Principles of MacroeconomicsEconomics 201, section 3A

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Principles of Macroeconomics

Economics 201, section 3A


Fall 2012













Instructor:

Dr. Alka Gandhi

MW 11
-
12:15














Office:

Bisdorf 0252

Bisdorf 0275














Office
phone:

933
-
3982















Email:

agandhi@nvcc.edu
















Office

hours:

By

appt.

and

Mon.
-
Thurs.

8:45
-
9:15am


Mon.
-
Tues.

1
-
2:30pm


Textbook and other materials:

• N. Gregory Mankiw,
Principles of Macroe
conomics,

6
th

edition, Thomson South
-
western,
2012.

• Additionally, you
can access the Blackboard through the NOVA website (
www.nvcc.edu
).
Blackboard contains this syllabus with several important links to practice worksheets and sample
exams as well as any announcements and changes to our c
ourse schedule.

Course objective:

Perhaps contrary to what you think, economics is the study of making optimal choices in a world
of scarce resources. There are two main branches of economics: microeconomics and
macroeconomics. “Micro” deals with decisions

on an individual
-

and firm
-
level; whereas,
“macro” deals with decisions on a national
-

and international
-
level. This course is an
introduction to the latter. In addition to basic economic models, such as supply and demand, you
will be learning about diffe
rent measures of the United States economy and models of how it
works. The aim of this course is to provide you with the tools to understand and examine major
topics in macroeconomics. Economics can even help you to make decisions that affect your
everyday

life
-

professionally and personally.

Grading:

1.

Homework

-

There

will

be

three

homework

assignments

that

are

due

at

the

beginning

of

the

following

class

periods:


Wednesday, September 12


homework 1 due



Wednesday, October 24


homework 2 due



MONDAY, December 3


homework 3 due

NO MAKE
-
UP HOMEWORK WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Each homework assignment is worth
5% of your final grade. Hence, your homework grade will be 15% of your final grade. The only
exceptions may be granted strictly to those enrolling l
ate and will be made only for the first
homework assignment. Each homework assignment may seem like a small part of your grade but
when added together, they make up a significant part of your grade. Don’t fail to submit these.

2.

Quizzes

-

There

will

be

seven

ONLINE

quizzes

that

are

due

by

midnight

on

the

following

days.

Note

that

these

are

all

SUNDAYS,

not

class

days.


Sunday, Sept. 9


quiz 1 due by midnight



Sunday, Sept. 16


quiz 2 due by midnight



Sunday, Oct. 14


quiz 3 due by m
idnight



Sunday, Oct. 21


quiz 4 due by midnight



Sunday, Oct. 28


quiz 5 due by midnight



Sunday, Nov. 18


quiz 6 due by midnight



Sunday, Dec. 2


quiz 7 due by midnight

NO MAKE
-
UP QUIZZES WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Each quiz is worth 2% of your final
grade. Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped; hence, your quiz grade will be 12% of your final
grade. The only exceptions are limited strictly to special circumstances involving the technical
failure of Blackboard. This

does
not

include poor internet connections or other personal
technical difficulties. You should do your quiz early enough that if some problem does arise, we
can resolve it before the quiz due date passes. Otherwise, if you miss the deadline for one of
th
ese assignments, it will simply be the one dropped from your grade. I recommend that you
complete all assignments that you can as you never know when something may prevent you,
surprisingly, from submitting a quiz.

3.
Writing assignment



There will be two

writing assignments that will allow you to apply
the concepts you are learning to the world at large.

Although there are two writing
assignments, they are related to one another. You also have the option to work with a partner on
this assignment but be fo
rewarned that you will both get the same grade, NO EXCEPTIONS.
Additionally, you are both responsible for knowing the information you are submitting in your
joint work. This means that you can only divide the work between you up to a certain point. You
wil
l need to work together to create the final paper.

