Welcome to the homepage for ECON 200, Introductory Macroeconomics. Below you will find links to all class lectures, as well as some relevant videos and information I’ve created or pulled together from the Internet. If you have anything you think would be worth adding, please let me know. You can find me in my office on: Monday 9am-10am; Monday 1:35pm-2:20pm; Wednesday 1:35pm-2:30pm; Wednesday 3:30-5:05; Friday 1:35pm-2:20pm. Office hours are occasionally rescheduled due to conflicts. Please try to make an appointment before coming by.
Note on textbook: This semester we are using a custom book that incorporates material from two different textbooks. Follow this link to help you decide on what you want to purchase (i.e., how you want to read the textbook). Buying used copies will not save you money, since you will need to purchase access to Connect in order to do your work for the course.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
- When is my midterm/connect assignment/LearnSmart assignment due? Look at the Canvas calendar. When is my final exam? Search Google for “JMU Final Exam Schedule,” or if you have trouble with that website, just click here or here for Fall 2017 schedule.
- Where is the final exam? In our regular classroom.
- Where do I find PowerPoint slides? Here. Scroll down.
- When are office hours? Look in the syllabus ↵, or move your gaze up a couple of inches.
- Step 1: Choose a browser.
- Connect strongly prefers Chrome or Firefox to other browsers.
- Step 2: Decide how you want to read the textbook.
- First, run a check on your computer
- Sign up using the following registration page for your course with your section in Connect
- Having trouble? Try the Support Site which includes FAQs, Chat, and a number you can call for help.
- For any access issues, contact Connect directly. I can only offer limited help accessing Connect
- For issues with economics, contact me, or the student instructor.
- Tutors are privately hired and will often be happy to work with groups of students.
- Hire tutors early in the semester! Tutors are other JMU students who often get busy with their own work!
- Look at the bottom of this page for ECON200 tutors: https://www.jmu.edu/cob/economics/students/resources.shtml
Material for each quiz is listed in order below, in Connect, and specific page numbers for required reading are listed below as well as linked in the following Google Drive document.
Lecture 0: Math (algebra and a little geometry) you need to know and understand. I will not go over this in class unless you have any questions. (Video-lectures: Stream in Canvas using your JMU login)
First Day Reading
Lecture 1: Limits, Alternatives, and Choices (Chapter 1, LS 1) and General Macroeconomics Terms (Ch 1, LS 1) Pages 1-9, box on 16-17, pages 22-25, Levitt/Dubner, and Frank readings, Planet Money podcast. (Video-lecture on Canvas)
Links on Trade, Gifts, and Production
- Link for lecture 1→ Link for podcast to Planet Money’s “Making Christmas More Joyful, And More Efficient” (Canvas link) discusses gift giving and how trade can create value out of nothing. We will discuss why gift giving may or may not be wasteful in class.
- Freakonomics’ Stephen Dubner’s podcast on gift giving. (link or download) Steven Levitt gives a not so dour look at gift-giving, and Justin Wolfers comments.
- Planet Money’s “Cappuccino Reconsidered” (download) discusses trade and the market economy at around the 6:00 mark. Tim Harford makes the point that economists have failed to understand the role of complexity in the market economy.
- Thomas Thwaites’ project on making a toaster from scratch became a TED talk that shows just how interdependent we all are when thinking about manufacturing something as simple as a toaster. (link to TED talk)
Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurs
A Video to Summarize Credit and the Economy
- Credit and the Economic Machine (by Ray Dalio). Full site, economicprinciples.org. He is one of the 100 richest people in the world as of 2014.
ASSIGNMENT 1 ON MATH REVIEW, CHAPTER 1 APPENDIX (LS 1 APPENDIX)
Lecture 2A: Basic Economics (Video-lecture on Canvas): This material is scattered throughout the book.
- Unemployment Rates (FRED)
- Inflation Rates (FRED)
- Income Inequality by Visualizing Economics
- Deficits and Government Spending
Lecture 2B: Money, Banking, and Financial Institutions (Ch 2, LS 32) Pages 29-50, Money Creation (Ch 3, LS 33) Pages 51-66. (Video-lecture on Canvas): This material is scattered throughout the book.
More About Money
- Invention of money. NPR “This American Life”
- Giant stone disk money. NPR “Planet Money” about the island of Yap’s unique money. (download)
Banks and Lending
- Create: Deposits, withdrawals, and capital (see this image for an important correction at 11 minute mark)
- ShowMe: Multiple Deposit Creation.
