Spring Semester 2010-11
MWF 10:00-10:50 a.m.
Professor Joyce Jacobsen
Office: 332 PAC
Phone: 685-2357 (o), 344-8514 (h), 836-6022 (cell)
Office hours: walk-in whenever door is open; also available by appointment
Help sessions: Mon. 8-9 pm PAC 001; Tues. 8-9 pm Fisk 210; only on weeks when there is a problem set due or a test scheduled
Lectures: You are responsible for all material covered in the lectures and/or on the problem sets. Please ask questions as they arise. I encourage you to comment on the level, pace, and content of the course as it progresses, in person or by e-mail. The lecture presentation materials are available through the course schedule below shortly after each class.
Readings: Short items will be handed out occasionally in class, and links to relevant websites will be suggested. You may use any introductory textbook that was published in the last ten years as a supplement to assist yourself in understanding the course material. You are also expected to be aware of current economic events and should plan on reading relevant periodicals regularly (e.g., Economist, Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal). I will incorporate current events into the lectures and you may be tested on your knowledge of them
Coursework and Grades: There will
be six problem sets, two in-term tests, a book review, and a final
exam. Attendance is not counted. The weights of the
different course components in your course grade are:
|Problem sets (5% each)
|In-term tests (15% each)||
If you want to check the recording of your grades, click here to go to the Moodle grading book.
Problem sets and the book review are due
by 6 pm on the relevant Wednesday, and can be put in the Econ 110-01
in the alcove
next to the economics department office or dropped off at class.
Problem sets handed in late will be penalized
unless an agreement is made ahead of time with me. Graded problem sets
and tests that are not picked up in class will be filed by last name in
the alphabetical slots in the alcove.
The final exam will be a twenty
minute individual oral exam in my office, time to be scheduled later at
our mutual convenience. All tests are open-notes.
Here is the handout describing the book review and
listing suggested books. (version as of April 27, 2011)
Honor Code: All work handed in must
be your own and must be done for this course only. This does not mean
that you must refrain from discussing problems with other students as
an aid to understanding the material, but it does preclude copying
other students' work. You are expected to discourage such behavior on
the part of others. This distinction is generally clear enough to make
in practice; when in doubt, please discuss it with me.
Disabilities Services: It is the
policy of Wesleyan University to provide reasonable accommodations to
students with documented disabilities. Students, however, are
responsible for registering with Disabilities
Services, in addition to making requests known to instructors in a
timely manner. If you require accommodations in this course, please
an appointment with me as soon as possible so that we can make
Provisos: You have to get a D- or better in order to get credit
for the course. If you are taking the course on a credit/unsatisfactory
basis, if you hand in all six problem sets and
your book review complete and on time, and pass both in-term tests,
then you do not have to take the final exam.
|Introduction and overview|
||markets, supply, demand|
|budget constraints; solving the
consumer choice problem
||individual and market demand curves; consumer surplus|
||profit functions; total and marginal revenue; firm's supply curve|
||market supply curve; perfect competition; equilibrium||ps#2 (due Feb. 23)|
||consumer and producer surplus, deadweight loss; Pareto criterion|
|The Market Economy
||macro measurement, recent macro history, current macro issues||ps#3 (due Mar. 23)|
2, 5:00-9:30 PM Judd 116
||Test #1 (covers
material through Feb. 18) and answers
sample test and answers
old test and answers
||national income accounting|
government sector; taxes; deficit; national debt
|Mar. 25 (powerpoint here)
and the banking sector
||investment function; interest; present value||
||AS-AD equilibrium||ps#4 (due Apr. 6)|
|Apr. 6 (powerpoint here)
|Apr. 8 (powerpoint here)
||micro policy goals|
|Apr. 13 (powerpoint here)
||ps#5 (due Apr. 20)|
14, 5:00-10:30 PM PAC 001
material from Feb. 21 through Apr. 1) and answers
sample test and answers
old test and answers
|Apr. 15 (powerpoint here)
|Apr. 18 (powerpoint here)
|Apr. 20 (powerpoint here)
policy and tradeoff with future generations
|Apr. 22 (powerpoint here)
|Apr. 25 (powerpoint here)
|Apr. 27 (powerpoint here)
||economic growth; productivity
book review due (books read)
(due May 4)
|May 2 (powerpoint here)
||international redistribution; trade policy|
of key concepts; directions for future learning
t.a. office hours in econ alcove:
Thu. May 5, 8-9 pm Ben
Sat. May 7, 12-3 pm Kevin
Sun. May 8, 5-8 pm Kevin
Sun. May 8, 8-10 pm Ben
Tue. May 10, 2-5 pm Kevin
Wed. May 11, 8-10 pm Ben
exam ground rules/guidelines and some questions
Introductory Economics-Specific Sites
Life." N. Gregory Mankiw,
New York Times.
