Overview of Course
This course introduces the tools and models that economists use to understand the economic world that surrounds us. It will begin by exploring the main indicators of the macroeconomy – GDP, inflation, and unemployment – and the relationships among them. Then the simple aggregate supply-aggregate demand model will be used to explore the dynamics of the macroeconomy. Fiscal and monetary policy tools will be introduced so that students can observe how they can be applied to stabilize an economy. Finally, the course will explore the balance of payments and the open macroeconomy and contrast the growth strategies of different nations and the opportunities and risks that they imply. Throughout, the limits of growth and our current models will be discussed.
The course will emphasize current data and contemporary events and how they can be addressed and even resolved using the basic tools of macroeconomics. Data will be analyzed, and a macroeconomic analysis will be performed for every country on the Semester at Sea itinerary, to see how the relationships studied in the course play out in reality.