Syllabus for ECON 2500 Principles of Macroeconomics

Offered at California State University, Stanislaus by Economics Dept., Spring 2011, for 3 units

Class meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 11:00-11:50 in C212.



 Elaine Peterson 

 Office hours:

 M, W, F  10-10:50 am


 101 D Bizzini Hall


 Tues. 6-7 pm, Thurs. 5-5:45 pm

 Office Phone:



 and also by appointment

 Home Phone:

 529-3804 (Please, no calls after 8:00pm) 


 Official Email:



 For longer emails with attachments please use


Course Description:  Macroeconomics: scope, method, economic resources, monetary system, income determination, economic stability-instability, public finance. Satisfies G.E. area D2.


Course Objectives: Introduce students to economics, develop students’ ability to understand economic relationships, and to use models to analyze current economic problems, particularly problems facing the overall economy, regional economies, and public policy decision makers, as well as the ultimate connections to their everyday lives.


Goals for General Education Courses

This course can be used to fulfill area D2 in the lower division General Education program. The following are the goals of that program that courses must address:

  1. Subject Knowledge: To provide an educational experience that will enhance students' understanding of the discipline’s basic principles, methodologies, and perspectives.
  2. Communication: To provide an educational experience that will enhance the ability to communicate.
  3. Inquiry and Critical Thinking: To provide an educational experience that will enhance critical thinking skills and will contribute to continuous inquiry and life-long learning.
  4. Information Retrieval and Evaluation: To provide an educational experience that will enhance the ability to find, understand, examine critically, and use information from various sources.
  5. Interdisciplinary Relationships: To provide an educational experience that will enhance students' understanding of a discipline’s interrelationships with other disciplines.
  6. Global or Multicultural Perspectives: To provide an educational experience that will enhance the ability to look at issues from multiple perspectives and/or that will describe the discipline’s impact on or connection to global issues, AND/OR
  7. Social Responsibility: To provide an educational experience that will help students understand the complexity of ethical judgment and social responsibility and/or that will describe the discipline’s impact on or connection to social and ethical issues.

Text: Campbell R. McConnell, Stanley L. Brue, & Sean Flynn, Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies, 18th ed., McGraw Hill, 2009.  The 17th ed. of the text by Campbell R. McConnell & Stanley L. Brue will also suffice if you prefer to use it.  The 17th ed. is organized differently so some of the chapter numbers are different.  These are listed in parentheses in the schedule below. 

Additional Reading: You should read current newspapers & periodicals for economic news.  The Wall Street Journal and New York Times are good choices.  Think about how the news relates to the principles you are learning.  

Grading: Grading is intended to reflect evidence of student knowledge & understanding. Opportunities to provide such evidence include: class participation and short assignments, short papers, and exams. The weights used in your final grade for these activities are as follows:


Grading Weight

Class participation


Short assignments


2 short papers 10% each         


3  1 hour exams  (13 1/3% each)


2 hour final exam


Pluses and minuses will be included in grades.  This class may be taken for a letter grade or for credit/no credit (CR/NC).  You must earn a C- or higher to receive credit (CR). If you would like to change to the CR/NC option please use an add/drop form.  Business majors should take the course for a letter grade to meet the requirements of their major. 


Class participation:  Regular attendance is expected.  Reading should be done prior to class to enable participation.  Students who must miss a class should contact the instructor in advance or as soon as practical and may have the opportunity to make up work.  Attendance will affect the class participation portion of the grade. WASC accreditation standards indicate that for every hour in class students should be spending 2 to 3 hours studying.  Thus for a class that meets 3 hours per week, such as this one, you should be studying 6 to 9 hours outside of class as well.  Please plan your time accordingly and try to use it efficiently.  For example, if you do not understand something make a note of it and bring it up in class as soon as possible.  Even if you do not have an explicit written assignment to hand in you always have reading to do and think about.  The chapters relating to the material we will be discussing each class are indicated in the schedule below.  When you are in class I would like you to actively try to engage your mind in the class.  This includes thinking about the topic at hand, respectfully listening to your colleagues comments and questions, turning off beepers and cell phones, and offering your thoughtful comments and questions on the topic we are discussing.


