Amherst College                                                                              Department of Economics
Spring 2000                                                                                     Professor Geoffrey Woglom

Economics 53: Macroeconomics

Office: 112 Morgan Hall                 Hours: Fridays 2-3 and Tuesdays, 4-5, or by appointment.
Phone: 2433                                    E-mail:

Materials to Purchase from The Jeffrey Amherst College Store:

N. Gregory, Mankiw, Macroeconomics, 4th. edit. 1999
R. Kaufman, Student Guide & Workbook to Accompany Mankiw 4 th. ed. (optional)
Readings Packet (Available at CopyCat Print Shop, 37 E. Pleasant St.)


There will be 8 quizzes, 8 problem sets, a mini-exam, 2 mid-term exams, and a final. In your final average, all of the quizzes will count 10 percent, all of the problem sets 10 percent; the mini-exam 5 percent, each mid-term exam 20 percent, and the final exam 35 percent.
No make-up exams will be given. Students with a valid excuse for missing an exam will have their averages based on the other graded assignments. Please note that exams are scheduled for Wednesday evenings. If you have a conflict with this scheduling, notify me immediately.
Quizzes will begin promptly at the start of class and last for no more than 5 minutes. (e.g., This Thursday there will be a five minute quiz on Chs. 1-3 and the two supplemental readings). The lowest two quiz scores will be dropped, and no excuses will be given for missing quizzes, except in the case of a religious observance.
Late problem sets will be penalized 25 percent, and no problem sets will be accepted after the Monday following the week they are due.
The outside readings (listed below as OR) are all available in the Readings Packet. The supplemental readings (listed below as SR) are available as downloadable Adobe Acrobat Files from the course homepage. To make use of these files you must have an Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be obtained for free by clicking on the following link Download Acrobat Reader and following the directions. After you have installed the reader on your own PC or MAC, click on the colored links to get a copy of the SRs. The problem sets are also downloadable, Problem Sets, as well as my suggestions for using the optional Student Guide and Workbook, Workbook

                       Course Schedule:

 Jan. 27           Readings: Chs. 1-3 (including the Appendix),
                       Supplemental Readin (SR): Some Simple Math Facts

                       SR:  Skills from the Principles Course
                       Quiz #1

Feb. 1              Readings: SR: Two Versions of Okun's Law

Feb. 2             Problem Set #1
                       Outside Reading (OR; in Readings Packet): "Readjusting the Lens,"
                       OR: "Beyond the Business Cycle"
                       OR: "Rattling the Piggy Bank"

Feb. 3              MINI-EXAM (in class) Past Year's Mini Exam 

Feb. 8             Readings: Ch. 6, pp. 375-6, & Ch 7 (excluding sect. 7.2 and the Appendix, but
                       including Case Study: Money and Inflation)
                       SR: Seigniorage Revenue and Inflation
                       Quiz #2

Feb. 9             Problem Set # 2
                       OR: P. Krugman, "Stable Prices and Fast Growth: Just Say No"
                       OR: W. Angell, "The Fed Must Fight Inflation, Not Growth"
                       OR: "Shoot to Kill"
                       OR: "A Shocking Error"

Feb. 15           Readings: Chs 9 (excluding sect. 9.2) & 10 (excluding pp. 258-69, but including
                       Case Study : Kennedy, Keynes, and the 1964 Tax Cut)
                       SR: The IS Curve and Goods Market Equilibrium in the Short Run
                       Quiz #3

Feb. 16           Problem Set #3
                       OR: "Messing with Money"

Feb. 22           Readings: Ch. 11
                       SR: "Monetary and Fiscal Policies and the Short-Run Equilibrium of IS-LM"

                       Quiz #4

Feb. 23           Problem Set #4
                       SR:  "Automatic Stabilizers:  How They Work"

                       OR: "A Refresher on the 1930s"
                       OR: "Fiscal Flexibility"

Mar. 1             Problem Sessions Meet for Review (optional)

Mar. 1             FIRST EXAM, 7:30 PM   
Past Year's First Exam

Mar. 2             Readings: Ch 16 (don't worry about indifference curves)
                       SR: Consumption Theories
                       No Quiz!

Mar. 8             Problem Set #5
                       Readings: OR: "Schools Brief "Finance: Trick or Treat"

Mar. 9             Readings: Chs. 8 & 12 (excluding the Appendices and Section 12.6)
                       SR: Goods Market Equilibrium in the Mundell-Fleming Model
                       Quiz #5

Mar 22            Problem Set #6
                       OR: "Big MacCurrencies"
                       OR: "Man of the Hour"
                       OR: "Figures to Fret About"

Mar 23            OR: "School Briefs: A Much Devalued Theory"
                       OR: "Going with the Flow"
                       OR: "Getting Out of a Fix"

Mar. 28           Readngs: Chs 13 & 14 (excluding the Appendix) & sect. 19.2
                       OR: R. Barro, "A Rational Choice"
                       Quiz #6

Mar 29            No problem sessions

Mar 30            Readings:SR: The Time Inconsistency Problem
                       OR: "Schools Brief: A Cruise around the Phillips Curve"
                       OR: "Is Inflation Tamed"
                       OR: R. Barro "A Matter of Demeanor"
                       OR: "Born Free"
                       OR: "On Target"
                       SR: An Inflation Target for South Africa?

Apr. 5             Problem Sessions Meet for Review (optional)

Apr. 5             SECOND EXAM, 7:30 PM,
Past Year's Second Exam

Apr. 6             Readings: Chs 15 & sect. 17.1
                       SR: Theories of Debt Burden
                       OR: "School Brief: The Burdensome National Debt"
                       OR: "Another Paradigm Shift"
                       No Quiz!

Apr. 12           No problem sessions

Apr. 13           Readings: Ch. 18 (excluding sect. 18.2)
                       SR: The Term Structure of Interest Rates"

                       SR:  The Fed's Operating Procedures and the Slope of the LM Curve
                       SR:  The Slope of the LM Curve and Automatic Stabilization
                       Quiz # 7

Apr. 19           Problem Set # 7
                       OR: M. Friedman, " End the Fed's Fine Tuning"
                       OR: "Schools Brief: Monopoly Power over Money"

Apr. 20           Readings: Chs 4&5 (including Appendix) & sect. 19.1
                       SR: Growth in Two Economies

                       SR: A Beginner's Guide to Growth Accounting
                       Quiz #8

Apr. 26           No problem sessions

May 3             Problem Set #8
                       OR: "How Does Your Economy Grow"

May 4             Readings: Mankiw, "Epilogue"

May 12-16      Three Hour, Comprehensive Exam, scheduled by the Registrar
Past Year's Final Exam