fed affect the long-run behavior of the price level, inflation rate, and other nominal variables. Throughout the course, I will relate our discussion to topics in United States history. (This is my area of interest.) However, if you know a current event that relates to our studies, please draw my attention to it. Lastly, the most important goal we should set is to have fun. We are trying to make some sense out of this crazy world; it is a difficult task, but a very interesting one.


Instruction and Preparation

The course will be presented in a non-technical manner. Mathematically speaking, the basic analytical tools will be simple algebra and graphic analysis. Lectures will follow the course outline and the textbook. The reading material will provide excellent guidance for practically all of the lecture material. However, not every topic in the lecture will appear in the textbook, and not every page of reading will be covered in class.

Each student is expected to attend every lecture and be prepared to discuss the relevant topics. I will be asking questions to the class as a whole. In addition, I will be asking each and every student direct questions regarding both the reading material and the lectures. These questions allow everyone to become involved in the discussion, facilitate a good flow to the discussion, and reinforce each student's responsibility to be prepared. Nevertheless, everyone reserves the right to pass on direct questions. Lastly, I expect each student to contribute to the discussion with questions, comments, and insight. Your participation will not only sharpen your thinking skills and improve your appreciation of the material, but will be essential for the class's understanding of the material.


Mankiw, N. Gregory; Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics and MindTap[

Goals and Objectives of the Students

The goals and objectives of this course focus on what you the student should be able to do once you have completed this course. The main goal is the following: students can think effectively for themselves about economic issues. Additional goals are the following

In addition to these goals, the following specific instructional objectives will be helpful for your study efforts:

1. Know basic terms.

2. Understand economic concepts and principles.

3. Apply economic principles to new situations.

4. Interpret economic data.


Grading System

Midterm I         150
Midterm II        200
Midterm III       200
Midterm IV       300
Homework        150


Special Notes on the Midterms and the Final:  If a test is missed with prior approval, the student must have written documentation of the emergency to receive a makeup test instead of a zero. (A note from your doctor stating that you "do not feel well" is not an emergency.)   Makeup tests may increase in difficulty from the original.

Any student in the course who has a disability that may prevent him/her from fully demonstrating his/her abilities should contact me personally as soon as possible so we can discuss accommodations necessary to ensure full participation.

Any student who will miss a class in which an assignment is due or a test is to be taken due to the observance of religious holiday must notify me at least one week prior to the date of the class missed to avoid late or to receive a makeup test.


Erroneous Expectations of Economics

Many of you may believe that introductory economics will provide clear and irrefutable answers to socioeconomic problems. If you share this belief, this course will sadly disappoint you. This course cannot provide definitive answers for three reasons:

economics simple does not have the answers,

definitive answers require very sophisticated analytical tools beyond the level of introductory economics,

definitive answers transcend economics.

Rather than a set of answers ready to be taken off the shelf, economics is a way of thinking about problems. Economics is a process of straight thinking -- "thinking like an economist."



Helpful Expectations of Economics

(1) Economics is different from what you are accustomed to.

Previously you were required to learn concrete stuff -- memorize facts and/or specific experiences. Economics demands a higher more "formal" level of thinking. In this course, you will need to reason analytically about hypotheses, to manipulate mentally abstractions, to understand contrary-to-fact situations (i.e. hypothetical situations), and to understand counter-intuitive results.


(2) Beware that economic concepts are abstract.

Because economic concepts are abstract, they may appear esoteric and mystifying. However, economics requires abstract concepts in order to develop a strong framework of analysis that is flexible enough to apply to various scenarios in numerous settings.


(3) Economics requires a different approach to learning.

Since the essence of economics is analysis, you cannot simple memorize stuff. You must practice the art of developing the economic framework of analysis and applying it to a broad field of subjects. In other words, you must "rehearse" the framework of analysis, not solely by remembering it but by examining its logical structure and applying it.


(4) Avoid acquiring inert knowledge.

Unless you can apply knowledge it is useless. Thus, exams will require you to apply knowledge to new situations. Do not expect to simply regurgitate facts on the exams.


(5) Stress the process of problem solving.

By stressing the process of problem solving, you will be better able to transfer economic concepts to other contexts, classes, and future employment.




Economics 204

Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics

Lecture Outline and Reading List

Date Subject Updates Readings "Fake" Homework Notes
1/14  Introduction to Class   
Describe Our Economy
Chpt. 1
1/16 Good/Bad About Our Economy
10 Principles of Economics
10 Principles
1/18 Best Economy
Thinking like an Economist
Chpt. 2
1/23    The Gains from Trade    Chpt. 3 Trade
1/28   Gains from Trade II     
1/30   A Nation's Income I     Chpt. 10 GDP
2/1 National Income II    
2/4 CPI Chpt. 11 CPI
2/6 Our Economy Chpt. 4  
2/8 Our Economy II          S&D
2/11   Catch-up Day        
2/13   Review   Study Guide 1
2/15   Midterm I  
2/18   Production and Growth I    Chpt. 12 Growth
2/20   Production and Growth II     
2/22   Production and Growth III     
2/25   Production and Growth IV  
2/27   Saving and Investment I    Chpt. 13 S&I
3/1   Saving and Investment II
3/11 Catch-Ip  
3/13 Review
3/15 Midterm II
3/18   Money and Fed I    Chpt 16 Money
3/20   Money and Fed II   
3/22    Money and the Fed III
3/25 Aggregate Demand / Aggregate Supply   
3/27  AD / AS II     
3/17  AD / AS III  
3/29 AD / AS IV  
4/1 Great Depression
4/3 Great Resession          Inflation
4/5 Inflation II    Chpt 17  
4/8   Unemployment I


Chpt 15 Unemployment
4/10 Open Economy   Chpt 18   Open
4/12 Open Economy II  
4/15  Catch-Up
4/17   Review  


4/24   Midterm III
4/26 Monetary and Fiscal Policy    Chpt 20 AD/AS
4/29   Monetary and Fiscal Policy II   
5/1 Monetary and Fiscal Policy III  
5/6  Final Thoughts and Review   Chpt 21 Mont & Fiscal
    Chpt 23 Debates

he Final will be on the official scheduled date and time.  Please consult your Schedule of Classes