(Pictures taken July 2007 in Paanajarvi, Karelian Oblast, Russia)
Principles of Macroeconomics
What is macroeconomics?
Macroeconomics is an approach in economics which looks at the economy as a whole, rather than the behavior of the individual actors in the economy ( - this is microeconomics). Macroeconomics therefore studies the performance of the entire economy (whether national or global), in terms of measurements such as the rate of growth of the economy, how fast prices are increasing and the number of people who are out of work.
The objective of the course is for students to acquire an understanding of some of the basic notions and concepts used in macroeconomics. This not only involves understanding basic macroeconomic theory and appreciating how this theory can be applied to real-world problems, but also what the main macroeconomic aggregates (measures) are and how changes in these aggregates are interpreted and acted upon by policymakers in government.
Why pursue these objectives? Such concepts are critical for analyzing how the economy behaves at an aggregate level: concepts such as inflation, growth, unemployment, trade, banking, money and capital flows. Mastery of these concepts will help you to hone academic, intellectual, and professional skills.
As the course progresses, a good indication of your mastery of these concepts is that you can use them to explain, in clear and non-technical language, why the economy (or several economies) is behaving in a certain way at a given point of time. For example, why is the US growing so fast at the moment? What are the effects, and what might be the effects in the future of the US having a smaller trade deficit, or running such a large budget deficit?
This website and the associated course folders, which we will build during the semester, serve three purposes. First, this website includes the material found in a standard syllabus: requirements, readings and texts, and the schedule. (You will also receive printed copies of these on the first day of class). Second, the website also includes the course assignments as well as handouts about current topics that we are studying, hints on homework assignments, and other goodies. Third, the course folders enable you to link to researched web sites, which can provide you with more specific information on various topics.
Throughout the semester, feel free to contact me at the coordinates listed on the 'professor' page. Good luck in this course.
Professor Patrick Crowley