Here's a plug on why you should take economics in college (as well as statistics, finance, and psychology).
an interactive graphic showing the path of oil prices and quantities over the last few decades;
current oil barrel prices (this site, Bloomberg.com's energy prices, is continuously updated);
the situation in the market for gasoline last fall and currently;
and current local gasoline prices (this site, Gasbuddy.com's ConnecticutGasPrices.com, is continuously updated).
the price ceiling (at zero price) in the market for kidneys;
the price floor of US minimum wages;
quotas in the markets for Japanese automobiles and fish.
for food. We also saw an article about how much income people say they need to be happy on a day-to-day basis
and how much to be happy long-term; it also discusses absolute vs. relative standards.
song in honor of Valentine's Day, but please enjoy it on
own (or with someone).
These included GDP and GDP per capita over time for the US and across countries (GDP and GDP per capita), the NBER,
GDP fluctuations, unemployment, inflation, the misery index, and data in the 2011 Economic Report of the President. We also looked
at the most recent forecasts on how the economy will perform in 2011 and 2012.
diagram today and looked at the national income
and product accounts.
We also looked at this week's news regarding unemployment claims and job creation and the unemployment rate (official release).
US. We looked at some mildly amusing
examples of money,
including Rai stones on the isle of Yap, Ithaca HOURs, the Swedish 10-daler coin, and the highest face value (and heaviest) coin.
market. and job creation and
the unemployment rate (official release).
I also mentioned the economics department seminar for next Wed., "Better Living Through Economics", and the seminar series in general.
to China from other parts of the world.
and also looked at the US food stamp and section 8 (housing subsidy) programs,
and the Brazilian and Mexican conditional cash transfer programs.
prices and also the wellhead
price for oil and used an
calculator to convert
these nominal prices into real prices, and looked at the news regarding the IMF's forecast of oil prices.
US wage differentials by educational attainment, worldwide educational attainment statistics, the convergence hypothesis,
the social unrest index, and the international property rights index.
We looked at some
results on costs
of protectionism. We also looked at the
foreign direct investment, who does it and who gets it, and whether there are enough companies in developing countries.
We also saw an article on one way in which cell phones are used in some developing countries. and on higher growth in Africa.
We also looked at some information on happiness research: recent books by Carol Graham and Derek Bok,
results from a recent happiness survey, and the World Database of Happiness.
General Economics Links, Data, and Statistics
RFE: Resources for
Economists on the Internet
The most comprehensive guide to economics related information on the web
A standard bibliographic tool for finding published articles in economics journals;
available through the Wesleyan Library online indexes and databases page
A standard bibliographic tool for finding working (unpublished) papers in economics
The gateway site for statistics from a variety of U.S. Federal agencies
Louis and Federal
both have a lot of useful macro data for the U.S., including the New York Fed's summary of national economic indicators.
Economic Report of the President, 1995-2011
Statistical tables can be accessed as spreadsheet files.
Note that this storage system will soon be archival only and the federal government is moving to a new unified digital
document base, FDsys.
U. S. Census Bureau Home Page
Current information on economic, social, and demographic indicators;
includes the very helpful data source Statistical Abstract of the United States
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Data and Statistics Page
Current and recent past information on economic indicators for many countries
World Bank Data and Statistics Page
Current and recent past information on economic and social indicators for many countries