E203 Page

ECON 203 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cb/GDP_PPP_per_capita_world_map_IMF_figures_year_2006%282%29.png


Course Policies

Course Outline

Fall 2013 Quizzes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6






Dr. Brian Goff (Grise 414; brian.goff@wku.edu)
Office Hours: MW 9-11
(I am in my office or on campus most days from around 9-3;  Feel free to stop by or make an appointment any time I'm around)

OBJECTIVE: The course is designed to provide an understanding of economic forces, outcomes, and decisions at the national and international levels with special attention to topics such as the costs and benefits of markets and trade, economic growth, measurement of national income, the nature and role of monetary and fiscal policy, business cycle models, and other topics.    The discussion of these concepts, ideas, and policy issues draws attention to ethical issues, problem solving & critical thinking, global issues, and basic business functions. 
Special Note:  This course fulfills one requirement for General Education category C -- Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Online Links including Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (CEE)

GRADES: Your final grade is based on your final average: A=90+ B=80-89 C=70-79 D=60-69 F<60. Do not expect to "negotiate" or do "extra credit" work for a higher grade
Bi-Weekly Quizzes (1-6)     =  60%    (Drop lowest score)
Exam                                   =   30%
Assignments (6)                  =   12%
Total                                    =   102%  (Also, adjustments related to Classroom Policies below)

Bi-Weekly Quizzes:   These are multiple choice, matching, and short answer.  NO makeup or early quizzes will be given.  Your lowest quiz score will be dropped.  If you miss more than  one quiz due to a significicant event (illness, WKU activity, family matters, ...), your final exam will be weighted to compensate.  If you miss more than one quiz, you must see in advance if possible or as soon as practical if not known in advance.

Semester Exam:  An exam over questions from all of the semester quizzes. 

Assignments:  Three of these involve some map/graphic, and three involve brief reports based on readings or videos.  These must EXACTLY follow the Brief Report Format.  Reports that deviate from this format will receive zero or half credit.  Brief reports are individual assignments.  You may not copy from another student.   ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE TURNED IN (HARDCOPY, NO ELECTRONIC) BY THE END OF SCHEDULED CLASS PERIOD TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT.

Classroom Policies: Orderly behavior and respect for others who are speaking (including me) is expected.  No cell phone or other electronic device use (including laptops) is permitted. Violations of this policy will result in 1% reduction in final grade per incident.  No food or drink permitted except for bottles with caps or tops.   If late, please enter with a minimum of disturbance and be seated in the nearest seat. Distracting or inappropriate behavior  is not permitted. Individuals involved in incidents that significantly violate these policies will receive a warning and then will be notified of a letter grade reduction per subsequent incident.  Also see FAQ

Miscellaneous: Last day to drop with a "W" or change to audit is listed in the Academic Calendar.  If you have an ADA covered disability requiring special consideration, please register with the ADA Compliance Office, and then see me.  If class is canceled unexpectedly, any quiz will roll back to the next class meeting.


(Subject to small modifications along the way)

Markets, Living Standards, & Economic Development

Week 1 
T (Jan 28)  
Class Administration and Introduction

Th (Jan 30) Markets and Morality
                     Reading:  Historical Views on Markets 
                     Graphics/Data: Market Ethics PPT

Week 2

T (Feb 4 )   Worldwide Living Standards & Influences
                     Reading:  Standards of Living & Growth (CEE)
Gapminder GDPPC-Life Expectancy  IMF Map of GDP Per Capita   Sears Catalogue & Labor Hour Data   IMF Map      US Long Term Growth; 
                      Assignment 1 Due:  Living Standards Map (Due by end of class) -- GDP Per Capita Country Cross Sections (CIA Factbook Link)   Data on Interactive Map  

Th (Feb 6)  Major Influences on Living Standards, Limits & Tradeoffs
                     Reading:  Market Freedom and Growth (CEE)
                     Graphics/Data:  Fraser Economic Freedom Index Map (via Cato) Source Data   Heat Map of Economic Conditions
                                                 Korea at Night  World at Night 

