Econ 251: Principles of Macroeconomics
Instructor: Dr. Monica Hartmann
Macroeconomics Class Schedule for Spring 2009:
9:35: Location – OEC 207
10:55: Location – OEC 207
Office Hours: M 12-1 p.m., TH 1:30-2:30 p.m., and by appointment; OEC 402
Office Phone: 962-5681
Class Website: https://courseweb.stthomas.edu/mehartmann/macro/macro_econ.html
Course Description: This is an introductory course in macroeconomics. Although you may not
realize it, you already have been exposed to many of the topics we discuss in this class. Trade
deficits, inflation rates, unemployment rates, fiscal policies, and monetary policies are some of
the macroeconomic terms that appear in the media and in everyday conversations.
Course Objective: At the end of this course, you should be able to understand both the
economic principles underlying the macroeconomy and to be able to apply these principles to
'real world' situations. In order to accomplish these objectives, many of the examples used in my
homework assignments and test questions are based on current events. I also supplement the
textbook with assigned readings from the Wall Street Journal and the Economist. These articles
together with the textbook will help you better understand macroeconomic concepts and their
Upon completion of this course you should be able to do the following:
1. Describe the basic economic problem of scarcity and apply the notion to real world
2. Use demand and supply model to explain and predict price changes of a good or service.
3. Be literate in macroeconomic topics, such as unemployment, inflation, recessions, GDP,
and international trade.
4. Understand measures and causes of economic growth.
5. Know the role of the Federal Reserve Bank in the U.S. economy, understand the nature of
money, and understand what affects interest rates.
6. Understand and explain how fiscal and monetary policies affect the economy.
7. Research and write a basic analysis of how economic, socio-cultural, and legal-political
forces affect economic performance.
8. Learn the economic way of thinking and how it can be used to gain insights on
macroeconomic issues of importance in your adult life, such as Bush’s trade tariffs on
imported steel and his fiscal policies to stimulate the economy.
Prerequisite: Knowledge of basic algebra and ability to read graphs and most importantly
enthusiasm to learn.
Textbook: McEachern, Macroeconomics – UST Bookstore
Economic Report of the President – http://www.gpoaccess.gov/eop/download.html
In addition to the textbook, I will periodically assign newspaper or journal articles that relate
to the topics discussed in class. These supplemental articles are an essential part of this
course. A copy of them can be downloaded from the class web page.
Grading: Midterm 1 15%
Midterm 2 20%
Writing Assignment 20%
Class Participation 10%
FOMC Simulation 5%
The exams comprise of multiple-choice questions, numerical problems, and short answers. If
you have any questions concerning the grading of your work, please come see me. You have two
weeks from the date I return homework or exams to the class to ask me to reexamine the grade.
After the two weeks, grades are final.
Exam Policy: Make up examinations only will be given in the event of a severe illness, death in
the family, or a University sponsored activity. You must speak directly to me at least 24 hours
prior to the exam. Leaving a message on my voice mail or sending me email is not sufficient. If
approved, we will reschedule the exam at a mutually convenient time. If no arrangements have
been made prior to the scheduled exam time, no make-up exam will be given without a medical
excuse. You will receive a zero for that grade. Also note that possessing a nonrefundable
plane/train/bus ticket is not a valid excuse for a make-up exam.
Exam dates are listed on the course outline. These dates are subject to change, but I will
announce in class any change with at least one-week notice. You are responsible for all
information – lecture material, handouts, assignments, and announcements – given in class
regardless if you are present.
Disability Services: Qualified students with documented disabilities who may need classroom
accommodations should make an appointment with the Enhancement Program – Disability
Services office. Appointments can be made by calling 651-962-6315.You may also make an
appointment in person in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center, room 119. For further information,
locate the Enhancement Program on the web at http://www.stthomas.edu/enhancementprog/.
Homework: Homework assignments are designed to give you the opportunity to practice using
macroeconomic concepts before the exam. I encourage you to work on homework assignments
with other students. However, you must individually write up separate answers in your own
words. Your homework grade will consist of the best 5 out 6 homework assignments you turn in
Grading of Homework: I view homework as part of the learning process, a first attempt to
process the ideas and apply them to real world events. Therefore, the economic analysis in the
assignment does not have to be completely correct to get a 100%. However, you must remember
that the assignment you turn into me is a work product of your effort and should be legible, neat,
and demonstrate that effort was made in its completion. Thus, this is how I grade homework.
