Econ 203-001 Principles of Macroeconomics  Sring, 2014 9:10-10:05 am  MWF Grise Hall 439


                                                                                                                                           INSTRUCTOR: William Davis, Associate Professor of Economics
                                                                                        Department of Economics Grise Hall, 423   Office phone/voice mail. 502-745-3123
                                                                            FAX 270-745-3190   e-mail  Web page: http:/
                                                                                 Office Hours Office Hours:  8-9am, 10-11:45am, 1:40-2:40pm M/W/F; or by Appointment



   Text: Modern Principles: MacroEconomics.  by  Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok. Worth Publishers. 2010

Daily Reading of the Wall Street Journal   or  The Economist  or  The Financial Times    is encouraged. Additional readings and assignments will be   announced in class and/or posted on the course web page.   See also the sources linked to the course web page. 

 Class attendance and code of conduct

1. A seating chart will be used to gather information on student attendance. Although no strict attendance policy is enforced excessive absences is interpreted as a low level of commitment to the course and will be considered appropriately in the "class participation" component of the grade. Previous experience indicates that excessive absences results in poor performance and lower course grades. Classroom conduct conducive to learning is a necessity. Therefore, chatter and third party discussions that are not part of the class activities, disruptive behavior, use of electronic media (such as text messaging and laptops) that are not part of the announced class activities are not permitted. Infractions will result in disciplinary action that could result in dismissal from the class.



Spring 2014 mester at a Glance

Spring 2014 Final Exam schedule


Blackboard Forums: *********


Econ Club Facebook Page





I. Introduction: 10 Big Ideas                                           Cowen and Tabarrok (C&T), chp.1

                A. Incentives Matter

                B. Importance of Good Institutions

                C. Trade-Offs

                D. Thinking on the Margin

                E. Don’t Mess with the Laws of Supply and Demand

                F. Wealth and Economic Growth

                G. Institutions Matter

                H. Economic Cycle Can’t be Avoided but Can Be Moderated

                I. Prices Rise When the Government Prints Too much Money

                J. Central Banking is a Hard Job

                K. Economics is Fun


II. Power of Trade and Comparative Advantage                                                                           (C&T), chp. 2, 


III.  Supply and Demand                                                                                                                      (C&T), chp. 3,4,5

                A. Supply and demand

                B. Equilibrium/Market Clearing processes

                C. Price Ceiling and Floors 

III. Economic Growth                                                                                                        (C&T), chps. 5,6,7,8,9

                A.  GDP: Measuring Progress

                B. The Wealth of Nations fn Economic Growth

                C. Growth, Capital Accumulation and Economics of Ideas

                D. Saving, Investing, and The Financial System

                E. Stock Markets and Personal Finance

IV. Business Fluctuations                                                                                                    (C&T), chps. 10,11,12,13

                A. Unemployment and Labor Force Participation

                B. Inflation and the Money Supply

                C. Aggregate Demand/Aggregate Supply Model

                D. The Real Business Cycle Model: Shocks & Transmission Mechanisms

V. Macroeconomic Policy and Institutions                                                               (C&T), chps. 14,15,16,17

                A. The “FED” and its tools

                B. Monetary Policy

                C. The Federal Budget: Taxes and Spending

                D. Fiscal Policy

V. International Economics                                                                                       (C&T), chps.18,19

                A. International Trade

                B. International Finance





                Suggested Links/Sources:

1. Nobel Prize Winners in Economics
An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA)
Becker-Posner Blog
2009 Index of Economic Freedom
Econ -one of the largess collection of papers on Economic Issues and Topics. A great source for research papers.
Bluegrass Institute For Public Policy Solutions (BIPPS) In Bowling Green, Kentucky
Famous Econ Majors
Ronald Coase Institute

2011 Index Economic Freedom of the World

Primer on Minimum Wage Law

 Social Security Reform Issues
 Employment/Unemployment Data
Property Rights and Sustainability
How Ideas Trump Crises by Alex Tabarrok

Online Encyclopedia of Economics s
 Consumer Price Index

 BEA Bureau of Economic Analysis

Reserve Requirements--Wikipedia

Marginal Revolution Blog Course on Economic Develpment


Suggested Blogs/Podcasts:
1. Freakonomics

5. EconLog Blog
6. Adam Smith Blog
7. The Armchair Economist Steven Landsburg and others


 203 Readings1

 203 readings 2


New Readings Spr 14




Arnold Kling on  Keynesian Fixation

Podcast on Edward Banfield's views on Economic Develoment

Comparative Advantage I

Sources of Comparative Advantage

Empirical Evidence on Economic Development and Trade

Tariff History
Trade and Poverty in India

On "Fair Trade"

World Trade Organization

This mini-documentary from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation is an illustration of the continuing dispute over the causes of and remedies for the "Great Depression". A similar argument is going on today relative to the "Great Recession"



Interactive graph on effects of Fed Stimulus on U S







 Online Encyclopedia of Economics



Don't Panic:Capitalism Continualy Recovers from Financial Crisis by William Easterly
 Graphic depiction of Post WWII U S Recessions from the Minniapolis Federal Reserve Bank
 The Great Recession in Perspective from the Minniapolis Federal Reserve Bank


Freedom of the 50 States   Kentucky ranks at 27th.



Night views of N and S Korea

How Ideas Trump Crises by Alex Tabarrok

Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years

Graphic History of Wages in U S.



203 test file 14



Composition of Course Grade:
1. Test #1                                                                                                              100 points
2. Test #2                                                                                                              100
3. The best five of six 10 point quizes                                                                      50
4. 25 weekly posts on the class forum-two points
each (details in class)
Accepted Sources: Wall Street Journal
The Economist Magazine
NY Times Anything from
the The Library of Economics and LIberty
or any threaded disusssion
from My Favorite Blogs or articles from
the "Readings" links   

Also any writings or podcasts fo my favorite

Economists-Milton Freidman, Thomas Sowell, Walter E. Williams                          50
NOTE: forums will be closed at midnight on 
Sunday of each week. Make up posts are allowed
only for "excused" misses.

5. Class participation/engagement/Readings (certain readings will be required-

    details in class )                                                                                                          75

6. Comprehensive final exam                                                                                        150

                                                               Total available course points                     525 points

Course grade: accumulated points (90%) 472.5 or more = A
(80%) 420-472.0 = B
(70%) 367.5-419 = C
(60%) 315-366 = D
Less than 315 = F


Extra Credit opportunities:  From time to time there will be special speakers or other events on campus that will provide opportunities to earn exra credit. Details will be provided in class.





Make-up exams and quizes will be given only for excused absences.

Student Disability Services In compliance with university policy, students with disabilities who require academic and/or auxiliary accommodations for this course must contact the Office for Student Disability Services in Downing University Center, A-200. The phone number is 270 745 5004. Please DO NOT request accommodations directly from the professor or instructor without a letter of accommodation from the Office for Student Disability Services

WKU Student Handbook on Academic Dishonesty Refresh your memory on the matter of academic dishonesty.



















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