Syllabus

Description

This course will provide an overview of macroeconomic issues: the determination of output, employment, unemployment, interest rates, and inflation. Monetary and fiscal policies are discussed, as are the public debt and international economic issues. It introduces basic models of macroeconomics and illustrates principles with the experience of the United States and other economies.

Two Alternative Formats

The course has two alternative formats. Both formats will cover the same topics, use the same textbook, and have the same required assignments, including quizzes and problem sets. As we receive more information on class enrollment, there may be changes in the number of sections and recitations.

  • Lecture-Recitation: You attend one-hour lectures on Mondays and Wednesdays, given by the course instructor. You also attend a one-hour recitation on Fridays, run by a TA. During Friday recitations-- which are not optional-- instructors will go over weekly problem sets, review materials from the lectures and, at times, introduce new materials.
  • All-Section: You attend one-hour sections on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, run by a TA.

TAs will be assigned to sections and recitations before the first day of classes. As we receive more information on class enrollment, we may need to make changes in recitations or sections. (If any one section is too large, we may ask students to move to different times.)

Choosing An Option

During the first two weeks of the semester, you may switch from Lecture to All-Section format, and from one recitation or section to another. On the due date for Problem Set #1, you will submit your completed assignment indicating the recitation or section of your choice. Your submission will automatically register you in the chosen section or recitation. Thereafter, you can change recitations or sections only with faculty approval. In special cases where section or recitation enrollments are extremely unbalanced, we reserve the right to reassign students.

Readings

The text for the course is the third edition of Macroeconomics, by Olivier Blanchard. It will be available at the Coop, and two copies of the textbook will be on reserve at Dewey Library.

Finally, it is also suggested that students get into the habit of browsing the daily newspaper The Wall Street Journal or The Financial Times, or the weekly magazine The Economist at least a couple of times a month; all offer good (and well-written) coverage of economic events, and will provide some context for the course.

Requirements

The course is based on three mid-term quizzes, and 8 weekly problem sets. The best 6 out of the 8 problem sets will count towards the final grade. This implies that you may miss only two problem sets for illness or some other very legitimate reason. Submitting all 8 problem sets is strongly encouraged and will increase your probability of getting a higher grade for the course.

Each of the quizzes is worth 25% of the final grade, the problem sets account for the remaining 25%.

Problem Sets and Quizzes

All problem sets must indicate clearly your full name and your section/recitation on the front page. Each problem set will be posted with its own front page. It is required of the students to staple the corresponding front page on each problem set they turn in. You are required to turn in a hard copy of your solutions. You may discuss ideas of how to answer questions with your friends, but you must write up answers on your own. Simply copying other person's work is considered cheating, and will be penalized accordingly.

Course Policy

MIT's academic honesty policy can be found at the following link: http://web.mit.edu/policies/10.0.html