Adequate work - Assignment is complete (but not necessarily 100% correct),
legible, and neat. You are not required to type up assignments, but they must
be neat and legible. If you need to make corrections, do not cross it out. Use
correction fluid (i.e., “White Out”) instead or start a new sheet of paper.
(grade = 100%)
- Inadequate work – Assignment is not complete, is poorly written or presented,
and/or shows obvious lack of effort. (grade = 70%) Therefore, be aware that
sloppy work is unacceptable and you will not be given full credit even if the
assignment is complete and correct.
Zero Assignments that are illegible and/or so poorly attempted are not acceptable and
will not be given any credit. (grade = 0%)
Also note that answers written on notebook paper (without cutting off the frayed edges)
will be given a - regardless if it is complete. If you do not staple your assignment
together, please put your name on each piece of paper. It is extremely easy for
assignments to get separated when you have 70 plus students in a semester.
Class Participation: Your class participation grade will be a combination of my analysis of your
attendance, preparation for class, contribution to class discussions, and completion of any in-
class assignments. Why is class participation important? First of all, participation enables
students to learn from each other. As intelligent individuals with diverse academic and personal
backgrounds, you bring different perspectives on an issue. Through an exchange of ideas we can
all learn more. Second, studies show that students who are actively involved in learning are
more likely to remember and to assimilate the material and to apply concepts learned in the
classroom to other situations.
FOMC Simulation: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets in Washington, D.C.
once every five or six weeks to vote on whether or not interest rates need to be adjusted to spur
or slow down economic growth in the U.S. The class will simulate a FOMC meeting. You will
be responsible for gathering economic data on the state of the U.S. economy and then voting on
whether to raise or lower interest rates. More details on this assignment will be given in the
Writing Assignment: International Comparisons- A country’s economic activity is governed by
three forces: a) economic forces, b) social and cultural forces, and c) political and legal forces.
Your assignment is to gather and report information regarding these three “forces” and how they
influence the level of economic activity in the country you are assigned. Additional information
on this assignment will be given to you later.
Office Hours: Prior to exams and homework due dates I will schedule extra office hours.
Please come see me if you are having trouble with the course material or need to clarify some
concepts. Office hours are time I have set aside for you. Office hours, however, will not be
used to obtain tutorial help for classes that were skipped. You are expected to get the notes from
your classmates and read them first and then you can ask me questions about them.
Also please take advantage of the time before and after class to ask questions or to clarify what
was discussed in lecture. Economic tutoring is also available in OEC 415. When the tutoring
schedule is announced, I will post it on the class web page.
Studying: The best way to learn, to understand, and to progress beyond memorization, is to
study with your classmates. Do not be shy; introduce yourself to a classmate and study together.
You will not understand economics unless you can explain it clearly and correctly by accepted
standards in economics. So, take turns asking and answering questions of one another. If your
study group is uncertain about any topic, see the tutors and/or me. Please NOTE that studying
together does not replace individual study; it only complements it.
WSJ Subscription: I recommend getting a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. If you
bought a new book, use the card inside your textbook to get a free15 week subscription. You
should get in the habit of reading news sources and identifying the macroeconomic issues
underlying current news events. Seeing the applications to 'real world' situations will help you
grasp the economic theory.
Class Website: https://courseweb.stthomas.edu/mehartmann/macro/macro_econ.html
Assignments, answer keys, and supplemental readings will be posted on this website.
I. Introduction to Economics and Review, Chapters 1, 2, and 4
II. Introduction of Macroeconomics, Chapter 5
III. Productivity, Chapter 6
IV. Unemployment and Inflation, Chapter 8
V. National Output, Chapter 7
First Exam – March 4th
VI. Aggregate Demand, Chapters 9 and 10
VII. Aggregate Supply, Chapters 11 and 12
Second Exam – April 8th
VIII. Monetary Policy, Chapters 14, 15, and 16
IX. Policy Debate, Chapter 17
X. Federal Budgets and Public Policy, Chapter 13
XI. International Finance, Chapter 19
Final Examination – 9:35– Wednesday, May 20 at 8:00 a.m.
10:55 – Tuesday, May19 at 10:30 a.m.