Welcome to the homepage for ECON200, 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 11:45am-2:15pm and Wednesday 11:45-2:15pm. Office hours are occasionally rescheduled due to conflicts. Please try to make an appointment before coming by.
Please register for FlatWorld using your JMU email address. If you need help, check out this document, and if you have any trouble, check out the chat bubble in the lower right hand corner of the site. They are relatively quick to respond to any issues.
Note on textbooks: This semester we are using two main textbooks. First, we are using a customized online textbook by Taylor and Weerapana available through FlatWorld for $29.95. At the FlatWorld site, you can enter codes you purchase from the bookstore, as well as choose if you want additional versions of the textbook (downloads or paper). We are also using the CORE Team Econ textbook. This is free, but you have to register. There is also a paper version of this book available for $49.95. Links to relevant sections are provided throughout. While it might be confusing, I am doing this in an effort to minimize costs to you.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
- When is my midterm/Canvas Quiz/FlatWorld assignment due?
- Look at the Canvas calendar. All dates are posted there.
- 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 a schedule.
- Where is the final exam?
- In our regular classroom.
- Where do I find PowerPoint slides?
- Here. They are also on Canvas in the "Files-PowerPoint" folder.
- When are office hours?
- Look in the syllabus, or move your gaze up a couple of inches.
- 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!
- A list of available tutors can be found at the bottom of this page
Material for each Canvas Quiz is listed in order below. Required and suggested readings are listed below.
Lecture 0 (PPT): Math - Video Lecture
First Day Reading
- Levitt and Dubner’s Unintended Consequences
- Frank’s Economic Naturalist.
- Taylor & Weerapana (TW) Chapter 2
- Taylor & Weerapana Chapter 2: Appendix A, B & C
- A math cheat sheet. Start with the first side
Lecture 0 includes some algebra, a little geometry, and some useful equations you will need to know and understand to succeed in this course.
I will not go over this in class unless you have any questions. (Video-lectures: Stream in Canvas using your JMU login)
Lecture 1 (PPT): The Central Idea
- Taylor & Weerapana (TW) Chapter 1
- CORE Unit 1.8-1.9, Unit 2.2 & Unit 3.0-3.1
- Planet Money podcast: We started at minute 7:00, but you should listen to entire podcast for context.
Interesting Links on Trade, Gifts, and Production
- Link for podcast to Planet Money’s “Making Christmas More Joyful, and More Efficient” (download) discusses gift giving and how trade can create value out of nothing.
- Link for videos and site on “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt” which walks through the global supply chain of clothing, and helps put a human face on international trade.
- Freakonomics’ Stephen Dubner’s podcast on gift giving. 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). The full site is available at http://economicprinciples.org. Ray Dalio is one of the 100 richest people in the world as of 2018. He has helped put together an eBook and video on the importance of credit in the economy.
Lecture 2: Macroeconomics: The Big Picture
- TW Chapter 3 - update to definition of potential GDP
- CORE Unit 1 with particular focus on:
- CORE Units 1.9 & 1.10
- CORE Unit 13.8 (up to GDP deflator)
Example of Compound Growth Equations (i.e., the Present Value Formula)
Interesting Links on Big Picture Macro
- Unemployment Rates (FRED)
- Inflation Rates (FRED)
- Income Inequality by Visualizing Economics
- Deficits and Government Spending
Lecture 3: Money, Banking & The Fed
HELP on Banks and Lending
- Create: Deposits, withdrawals, and capital Note: 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
- PDF Doc: Balance Sheet Practice Sheet
Interesting Links on Money
- Invention of money. NPR “This American Life”
- Giant stone disk money. NPR “Planet Money” about the island of Yap’s unique money. (download)
Interesting Articles on The Financial Crisis of 2008
Lehman Day - 10th Anniversary!!!
- Inside the Meltdown is a great video summarizing what happened in 2007-2009. See some example questions here
- WSJ on the 10 years since the crisis
- Lehman changes everything… or nothing? is an opinion article about the changes to Wall Street.
- Marketplace podcast on the Lehman Bankruptcy
Midterm 1 up through here
- Google Doc: Some math practice
Lecture 4: Firms, Financing & Corporate Governance
HELP on Bonds & Present Value
- Excel Spreadsheet: 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)
Interesting Links on Bonds & Present Value
- Stock market ‘game’. Password is “F18ECON200”
- 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
Note: I separated what was “Lecture 5” into two distinct parts.
- The first part (Lecture 5a (update)) is focused on GDP estimation, deflators, and different types of GDP measurement
- The second part (Lecture 5b (update)) is now just focused on CPI and real v. nominal adjustments
- There is no separate FlatWorld for the Lecture 5b material
- CQ6 is now just on Lecture 5b
Lecture 5a (update): GDP (Nominal and Real), Savings & Inflation (Measuring the Production, Income, and Spending of Nations)
- TW Chapter 5 - update to definition of potential and index values
- CORE 13.8
Lecture 5b (update): CPI Inflation & Real Wages
HELP on GDP, Savings & Inflation
- 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)
- Educreations: Inflation indexing.
- Table of data from class
- Nominal v. Real practice from class
- The link for Canvas questions (associated slides) (link for answers)
Interesting Links on GDP, Savings & Inflation
- 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? How does their prediction look?
- 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.
Lecture 6: Supply & Demand
Lecture 7: Market Failure, the Role of Government, & a Digression on International Trade
- TW Chapter 13 (Public Goods, Externalities and the Role of Government)
- TW Chapter 20.0-20.1 & 20.4-20.6 (International Trade)
- CORE 8.8-8.10
HELP on Supply & Demand (Regulations)
- Educreations: Price Floors and Ceilings (Must be logged in as a JMU student)
Interesting Links on Market Failure and the Role of Government
- Keep your government hands off my Medicare!
- Public Goods Experiment.
- Medicaid and Medicare “Dual Eligibles” study.
Midterm 2 up through here
Lecture 8: Capital & Labor Markets
HELP on Capital & Labor Markets and Unemployment
Links on Capital & Labor Markets and Unemployment
- 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).
Lecture 9: Potential GDP & Economic Growth
- TW Chapters 10 & 11
HELP on Economic Growth
Lecture 10: Spending Allocation Model
- TW Chapter 14
- CORE 13.0-13.4
Lecture 11: Economic Fluctuations & Economic Fluctuations Model
- TW Chapters 15 & 16
HELP on Economic Fluctuations Model
- 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 without “r”. (Login to Google to “Save a copy” or Download to Excel)
- Google Docs: AE Model with “r”. (Login to Google to “Save a copy” or Download to Excel)
Lecture 12: Fiscal & Monetary Policy
- TW Chapters 17, 18 & 19
HELP on Fiscal & Monetary Policy
- ShowMe: AD-AS1: What stabilization policy can do when there is a negative demand shock.
Links on Monetary Policy
- 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
Lecture X: Taxes, Transfers & Income Distribution (Material has been bumped)
- TW Chapter 12 (Taxes, Transfers & Income Distribution)
HELP with Tax Rates & Tables
- 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.
Interesting Links on Taxes and Inequality
- Income tax rates by group, who files, and the overall tax code
- Marginal tax rates and income inequality.
- Death and taxes poster.
- Payroll taxes are very real.
- 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”.