Week 3

T (Feb 11)
Sustainable Growth
Natural Resources (CEE)  Sustainable Development   (Dallas Fed)   Malthus & Say (MRU) Erhlich & Simon



Th (Feb 13) Quiz 1 


Supplemental Links Weeks 1-3:    Empirics of Economic Growth (CEE)     World Bank Country Data   Ethics & Economics (CEE)  Undercover Economist


Details on Mechanisms of Growth & Development

Week 4 
T (Feb 18)   Pushing Back Limits -- Innovation & Creative Destruction
                     Reading:  Creative Destruction (CEE)
Long Run Growth v. Recessions Graphic   Mechanisms of Growth PPT      

Th (Feb 20) Pushing Back Limits -- Trade & Tradeoffs  (Hume & Smith v. Mercantalists; Modern Mercantilism)

                     Reading:  Comparative Advantage (CEE) Free Trade (CEE)
                     Graphics/Data: Economic Cluster Mapping     
   Mechanisms of Growth PPT     

                     Assignment 2:  Brief Report (due by end of class) on  Mercantilism (CEE)  See Brief Report Guidelines

Week 5
T (Feb 25)   
Market Prices and Economic Coordination 
Price Controls (CEE)
Graphics/Data: Friedman Pencil Video  

Th (Feb 27)  Quiz 2


Supplemental Links Weeks 3-4:  Protectionism & Comparative Advantage (Dallas Fed) Gasoline Prices  (STL Fed)  


Issues of Growth & Development

Week 6 
T (Mar 4)   Income Distribution & Chronic Poverty Within and Across Countries 
                    Reading:  Income Distribution (CEE) and  Income Inequality (STL Fed)   
                    Graphics/Data:  MR World Graphic    Federal Low Income Assistance CRS      FED Income Mobility Slides and Video                                   

Th (Mar 6) 
Income Distribution & Chronic Poverty Within and Across Countries 
Foreign Aid (CEE)  MR What Have We Learned About Income Distribution                        
                     Graphics/Data:   GapMinder  
MR World Graphic                                          
                     Assignment 3:  Brief Report (due by end of class) on   
African Economic Problems (WSJ)  My Luncheon with Bono (Business Week)  (One report, merging the two articles into one summary)

Week 7      Spring Break

Week 8
T (Mar 18)  Review and Extension of Income Distribution and Poverty Topics  

Th (Mar 20) Quiz 3 

Supplemental Links Weeks 5-7:   Mankiw on Redistribution
   Fraser Report on Economic Freedom (Fraser Institute);   MR Income Inequality "Blame Parents"   Cowen on Aspects of Income Inequality  Fair Trade Revolution (WSJ Book Review);  NAFTA Impact in Mexico and More Mexico Mexico Instability & Drugs;   Narco War Next Door (Current Video)  UE Chapter xx
Julian Simon on "X Factor";  writings by Julian Simon available on the WWW)


Measuring the Macroeconomy

Week 9
T (Mar 25)   Key Macro Measures
GDP PPT  (Atlanta Fed; under economic indicators) Unemployment PPT (Atlanta Fed)    Real GDP; Real GDP growth rate  Unemployment Rate National Net Worth;    
                      Graphics/Data:  FED GDP Slides & Video   Economagic Most Requested Data    
GDP Graphics

Th (Mar 27)  Adjusting Macro Measures for Purchasing Power
                       Reading:  CPI (CEE)   Nominal to Real Values  (Fed Resources)
 Excel File w/Gasoline Prices   Movie Box Office Data;     CPI Quality Adjustments
                       Assignment 4: Create Graph of CPI and CPI-Medical   See Instructions  (Due by end of class)

Week 10 
T (Apr 1)     Exchange Rates and Other Measurement Issues
                     Exchange Rates (wiki entry through fluctuations) 
Big Macs & Purchasing Power Parity (Dallas Fed)  Happiness & GDP
                     Graphics/Data:   Exchange Rate Data (Bloomberg)  
Big Macs & PPP (Dallas Fed)  Economist Big Mac Website

