College of Humanities and Social Sciences

ECON 311: Intermediate Macroeconomics

ECON 311-002: Intermediate Macroeconomics
(Fall 2017)

Mason Hall D001

Section Information for Fall 2017

In this course we’ll study the canonical models that central banks, investment banks, and the best economics departments draw upon to explain both the wealth of nations and short-term business cycles. The focus will be on the models rather than the data, but we’ll spend quite some time looking at tests of the models, usually empirical horse-races between competing theories. If you do well in the course, you’ll be better equipped to distinguish between reasonable macroeconomic ideas and nonsense, a useful skill in many situations.

Remember, one learns economics largely the way one learns to play the piano: by practicing, not by reading books about it. Working on end of chapter questions and old exams is a good idea.

Required Books (tentative):

Mankiw, Macroeconomics, Macmillan Publishers. I’ve assigned the 9th edition. The 8th edition is OK, but earlier editions make poor substitutes. This is the leading intermediate macroeconomics text, written by a Harvard professor who served as Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He is a major figure in economic growth research and in New Keynesian business cycle theory.

Jones, Hive Mind: How your nation’s IQ matters so much more than your own, Stanford University Press, 2015. A Forbes review is here, and it’s been widely discussed online. In particular, economist Garrett Petersen of Simon Fraser University interviewed me for a podcast about the book, and he wrote up a summary as well.  

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Aggregate economic accounts, including measuring national income; determinants of levels of income and output; and causes and solutions for problems of unemployment, inflation, and economic growth. Equivalent to MSU 304.
Recommended Prerequisite: ECON 103 and 104 or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

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