Colorado State University Fall 2014 Econ 304-001 Intermediate Macroeconomics

Colorado State University
Fall 2014 Econ 304-001
Intermediate Macroeconomics
Lecture: 146 Gifford, 12.30-1:45pm Tue and Thu.
Course Instructor: Elisa Belfiori
Office: C320A Clark
Office Hours: 3.30-4.30pm Tue and Thu.
E-mail: [email protected] (Do not email to my CSU email account)
Website: RAMCT
E-mail is the best way to contact me; please allow up to 24 hours for e-mail responses
1. Course Description and Learning Objectives
Econ 304 is an intermediate course in macroeconomics in which you will learn how to build
macroeconomic models from microeconomic principles. We will discuss both the Keynesian and the
Real Business Cycle (RBC) frameworks in the course, with an emphasis on the latter since the RBC
model is the workhorse of modern macroeconomics.
The goal of the class is for you to develop competence in using macroeconomic models to explain
the determination of aggregate output, prices, employment and growth. In addition, you will learn to
analyze the impact of monetary and fiscal policy on the economy. An added goal of the course is to
explore real world applications of the macroeconomic models we study in class and to test them
against the data.
2. Prerequisites:
ECON 204 and MATH 141 or MATH 155 or MATH 160 are prerequisites for the course. You
should have completed these classes successfully prior to taking this class.
I will use both graphic and algebraic analysis. I will use calculus (derivatives and maximization
problems) on a limited basis. Since you will be working with data, I will assume that you have a
working knowledge of programs that help you to organize and graph numbers, such as Microsoft
3. Required Textbook:
The book we will be using is Macroeconomics, by Stephen Williamson (5th edition). Williamson’s
Macroeconomics uses a modern approach by showing how to build macroeconomic models from
microeconomic principles. This approach is the way macroeconomic research is conducted today.
4. Class Website and Announcements:
All assignments and handouts will be posted on the class web site in RAMCT. There will also be a
list of current announcements. Therefore, please check the website regularly.
5. Course requirements
5.1 Class participation
Class attendance is not mandatory but is expected and recommended. There will be a Class
Discussion Board in the course website in RamCT. I ask that you do not email me any question
about the material we are covering in the class or about the assignments. I will not respond to these
emails. Instead, please post your question in the Class Discussion Board in RamCT. In that way,
everybody will benefit from your question and everybody will hear my response to it. You can of
course email me if you have questions or concerns not related to the class material.
I reserve the right to assign bonus points on homeworks and/or exams to students who participate and
collaborate in class and online in the Class Discussion Board.
5.2 Short quizzes
There will be 12 multiple-choice quizzes during this course. I will post the quizzes and determine the
due dates in an ongoing basis, depending on the topics covered every week. Quizzes will be due on
Tue/Thu before class, on dates to be determined. You will be allowed to have 2 attempts. Quizzes
will be posted in RamCT and submitted online through RamCT. No late assignments will be
accepted. Only documented special circumstances (i.e. illness) will exempt you from this rule. If you
know in advance that you will not be able to complete a quiz on time, you must contact me about this
before the due date and submit it early.
5.3 Homeworks
There will be 2 homeworks during the course. They will be posted in RamCT. Homeworks are online
and have to be completed through RamCT. Homeworks’ deadlines are included in the syllabus and
no late assignments will be accepted. Only documented special circumstances (i.e. illness) will
exempt you from this rule. If you know in advance that you will not be able to hand in an assignment
on time, you must speak to me before the assignment is due and hand it in early.
Collaboration among students is allowed and encouraged; however, each student submit their own
version of the solution, and everyone who collaborated must be acknowledged at the end of
5.4 Exams
There will be two midterm exams and one final exam. The final exam is cumulative, and covers all
the material in the course. Exam dates are given in the calendar. There will be no makeup
examination for the midterms. In the case of documented special circumstances (a family or medical
emergency), your final exam score will replace the midterm exam. If any of these circumstances
happen to you, make sure you talk to me before the finals week.
5.5 Hours per week
Each week students are expected to:
Attend class
Contact hours per week
Read the assigned textbook chapters and other readings
Review class notes
Complete homework
Study for exams
6. Grading:
The weights for the final score will be as follows:
Quizzes (average of 12): 15%
Homeworks (average of 2): 15%
Midterm Exams (average of 2): 35%
Final Exam: 35%
The grading scale is:
92%-100% A
90%-91% A88%-89% B+
82%-87% B
80%-81% B78%-79% C+
70%-77% C
60%-69% D
0%-59% F
I may apply some grade curving depending on the overall class performance.
6.1 Re-grading
If you disagree with the grading of a problem set or a test, you may submit it for review. You must
have a written argument for why you should be awarded more points. Assignments written in pencil
will not be re-graded for any reason.
7. Tentative Course Schedule:
Week 1 and 2
Chapter (5th Edition)
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7 & 8
Economic Measurement, Business Cycle Measurement
Microeconomic Review
Consumer and Firm Maximization
General Equilibrium
Closed, one-period macroeconomic model
Homework I due on Sep. 18
Economic Growth
The Solow Model
Economic Growth Continued
Growth Convergence
Midterm I on Oct. 2
The Two-period Economy
Microeconomic fundamentals
Week 9
Week 10 & 11 & 12
Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
Week 16
Inter-temporal Choice
Optimal Investment
Credit Market Imperfections
Homework II due on Oct. 23
A real inter-temporal model with investment
Midterm II on Nov. 13
A monetary inter-temporal model
Money, Banking and Inflation
Final Exam: 145 Gifford. Dec 19, 9:40 – 11:40AM
8. Academic Integrity
This course will adhere to the Academic Integrity Policy of the Colorado State University General
Catalog and the Student Conduct Code. You will be asked to sign an Honor Pledge such as: “I will
not give, receive, or use any unauthorized assistance” on course assignments. Please refer to the
9. Disabilities
If you have any diagnosed or suspected physical or learning disabilities which may require
reasonable accommodations, please contact the Resources for Disabled Students (RDS) office as soon as possible.