Th (Apr 3):  Quiz 3


Supplemental Links Week 3-4: House Hunters International (PPP-related)             


MacroFinancial System

Week 11
T (Apr 8)      U.S. Monetary & Banking System
    Reading:    US Banking History (Atlanta Fed)  What is the Fed (SF Fed) 
                      Gold & Paper Standards:          
Map of Shadow Banking System (NY Fed)                           

Th (Apr 10)  Monetary Problems, Inflation & Financial Panics
       Reading:  Inflation (CEE)           
It's a Wonderful Life    Financial Stress Index   Currency Holdings 1930s    Inflation Across Countries  Inflation PPT  

                       Assignment 5: Brief Report (due by end of class) on Banking Crisis of 1930s Text or Video (don't include panel discussion)


Week 12
T (Apr 15)   Credit Markets, Interest Rates, & The Fed 
Interest Rates (CEE);
                  Graphics/Data:    StL
FRED Interest Rates   

 Th (Apr 17)   Quiz 5

upplemental Links:  Gold Standard and Great Depression;  Financial Crises -- 2008   Goff 2008 Financial Crisis Slides (ppt versionStL Fed Timeline   Benefits/Risk Debt   Household Debt (STL Fed)  
                                        Map of Shadow Banking System (NY Fed)   
Fed Public or Private (PHI Fed)


Business Cycles

Week 13
T (Apr 22)
    Business Cycles
Business Cycles (CEE); 
 The Great Depression (CEE)   
                   Graphics/Data:  U.S. Business Cycle Data
(NBER) Long Run Growth v. Recessions Graphic   Gapminder Long Run  Depression Stats   Unemployment & Recessions

Th (Apr 24)  Competing Explanations of Business Cycles 
                       Graphics/Data: Oil Prices & Recessions  Post WWII Unemployment 

                    Assignment 6:
Create Graph of Unemployment Rate and % Change Real GDP   See Instructions  (Due by end of class)

Week 14
T (Apr 29)   Debates over Stimulus Policy 
                     Reading: John Taylor on Stimulus History  

Th (May 1)  Quiz 6


Supplemental Links Weeks:     Excel File with Classroom Graphs; Barro on infrastructure spending   Bernanke Speech about Great Depression
                             MR Problems of Fiscal Stimulus;    Economic Crisis in Iceland, England, & U.S (STL Fed);  Fiscal Policy Stimulus (CEE); Fiscal Policy Stimulus (Cochrane-Chicago GSB)


Week 15
T (May 6) Current & Future Macro Issues: US Debt, Euro Area & Japan
Supplemental Links:  Debt, Medicare, SS 
Wiki US Public Debt Page  Debt/Deficits/Entitlements (STL Fed)  (if really interested, see Cochrane Video)

                                      US Treasury Public Debt Page   Economic Report of President Government Finance Tables 
  Healthcare Pricing Restrictions  Zimmer Q&A on Health Reform   Health Care Expenditure OECD Data;  
                                  Immigration & Macroeconomics (Phil Fed)   Infrastructure Debate (STL Fed)    
T (Nov 29)   Health Care  (CEE) &  "Life is Good" (Minneapolis FR); 
Is Healthcare Different?  (CEE)   Gapminder GDPPC-Health% 
Key Macro Lessons  

Th (May 8)  Semester Exam

Week 16
Finals Week




Brief Report Format
The Brief Reports must PRECISELY adhere to the following format unless otherwise indicated (such as the Map excercise).  You will receive full for reports that adhere to the instructions in all details.  Half credit will be given for reports that deviate from the instructions in minor ways.  No credit will be given for reports that deviate from the instructions in significant ways. 
1. Rports must be neatly typed or printed originals (NO SCRIPT -- "cursive") -- no crumpled papers.
2. All sentences must use standard American English -- subject, verb, object (when needed), correct punctuation, aggreement of subject and verbs, and so on. 
3. Do not share information with others in the class about your reports.  Reports that appear to be copies or very close to copies will receive no credit.
4. Reports must be turned in by the deadline to receive any credit. You are encouraged to turn them in early if you may be absent. Unexpected circumstances the day they are due do not alter the deadline.
5. Reports  must adhere to the template below. Reports that deviate from its format will receive no credit. (Text which is in italics below is for you to fill in and not for you to copy on the summary. For example, do not write "paragraph 1".)