Email: Any necessary changes to the schedule below will be announced in class or via email.  Email is a relatively efficient way to distribute information and is part of our current economic environment.   All students should check their email regularly and should join the email discussion list for this class as another way to participate and increase their learning experience.  To join the discussion list you may submit your email address to the professor in writing or by sending an email message with your email address, your name, and the name of the class to the professor at EPETERSON@CSUSTAN.EDU.  If you do not yet have an email account, you are entitled to one as a student at CSU Stanislaus.  To get one go to the OIT office, room 130 in the Library Building. In all email messages please try to remember to indicate your full name, the name of the class, and a subject heading.  Including this basic information helps people know if they want to read your message. There are a lot of junk emails, viruses, and worms going around.   If your message is missing such information it may be deleted without being read.  Also keep in mind that most people are very reluctant to open attachments.  So please try to send your message as a text only message unless there is a very compelling reason you need to use an attachment.  Some email systems are setup with html as their default mode, but if you examine the settings you can usually change to text. 

Blackboard access: You can go to the web page  and use your student id as your login and your pin as your password to get into a set of web pages restricted to students in the class.  Under “course information” are some PowerPoint slide presentations I will use in class. If you decide to access these, I strongly recommend that you DO NOT just hit print.  Some of the PowerPoint slide presentations are quite long.  It would probably be smarter to download them to look them over.  Then if you would like a printed copy consider going into PowerPoint and under print, choose the slides you want based on the page numbers and under “Print what” choose “handouts”, and under “slides per page” choose “6”.  This will kill fewer trees.


Short assignments:  Several short assignments will be announced in class or via email. Some may require you to use a computer.  There are computer labs in the library building on the first floor intended for student use.  The assignments are intended to help you learn and you should feel free to refer to your text or ask questions as you work on them.


Short papers:  You will have the opportunity to write 2 short papers using macroeconomic principles to analyze current events or issues in the news. In each paper briefly summarize facts from a recent (published this semester) newspaper, magazine, journal, or Internet article and then discuss how macroeconomic principles relate to the event or issueNOTE: The summary portion of the paper should be extremely brief, no more than a few sentences.  If you do not see relationships to macroeconomics then the article is not a good choice for this assignment.  Some particularly good sources for articles include the newspaper Wall Street Journal, the magazines The Economist and Challenge, and websites of organizations such as the Federal Reserve Board (  or the New York Times.  The papers should be approximately 1-2 double spaced typed pages.  A copy of the article should be submitted with the paper.  Be careful to use your own words.  Plagiarism will result in a failing grade.  Students are welcome to bring articles to class for discussion or to submit preliminary drafts prior to the due date.  Students may also discuss articles together and give each other helpful comments on their papers.  If you receive substantial help from another student in the class you should cite them in your paper.  In the economics field professional recognition is given for frequent citation.  Similarly if your paper is good they will be given extra credit towards the class participation portion of their grade.   Be sure your paper has basic required elements before you turn it in such as:

Your name

Your Paper Title (note this should not be the same as the title of the article)

Copy of the article published this semester that you are analyzing

Relates to macroeconomics

Includes your analysis from a macroeconomic perspective


Exams: Exams may involve short problems, multiple choice questions, and short essays.  Practice exams are available through the course web page:  You are encouraged to work together in studying, but not during exams.  Cheating will result in a failing grade.  Please note the dates of the exams in the schedule below and avoid scheduling conflicting activities.  In the event of an emergency remember my doctorate is in economics, not medicine.  After receiving appropriate medical treatment, as soon as practical please get in touch with me by phone or email.  When leaving phone messages please remember to leave your full name, class, and phone number.  When leaving phone numbers please speak slowly.


