This course introduces students to the basic concepts of macroeconomic theory—like national income, inflation, employment, the fiscal deficit, the balance of payment and the money supply—and how to apply them to understand current economic issues. The basic aggregate demand-supply model of the economy is introduced and used to explain the process of economic growth. The critical role of the interest rate, money and banks in the economic system is explained, and monetary and fiscal policies are explained to help students understand how the economy is managed. Students will be introduced to economic growth and the business cycle. They will learn about the balance of payments and how exchange rates and international financial flows impact the domestic economy. The course will review the global financial crisis of 2008 to understand its impact in the USA and globally. The course will take advantage SAS’s global travels to apply the macroeconomic principles that are taught and specifically how to understand the role and theory of exchange rates.
Field WorkCountry: South Africa
Date: March 23, 2018
The Macroeconomics’ Field Project will focus on understanding the economy of South Africa, which is a member of the BRICS and is a typical emerging market, middle-income country. Such countries, despite their middle-income status, typically suffer from high levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality. This project will focus on understanding the challenges confronting middle-income countries in general and South Africa in particular.
Students will meet with a professor at the University of Cape Town to hear about poverty, inequality and unemployment conditions in the country. They will take a field excursion to a local township to observe life for the majority of the population and learn about the challenges of creating small businesses.
Students will summarize their experience and background research in a paper of 3-5 pages, highlighting their views of the problems faced by South Africa and how they are affecting its development.
Field Class Assignments will be due by 5pm on [Thursday, March 30].
- Understanding the economic history of South Africa.
- Understanding typical problems of middle income countries.
- Understanding the problems of inequality, poverty and growth in South Africa