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Course Details

Course Number: 90-762


Units: 6

The purpose of the course is to introduce the professional masters student to the major concepts of aggregate economic analysis, or macroeconomics. Topics include the measurement of national economic activity through aggregation and the national income and product accounts, the associated measurement of prices, labor market activity, the supply and demand for interest and non-interest bearing assets, the conduct of national debt management and the banking sector. Alternative theories of aggregate economic behavior are specified, and students will formulate, estimate, and test alternative macroeconomic models. Heavy emphasis is placed on learning by doing.

Each student will be expected to implement the theory provided in lecture and the textbook through the five empirical problem sets which involve the statistical estimation and interpretation of macro-economic behavioral equations and underlying parameters for the aggregate consumption, investment, and the demand for cash functions. Data from The Economic Report of the President for problem sets 1 – 4 will be placed on Blackboard in a series Excel spreadsheets. The 5th problem set, which requires the simulation of the US economy under varying fiscal and monetary policy environments will use FairModel which is a complete, structural model of the US Economy maintained by Professor Ray Fair at Yale.

To take Macroeconomics, each student must have already successfully completed a first course in statistics that included basic regression analysis or have the written permission of the instructor. It is expected that the student is familiar with Excel, and understands the first rudiments of calculus and the concept of a derivative. It is also presumed that the student admitted to the course has familiarity in using and interpreting results from a regression package, preferably STATA or SAS. A diagnostic quiz will be given the first day of class, and review sessions will be scheduled on regression analysis and its interpretation.

PREREQUISITE: Must have taken a course in statistics within the last 5 years that included multiple regression.

Robert P Strauss