Economics 53
Introduction to Macroeconomics
Course Calendar Spring 2014

Note: This may be revised slightly as the semester proceeds, but exam dates are firm.



Topic and Reading/Reviewing Assignment

(also periodically check the course materials web page)



Introduction to class (first lecture) and National Income Accounts and the Economy in Statistics


If you have a chance before the class begins (not mandatory), otherwise once class is underway, listen to the audio file The Hoxne Pepperpot, a podcast of the series A History of the World in 100 Pieces, by BBC Radio 4 [2010].


To get a good statistical overview of the current U.S. economy, we will begin by reading and analyzing the first estimate of 2013 Gross Domestic Product, which will be released on January 30, 8:30 AM by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce. There is no link because the document does not yet exist. The link will be provided in Course Material page the morning the document is published. So that material will actually be read after the lecture. Apologies, but we will be up to date!


Review: (1) Peruse the Bureau of Economic Analysis website and on the front page find and play the introductory video entitled GDP: Numbers Behind the Numbers, then (2) listen to the podcast BLS Security in Data Collection (published by National Public Radio).



 Business Cycles


Download and read the Business Cycle Essay.




 The Aggregate Supply/Aggregate Demand Model


Download and read Chapter 1 - Economic Models.
Download and read Chapter 2 - The Aggregate Supply/Aggregate Demand Model.



 The Loanable Funds Model

Download and read Chapter 3 - The Loanable Funds Model

First exam: Monday, February 24, covering 1-4



Price Behavior and Inflation


Download and read Chapter 4 - Inflation and Deflation



  Employment, Unemployment and Income Distribution

Download and read How the Government Measures Unemployment.

Listen to the NPR Podcast The Secret to Germany's Low Youth Unemployment

Go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics site and use their search feature to find the online Occupational Outlook Handbook 2013-2014 edition (this edition should appear about the time this assignment is made) and in the left column (a) read the overview of projections and (b) find your intended profession (such as Engineers under the category Professional) and read your occupational outlook.


M 17,19

Spring Break.



 International Macroeconomics


Download and read Exchange Rates.


Listen to the BBC Podcast [segment] Exchange Rate Currency Wars


Download and read U.S. International Transactions from the BEA [do not use the link until after the spring break, otherwise you will be reading an older version - the new version is posted by the BEA right around this time].

Second exam: Wednesday, April 2, covering 5-7



 Monetary Policy 


Listen to the NPR podcast Birth of the Dollar Bill.

Download and read these three Federal Reserve Publications [Some of the examples are dated but the procedures and regulatory environment are still the same, and the data will be updated in the lectures - this material may be amended or replaced by the time we get to this section. ]:

Overview of the Federal Reserve System
Monetary Policy and the Economy
The Implementation of Monetary Policy




 Fiscal Policy


Download and read CBO's 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook [not available at the start of class - to be posted when it is published].



  In-class 3rd exam: Wednesday, April 30, with take-home component, all covering 9-10, take-home due for seniors only Thursday, May 8, 5:00 PM in Parsons 1261, for all others Wednesday May 14, 5:00 PM in Parsons 1261.