Your Name
Brief Reports #(put report # here)
Put Titlle Here -- can be shortened title 

Paragraph #1: 1-2 sentences explaining the main question, issue, or problem addressed in the readings

Paragraph #2: 2-6 sentences explaining a key point(s) from the readings.

Paragraph #3: 1-2 sentences describing a particular point which was especially important  to you, with which you disagree, or which was unclear.

 Note: Paragraphs should either be indented or separated by an additional space.

Assignment 4 Instructions

Go to St. Louis Federal Reserve data website: FRED
Select Data Tools from the top menu, then select Create Your Own Graph
In the Add Data Series Search Box, Type CPIAUCNS (for Consumer Price Index All Items, Monthly) 
If you do not have a color printer, select Black for Line Color and Select Redraw Graph
Select Add Data Series and Type CPIMEDSL (Medical Consumer Price Index) in search box
If you do not have a color printer, select Black for Line Color and Dashed for Line Style and Select Redraw Graph
Select PDF so the graph opens into a PDF file and Print the Graph.

Print the answers to these questions at the bottom of the graph:
1. About what year did the medical price index start growing faster than the general price index?
2. List 3 medical procedures or technologies that made substantial improvements to the quality of medical care since that time.



Assignment 6 Instructions 

Go to St. Louis Federal Reserve data website: FRED
Select Data Tools from the top menu, then select Create Your Own Graph
In the Add Data Series Search Box, Type UNRATE (for US Unemployment Rate)
If you do not have a color printer, select Black for Line Color and Select Redraw Graph
Select Add Data Series and Type GDPC1 (Real GDP) in search box
If you do not have a color printer, select Black for Line Color and Dashed for Line Style and Select Redraw Graph
For UNITS Select % Change from Year Ago and Select Redraw Graph
Select PDF so the graph opens into a PDF file and Print the Graph.
If you do not have a color printer or the recession shaded bars do not print, mark them with a pen (red, green, blue) on the horizontal axes.
Print the answers to these questions at the bottom of the graph:
1. Are large increases in unemployment or large decreases in real gdp more closely  associated with the timing of recessions?
2. How many recessions have there been since 1950?




Q: How can I prepare for the quizzes? How can I do better in this class?
A: Come to class and pay attention. Read assigned material. Practice answering past quiz questions as we cover that material. Ask questions of me either in class, drop by my office, or visit graduate assistants.

Q: I will miss a quiz because of forensics, swimming, golf, .... When can I make-up it up?  May I take it early?
A: No make-ups or early quizzes are given but see me. For legitimate absences,  I will weight your final exam to compensate.  See me in advance if at all possible

Q: I'm doing poorly on tests/assignments. Can I do work for extra credit?
A: No. Grades will be determined by the policies stated above.  I sometimes include a 1%-2% upward adjustment for students who are regular in attendance and actively participating in class. This is not automatic and subject solely to my discretion.

Q: Do the past quizzes that are available online cover all material on current tests?
A:  No.  They are intended as one tool to use in preparing for current tests, but the tests change each semester with some material excluded, some included, and some changed a bit.  Warning:  occassionally a past test question is incorrect.

Q:  My final grade is an 89.1, isn't that close enough to an A?  I need it to keep my scholarship.
A:  An A is 90.0 and above, a B is 80.0-89.9 and so on.  I will be glad to correct any error that I make in computing grades, but grades are not negotiable.  Achieving a certain grade for scholarships or any other reason is the student's responsibility.

Not really FAQ but a clarification:
Q:  What do you mean by "behavior that is inappropriate or distracting"?

A:  This includes but is not necessarily limited to profanity, personal conversations, note passing, repeated cell phone interruptions, texting, and other sorts of rude or disruptive activities.


IMF Map of GDP Per Capita (PPP) 2009