Economics 104-002 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Macroeconomic Principles Phone: 314-973-7243
Instructor: Garett Jones
Office Hours: Tuesday, 1:30-3:30 pm, Carow Hall 8A, and by appointment.
Welcome to the course! This semester we’ll use the economic way of thinking to understand why some countries are richer than others, why we are so much richer than our ancestors, and why market economies have boom-bust cycles. Throughout the course, we’ll use historical facts to see how chalkboard theories help to explain the world around us.
Required Textbooks, available in the University Bookstore:
Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen, Modern Principles: Macroeconomics, 2nd edition., Worth Publishers, 2012.
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, any edition.
Tabarrok and Cowen will be the main textbook for the course, and we’ll largely work through the ideas in their book chapter by chapter. We’ll read about the first third of Rand’s book throughout the semester (up to page 398 of the paperback), with questions regarding the text’s economic ideas on every exam including the final.
I have assigned some additional required readings; I will always include links or PDFs via Blackboard. Most are included below on the course outline, but Blackboard will contain the final record of additional readings.
Also, from time to time I will draw on items from the Modern Principles blog, well worth a look:
T/C Chapters 6-8: Economic Anatomy and Economic Growth.
Rand, Part 1, Chapters 1-5
Jeff Sachs on “big bang” theories of economic development:
William Easterly on Jeff Sachs (and Bono):
William Lewis, “The Power of Productivity,” The McKinsey Quarterly, 2004.
T/C Chapter 9: Savings and Investment (Read “Price Ceilings” portion of Chapter 5)
T/C Chapter 10: The Stock Market and Personal Investing
T/C Chapter 11: Unemployment and Job Search (Read “Price Floors” portion of Chapter 5)
Rand, Part 1, Chapters 6-8
Paul Krugman, Peddling Prosperity, Preface and Introduction.
Exam 2: Tuesday, March 20 (tentative)
T/C Chapter 12: Inflation and the Quantity Theory of Money
T/C Chapters 13-14: Business Fluctuation Basics
Rand, Part 1, Chapters 9-10
Paul Krugman, Peddling Prosperity, Chapter 1.
Milton and Rose Friedman, Free to Choose, Chapter 3, “Anatomy of a Crisis.”
Exam 3: Thursday, April 12 (tentative)
T/C Chapter 15: The Federal Reserve
T/C Chapter 16: Monetary Policy and the Financial Crisis.
T/C Chapter 17: (Spending half only); Chapter 18 time permitting.
Rand, Part 2, Chapters 1-2.
Paul Krugman, “Babysitting the Economy,” Slate.com
Scott Sumner, “Re-Targeting the Fed,” NationalAffairs.com
Luigi Zingales, “Why Paulson is Wrong,” Voxeu.org
Robert Lucas, “The U.S. Recession of 2007-201?” Slides: http://www.econ.washington.edu/news/millimansl.pdf
Final Exam: Thursday, May 10, 10:30-1:15. Please plan accordingly.
I reserve the right to slightly alter the syllabus (deleting or shifting a chapter, for instance), as well as to require a few short (<5 pages) additional readings over the course of the semester.
Please keep in mind that George Mason is an Honor Code University. All forms of academic dishonesty are forbidden in this course. I encourage you to form study groups, but all exams must reflect your own work.
As the outline indicates, you will have three midterms and a final exam. I will drop the lowest midterm score: This will take the place of makeup exams.
Exams: 30% each (lowest score dropped)
I will always announce exam dates at least two weeks in advance, and I will also provide sample questions at least one week in advance. The final will be largely but not fully comprehensive: I will list the omitted chapters and readings well before the final exam. Testing in Rand and non-textbook readings will not be comprehensive. No extra credit will be offered aside from the occasional extra credit question on an examination.
I encourage you to come to my office hours and to contact me via e-mail. University policy is that I should only correspond to students through their GMU email accounts, so please contact me through your gmu.edu email. I particularly hope that we’ll be able to use Blackboard successfully in this course: I will store practice questions and old exams there.
Students with Disabilities
I am happy to make all necessary accommodations for students with disabilities. University policy states that students who would like to request such accommodations should first contact the Office of Disability Services (993-2474, Sub 1, Room 2500).
Again: Final Exam: Thursday, May 10, 10:30-1:15. Please plan accordingly.