Principles of Macroeconomics Spring 2011 Schedule




18th ed.  (17th ed.)

F Jan. 28

Introduction & Overview, Economics and the Economic Perspective

1            (1)

M Jan. 31

Scarcity, Benefits & Costs, Modeling, Production Possibilities Curve

1, 2       (1,2)

W Feb. 2

Economic Systems, Circular Flow 

2            (2)

F Feb. 4

Demand & Supply

3           (3)

M Feb. 7

Demand & Supply, Market Equilibrium

3           (3)

W Feb. 9

Demand & Supply, Market Equilibrium

3           (3)

F Feb. 11

Demand & Supply, Market Equilibrium                                                            

3           (3)

M Feb. 14

The U.S. Economy a Mixture of Private Markets w/ Government Roles

4           (4)

W Feb. 16

Private Markets & Potential Roles of Government

4           (4)

F Feb. 18

The Roles of Government & Government Finance

4           (4)

M Feb. 21

Comparative Advantage and Trade, The Global Economy        

5           (5)

W Feb. 23

Comparative Advantage and Trade, The Global Economy        

5           (5)

F Feb. 25

Comparative Advantage and Trade, The Global Economy

5           (5)

M Feb. 28

Exam 1 


W Mar. 2

National Income & Product Accounting

24          (6)

F Mar. 4

National Income & Product Accounting;

start Growth, Unemployment, & Inflation                                                                             

24          (6)

25,26     (7 ,16)

M Mar. 7

Growth, Unemployment, & Inflation

25,26    (7 ,16)

W Mar. 9

Growth, Unemployment, & Inflation

25,26    (7 ,16)

F Mar. 11

Aggregate Consumption, Savings, Investment, & a Multiplier Effect,

Short Paper 1 due

 27          (8)

M Mar. 14

Keynesian/Aggregate Expenditure Model & Multiplier

 28         (9)

W Mar.16

Keynesian/Aggregate Expenditure Model & Multiplier

 28         (9)

F Mar. 18

Keynesian/Aggregate Expenditure Model & Multiplier

 28         (9)


March 21-25 Spring Break


M Mar. 28

Aggregate Demand & Supply

 28         (9)

W Mar. 30

Aggregate Demand & Supply

 29         (10)

F April 1

Aggregate Demand & Supply

 29         (10)

M April 4

Fiscal Policy, Deficits & Debt

 29         (10)

W April 6

Fiscal Policy, Deficits & Debt

 30         (11)

F April 8

Exam 2

 30         (11)

M April 11

Money, Banking, & the Federal Reserve          

 31         (12)

W April 13

Inside the Fed


F April 15

Please watch online lecture by Yasheng Huang and make an outline of key points for Monday, “Global and Domestic Imbalances: Why Rural China is the Key”, June 6, 2009, , MIT World, MIT Sloan School of Management      

M April 18

Money, Banking, & the Federal Reserve          

 31         (12)

W April 20

The Creation and Destruction of Money & the Money Multiplier

 32         (13)

F April 22

Fighting Inflation & The Fed & Monetary Policy

 33         (14)

M April 25

The Fed & Monetary Policy (continued)

 33         (14)

W April 27

The Fed Today


F April 29

Monetary Authorities & Policy Today


M May 2

Monetary Authorities & Policy Today


W May 4

Exam 3


F May 6

Building on AS Theory 

35          (15)

M May 9

Building on AS Theory  Short Paper 2 due

35          (15)

W May 11

Building on AS Theory 

35          (15)

F May 13

Macroeconomic Disputes/Debates:     

Classical, Keynes, Monetarism, Rational Expectations Theory, Real Business Cycle Theory, Neo-Classical, Neo-Keynesian, & Gem Collecting


36          (17) 

M May 16

W May 18

F May 20

FINAL EXAM 11:15 am – 1:15 pm in room where class is regularly held (Comprehensive)