For the first part of the assignment, you must choose a country and explain its economic
condition over the last 5 years (give or take a year, depending upon the specific condition of your
country). This i
ncludes explaining its employment situation, its inflation, its economic growth
(or lack thereof) and any major macroeconomic events that occurred during, before or in the near
future of the period that may impact why the country is where it is now. This p
aper is due in
class (not via email) on Wednesday, October 3 and should be no less than 3 pages and no more
than 5 pages. In addition, include citations within the paper indicating from where you took your
information as well as a bibliography with the ent
ire citations of all sources used.

For the second part of the paper, you must choose a country and explain all major fiscal and
monetary policies that the country has instituted over this same time period. In addition to simply
explaining the policies, you

should incorporate the rationale for the policies (which connects to
your previous paper!) and their outcome (or whatever can be ascertained as of the time of your
writing). You will then add this paper to your first one (which should be re
-
written to add
ress my
comments on that paper) to make one complete and coherent paper about this country. This will
require some work. You should not simply staple the two together because it will not “flow” as
one paper unless you consciously make it. Lastly, you shoul
d add a conclusion that ties the entire
paper together as one macroeconomic report about this country. The final paper is due on
Monday, December 10 and should be no less than 6 pages and no more than 10 pages. In
addition, include citations within the pap
er indicating from where you took your information as
well as a bibliography with the entire citations of all sources used.

The deadlines are as follows:

Wednesday,

September

12
: Choice of country (and partner, if relevant) is due (can be hand
written)

Wednesday,

October

3
:

Paper

about



economic

condition

of

country

over

previous

5

years’

is

due

Monday,

December

10
:

Final

paper

(including

revised

“economic

condition”

paper

and

policy

paper

with

conclusion”)

is

due

Typing guidelines:

This assignment

must be typed and all typed papers for this class must be in 12
-
point Times New
Roman font, double
-
spaced and have 1
-
inch margins.
No papers submitted via email will be
accepted without my prior permission. This is a formal writing assignment which means t
hat you
should avoid using first
-
person, second
-
person and contractions. State your thesis clearly and
keep your points relevant to the topic and in a logical sequence. Do not use slang or informal
phrases. Do not end sentences with prepositions. Do not ha
ve incomplete sentences. Take extra
time to proofread your paper and avoid common pitfalls such as confusing “ affect” and “effect”
or “there” and “their.” You are welcome to ask me if you are uncertain about the formality of
some of the language that you
want to use.
I strongly encouraged you to utilize the Academic
Center for Reading and Writing
. S
top by AA 229 or call 703
-
845
-
6363 to make an
appointment or just find out what they can do for you.

The on
-
time submission of your country choice is worth 1%,
the first paper is worth 6% of your
grade and the final paper is worth 11%. Be sure to utilize the feedback from the first paper to
improve your final paper.

4.

Exams

-

There

will

be

two

semester

exams

given

during

class

and

one

final

exam

during

finals

we
ek.

On

the

Blackboard

course

webpage,

you

can

access

sample

exams

under

“Course

Documents”

through

the

link

entitled

“sample

exams.”

Keep

in

mind

that

some

questions

on

the

sample

exams

may

not

be

valid

if

we

get

behind

in

our

schedule

of

topics.

When

in

d
oubt

about

the

material

for

each

exam,

ask

me.

The

exam

dates

are:


Wednesday,

September

26



exam

1


Wednesday, November 7


exam 2

NO LATE MAKE
-
UP EXAMS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Each of the semester exams is worth
15% of your final grade. The final exam is
worth 25% of your final grade. If you miss either
semester exam, you will not be allowed to make it up. The weight of the missed exam will be
added to the weight of your final exam; e.g. if you miss exam 1 or 2, your final exam would be
worth 40% of your f
inal grade. If you miss both exams, your final exam will be worth 55% of
your grade. If you know you will be missing an exam for a college
-
sanctioned reason, I may be
able to schedule an early exam for you but no student will be allowed to take an exam lat
e. I do
not recommend missing the exams.