- Educreations: Long Run and Short Run Balance Sheets
- ShowMe: Capital Constrained Banking.
- Google Doc: Answers to Balance Sheet Exercises
The Financial Crisis of 2007
ASSIGNMENT 2 ON CHAPTERS 1 & 2 (LS 1 & 31)
Lecture 3: Financial Economics (Ch 5, LS 35) Pages 97-118. (Video-lecture on Canvas)
- Stock market ‘game’. Password is “F17ECON200”
- Google Domestic Trends
- Dow Jones Industrial Average Components.
- Problems with using the Dow Jones Industrial Average by Planet Money. (download)
- Behavior in money and investing by APM Marketplace Money (download)
- Issuing new shares of stock in Social Network
Bonds & Present Value
- Microsoft Excel: Present Value Worksheet: Microsoft Excel.
- Google Doc: Present Value Worksheet: Google Doc, (Login to Google to “Save a copy” or Download to Excel)
- Educreations: Bond Pricing and Returns. (Must be logged in as a JMU student)
- Camtasia: How do I do certain parts of Assignment 3
ASSIGNMENT 3 ON CHAPTERS 2, 3, & 5 (LS 32, 33, & 35) – VIDEO TO HELP
Lecture 4: Demand, Supply, and Market Equilibrium (Ch 6, LS 3) Pages 119-148, Interest Rates and Monetary Policy (Ch 4, LS 34) Pages 67-81. (Video-Lecture on Canvas)
- EduCreations: Price Floors and Ceilings (Must be logged in as a JMU student)
ASSIGNMENT 4 ON CHAPTER 6 & 4 (LS 3 and 34) FIRST MIDTERM ON ALL ABOVE READING, LS, & QUIZZES
Lecture 5: Market Failures: Public Goods and Externalities (Ch 7, LS 4) Pages 149-178, Public Finance: Expenditures and Taxes (Ch 8, LS 18) Pages 179-200 (Video-Lecture on Canvas)
- Keep your government hands off my Medicare!
- Google Docs: Tax Rate Worksheet: (Login to Google to “Save a copy” or Download to Excel)
- EduCreations: Using Tax Tables. Also a discussion of deductions.
- Income tax rates by group, who files, and the overall tax code
- Marginal tax rates and income inequality.
- Payroll taxes are very real.
- Public Goods Experiment.
- Death and taxes poster. (2015 update)
- Medicaid and Medicare “Dual Eligibles” study.
- Ezra Klein discusses how hidden spending occurs through the tax code.
Videos and Podcasts about Debt and Government Spending
- Donald Duck says you should pay your taxes. Taxes pay for guns and tanks to defeat the Nazis.
- Planet Money on what types of goods the government should or might be more efficient at providing. (download)
- Planet Money’s “How much debt is too much debt?” (download)
- PBS Frontline’s “Ten Trillion and Counting“.
ASSIGNMENT 5 ON CHAPTERS 7 & 8 (LS 4 & 18)
Lecture 6: An Introduction to Macroeconomics (Ch 9, LS 24) Pages 201-215, Measuring Domestic Output and National Income Pages (Ch 10, LS 25) 216-225, 227-237, Economic Growth (Ch 11, LS 26) Pages 238-260 (Video-Lecture on Canvas)
- Risk of recession. Some insight as to who calls the beginning and end to recessions.
- Inequality, savings, and expenditures. Keeping up with the Joneses. A blog, so consider the source.
- When will China surpass America in _______?
- International GDP in US Dollars, and Per Capita
- PBS Frontline “College Inc.” which discusses the move towards private education, and the implications that our deteriorating education system have on our ability to grow.
- ShowMe: Production Functions
ASSIGNMENT 6 ON CHAPTERS 9, 10 & 11 (LS 24, 25, & 26)
Lecture 7: Business Cycles, Unemployment, and Inflation (Ch 12, LS 27) Pages 261-283, Basic Macroeconomic Relationships (Ch 13, LS 28) Pages 284-304 (Video-Lecture on Canvas – Part I); (Video-Lecture on Canvas – Part II)
Real and Nominal GDP
- Educreations: Real GDP, Nominal GDP, and Inflation (CPI).
- Google Docs: Real GDP, Nominal GDP, Inflation (CPI), Unemployment, Indexing, and Adjustment. (Login to Google to “Save a copy” or Download to Excel)
- Tutorial to use the Google Doc sheet on JMUTube. Please let me know if the link does not work.
Types of Unemployment & Inflation
- Code.org on the lack of coders in the U.S. (1min, 5min, 9min)
- APM’s Marketplace story on how small businesses try to create jobs (download).
- Planet Money story on unemployment and labor force participation (download).
- ShowMe: Using unemployment and inflation equations.
- EduCreations: Inflation indexing.
- The link for Canvas questions (associated slides) (link for answers)
ASSIGNMENT 7 ON CHAPTERS 12 & 13 (LS 26 & 27)
Lecture 8: Short-Term Economic Fluctuations (from Frank, physical book Ch 14, similar to LS 27 from McConnell) pages 307-326, Spending, Output, and Fiscal Policy (from Frank, physical book Ch 15, similar to 29 and 31 from McConnell) pages 327-360, and Appendix 361-362 (Video-Lecture on Canvas)
- These chapters (14 and 15) in your physical book are not online, and do not have exactly similar material. However, LearnSmart 29 on the Aggregate Expenditure Model, LearnSmart 31 on Fiscal Policy, Deficits, and Debt, and LearnSmart 34 on Interest Rates and Monetary Policy are related.
- EduCreations: AE Model
- ShowMe: AE Model
- ShowMe: Solving for your multipliers
- Keynesian Cross Diagram from the Wolfram Demonstrations Project by Fiona Maclachlan
- Google Docs: AE Model. (Login to Google to “Save a copy” or Download to Excel)
ASSIGNMENT 8 ON CHAPTERS 14 & 15 (LS 29, 31, & 34)
Lecture 9: Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve (from Frank, physical book Ch 16, similar to LS 34 from McConnell) Pages 363-394, Interest Rates and Monetary Policy (from McConnell, physical book Ch 4, LS 33) Pages 67-96, Aggregate Demand, Aggregate Supply, and Business Cycles (from Frank, physical book Ch 17, similar to LS 29 and LS 31 from McConnell) Pages 395-420 (Video-Lecture on Canvas)
- These chapters (16 and 17) in your physical book are not online, and do not have exactly similar material. However, LearnSmart 37 on Current Issues in Macro Theory and Policy, and LearnSmart 34 on Interest Rates and Monetary Policy are related to the material presented in this lecture. I would warn you to NOT look at the AE model in Chapter 30 of the McConnell book. It is a different model and will lead to issues.
- Google Docs: AE Model. (Login to Google to “Save a copy” or Download to Excel)
- The Federal Reserve
- Review pages 35-38 in textbook Ch 2 (31 in LS): Money, Banking, and Financial Institutions
- Monetary Policy and Economic Fluctuations
- Review pages 65-83 (65-83 is new reading!) in textbook Ch 4 (34 in LS Part I): Interest Rates and Monetary Policy
- The Federal Reserve and Interest Rates
- Review pages 63-65 in textbook Ch 4 (34 in LS Part I): Interest Rates and Monetary Policy
- How the Fed Controls the Nominal Interest Rate
- NPR’s On Point: Ben Bernanke and Today’s Economy. What can the Fed do? Guests include Ken Rogoff.
- NPR’s On Point: Larry Summers discussing the debt ceiling and market volatility. Larry Summers is former Clinton Treasury Secretary and former director of President Obama’s National Economic Council. 7:00 mark discusses Summers’ opinion on how future generations (your generation) may be being cheated.
- NPR’s Fresh Air: Neil Irwin on “The Alchemists” and Central Banking
- Stiglitz Reading from Freefall
AD/AS and Business Cycles
ASSIGNMENT 9 ON CHAPTERS 4, 16 & 17 (LS 29, 31, 33 and 34)
Lecture 10: Ch 18 (LS 37): Macroeconomic Policy (Frank book) Pages 421-442 (Video-Lecture on Canvas)
- This chapter (18) in your physical book are not online, and do not have exactly similar material. However, LearnSmart 37 on Current Issues in Macro Theory and Policy is related to the final two lectures.
Macroeconomic Policy Examples
ShowMe: AD-AS1: What stabilization policy can do when there is a negative demand shock.
ASSIGNMENT 10 ON CHAPTER 18 (LS 37) Embedded Links
The 2008 Meltdown described by PBS Frontline. If you didn’t pay attention back in 2008, you should take the time to watch this movie.
PBS “Inside the Meltdown” Questions related to the Inside the Meltdown documentary.
Watch this video if you want to have a better understanding of the securitization process.
Creative destruction on display in a Hyundai Sonata Hybrid commercial (2011 Super Bowl-Anachronistic City). Schumpeter might have enjoyed this commercial.