T
he final exam will be on Monday, December 17 from 11am
-
1:45pm in our classroom.

If
all semester exams are taken, t
he final exam will be 25% of your grade (see policy for
dropped/missed exams). Because macroeconomics is a subject which builds upon itself, the final
will be comprehensive.
If you miss your final exam and we are able to schedule a new one
for you (no guar
antee on that), it may not be in the same format as the one that the rest of
the class took at the correct time. The format can vary from a set of short
-
answer questions
only to an oral final exam. Any of the material from the entire course may appear on t
his
version of the final. You would be well advised not to miss your scheduled final exam.

Please check your exam schedule NOW. If you have college
-
sanctioned conflicts with our
scheduled final exam time or you have three exams on the same day, we might be

able to arrange
for you to take it early. You must let me know by November 19
th

if you need to take an early
final exam.

In an effort to maintain morale, all grades will be computed as mentioned above and, also, computed
as if the final were weighted 40%
and the lowest exam score did not exist. Whichever score is higher
(each exam = 15%, final = 25% OR lower semester exam = 0%, other exam = 15%, final = 40%) will
be your grade. In this way, you will have a chance to recoup your losses from a bad performanc
e on
an exam by doing well on the final. Note: those who miss a semester exam do not have this option.
Their grade will be computed by the latter method only.

Be on time for the exams and bring your calculator. You will have the full class period to take
e
ach semester exam and are allowed to use any calculator except one that is connected to a
communication/internet device.

In summary:



Homework = 15% (5% each)



Quizzes = 12% (2% each, lowest quiz dropped)



Writing assignments = 18% (1% for country choice, 6% for paper 1; 11% for final
paper)

Semester exams = 30% (15% each)



Comprehensive final exam = 25%

After all grades have been submitted, I will weight them according to the percentages listed
above. I d
o, however, curve the grades in the following manner: once I have the final numeric
grades, I compute the average. The average grade will be the benchmark for a C. I, then, take the
difference between the class mean and the standard C (75%) and that number

of percentage
points becomes the curve. I do use some discretion is determining the mean based on the group
performance so this is not the exact method used for an unusually low or high mean. For
instance, I will never curve grades down. If the class aver
age is 80% or higher, I would not lower
all grades by 5 percentage points. In this event, I would revert to the standard grade distribution
(e.g. 90s = A, 80s = B, etc.). Although there is a curve, you do not want to “count” on it to get
the grade you desi
re because it is possible that your class will do so well, you will not need a
curve!

Classroom and general etiquette:

Grades are not negotiable.

After final grades have been submitted, they will not be changed for
any reason other than a mistake in grading having been made.
Any questions about grades for
particular assignments, other than the final exam, must be presented prior to the last day of c
lass.

No assignment or exam grades (other than the final exam and final paper) will be reviewed after
the last day of class. All grades (except for the final exam and final paper) will have been posted
before the last day of class on Blackboard; you are re
sponsible for making sure that my recorded
grades on Blackboard match the ones you received. Making requests for special favors such as
bonus points, extra work after the course has ended or any similar request is unethical and unfair,
at best, and cheatin
g, at worst. Do not ask me for these special favors.

During

class,

I

encourage

you

to

ask

questions

or

make

comments.

Please

give

me

feedback

about

how

you

think

that

the

course

is

going

and

voice

your

concerns

(e.g.

I

am

going

too

quickly;

my

whiteboard

w
riting

is

illegible;

etc.).

Constructive

criticism

will

not

be

held

against

you

and

can

only

help

your

chances

of

doing

well

in

this

class.

You

are

permitted

to

use

standard

calculators

for

all

of

the

exams
;

no

mobile

phones,

iPods,

iPads

or

any

other

communication/internet

devices

with

calculator

capabilities

are

permitted

as

calculator

substitutes.

If

you

are

unsure

about

whether

you

may

use

a

certain

calculator,

please

feel

free

to

ask

me.

Turn off all mobile phones

for the duration of all classes an
d exams unless receiving special
permission from me. Disruptive students will be asked to leave class.

You are permitted to use technology

when taking notes provided that you are not disruptive to
any members of the class. If your use of technology becomes

disruptive
at all
, you will be asked
to discontinue its use. If this disruptive behavior reoccurs, you will be asked to leave class and
the matter will be referred to the Dean.

If you miss this class,

you will incur the costs and/or benefits of your
decisions
.

Do not ask me to
give you class notes, if you may submit homework late, or if you may take exams late.
Additionally, this means that you are responsible for getting any announcements or handouts
from the class that you have missed. You should al
so be aware that if you miss class repeatedly
in the first few weeks, you will be automatically unenrolled as I will assume that you are no
longer taking the class.

If you email me,

please include your name and in which class of mine you are a student in
e
very

email. I have many students and having this information will provide me with the correct frame
of reference for your questions. You should also consult the syllabus first where you may find
your question has already been answered. Additionally, you sh
ould always use complete words
and sentences in your email so that I may be able to help you with exactly what you need. I aim
to reply to emails within 24 hours during the week. If you have not heard from me within this 24
hour window (note: on weekends,
my replies usually will take longer), please feel free to email
me again as I may not have received your original email. It is very important that you always
include any previous emails when you reply to mine.

NOVA holds high standards for student conduct.

These expectations can be found beginning on
page 66 of the online version of the student handbook
(
http://www.nvcc.edu/resources/stuhandbook/
). On page 73, you will find what constitutes
academic

dishonesty. I expect all students to abide by this code of conduct. You are adults
spending your money to take a college class, please don’t waste my or your time with this
nonsense. Please let me know if you have any questions about this.

If you have two

other finals on the same day as our final,

you must inform me by November 19
th

that you need an alternate date to take the final exam. Otherwise, I will be unable to make such
accommodations for you.

Disability

Support

Services

ensures

students

with

disabilities

(physical

or

mental

conditions

that

substantially

limit

one

or

more

major

life

activities)

have

equal

access

to

the

College’s

academic

programs,

services

and

activities

through

the

provision

of

reasonable

accommodations

a
s

outlined

in

Section

504

of

the

Rehabilitation

Act

and

the

Americans

with

Disabilities

Act.

If

you

have

a

disability,

find

out

what

services

are

available

to

you

at

http://www.nvcc.
edu/current
-
students/disability
-
services/

or

call

703
-
845
-
6301.

You

can

also

read

the

student

handbook

(page

16

in

the

online

version)

at

http://www.nvcc.edu/resources/stuhandbook/
.

Once

you

have

q
ualified

for

these

disabilities

services,

please

let

me

know

what

I

can

do

to

help

you.

Topic schedule:


E
xam, quiz and homework due dates are pre
-
set and will not change; be sure not to miss them.
Any changes to these dates will be to extend them (never shortened) and will be specified below
on the Blackboard version of this syllabus as well as announced in c
lass. The
class topic dates
are tentative
, depending upon how quickly we go through the material. Feel free to ask if you are
not sure what readings you should be doing for any certain class period. The posted PowerPoint
slides are not always complete. Tha
t is, on many slides you will find blanks (either words or
numbers) that we will fill in during class. These slides are meant to be tools to help you
following along in class, not substitutes for class. In several cases, I may not use the slides to
cover t
he material but you are welcome to use them as a study aid. Additionally, on Blackboard,
I will be posting sample exams and practice worksheets. These worksheets are only for practice.
I do not intend to go over them specifically in class but I am always h
appy to go over specific
questions if you ask me in class or office hours.

Note: This topic schedule is meant as a rough outline; changes to this schedule will be posted
below in
purple

on Blackboard and announced in class. Hence, you should consult the sy
llabus
online periodically for any such changes.

I. The basics…

Aug. 22
-
27: Getting started (Mankiw ch. 1 & 2)

Aug. 27
-
Sept. 5: Production Possibilities Frontier (Mankiw ch. 3)

Sept. 5
-
19: Supply and demand (Mankiw ch. 4, pp. 112
-
120 and pp. 136
-
144);

International trade (chapter 9)


time
permitting

Quiz 1 due by midnight on Sunday,
September 9



Homework 1 and paper topic due in class
on Wednesday, September 12

Quiz 2 due by midnight on Sunday,
September 16





Sept. 24: Review

Sept. 26:
Exam 1



bring a calculator (no cell phones, iPods, iPads, etc.) and be on
time!

II. The data of macroeconomics

Oct. 1
-
8: Gross Domestic Product (Mankiw ch.10,
12);

Oct. 8
-
29: The cost of living, money, inflation and
the financial system (Mankiw ch.11, 16, 17, &

13);

Paper #1 due in class on
Wednesday, October 3

Quiz 3 due by midnight on Sunday,
October 14

Quiz 4 due by midnight on Sunday,
October 21

Homework 2 due in class on
Wednesday, October 24

Oct. 29
-
31: Unemployment (Mankiw ch.15)


Quiz 5 due by midnight o
n Sunday,
October 28

Nov. 5: Review

Nov.7:
Exam 2



bring a calculator (no cell phones, iPods, iPads, etc.) and be on
time!

III. Short
-
run economic fluctuations

Nov. 12
-
26: Aggregate demand & aggregate supply (Mankiw ch. 20)

Nov. 26
-
Dec. 3: Effects of
policy (Mankiw ch. 21)

Quiz 6 due by midnight on Sunday,
November 18

Dec. 3
-
5: Trade
-
off between inflation and unemployment (Mankiw ch. 22)

Quiz 7 due by midnight on Sunday,
December 2

Homework 3 due in class on
Monday, December 3

Final paper due in class
on Monday,
December 10

IV. International trade:

Dec. 10
(TIME PERMITTING): Open
-
economy
macroeconomics (Mankiw ch. 18, 19)





Comprehensive Final Exam

on Monday, December 17 from
11am
-
1:45pm in our classroom.

Be on time!!
If you miss your final
exam and
we are able to schedule a new one for you (no guarantee on that), it may not be
in the same format as the one that the rest of the class took at the correct time. The format
can vary from a set of short
-
answer questions only to an oral final exam; it will
be my
choice. Any of the material from the entire course may appear on this version of the final.
You would be well advised not to miss your scheduled final exam.

Please check your exam
schedule NOW. If you have college
-
sanctioned conflicts with our schedu
led final exam time or
you have three exams on the same day, we might be able to arrange for you to take it early. You
must let me know by November 19
th

if you need to take an early final exam.

Lastly, please utilize the resources for which you are paying!

The
Academic Center for
Excellence

(ACE) and the
Academic Center for Reading and Writing

(ACRW) provide
free

peer tutoring and reading and writing assistance. ACE and ACRW are located in AA229. For
more information or to schedule an appointment, stop by (AA229), call them (703.845.6363), or
visit them online:

http://www.nvcc.edu/campuses
-
and
-
centers/alexandria/campus
-
resources/academic
-
support/index.
html
.

The lectures I deliver in this class and the course materials I create and distribute are protected
by federal copyright law as my original works. My lectures are delivered from written lectures in
order to ensure copyright protection. You are permit
ted to take notes of my lectures and use
course materials for your use in this course. You may not record, reproduce, or distribute my
lectures/notes for any commercial purpose without my written consent. Persons who sell or
distribute copies or modified c
opies of my course materials, possess commercial copies of my
notes, or assist another person or entity in selling or distributing those materials may be
considered in violation of NVCC policy.