Home Page for Macroeconomic Policy (EC304)

Fall 2002




Course Syllabus (pdf format)
 

Assignment Due Dates:

**Term Paper Assignment:  Rough Draft Due November 19, Final Draft Due December 10**

**Midterm Exam in Class on October 24**

**Written Assignments, Due as Indicated**

(1) Due September 10

(2) Due September 17

           Charts in Excel Workbook

           Excel Spreadsheet Showing Calculations

(3) Due September 24

(4) Due October 1

(5) Due October 8

(6) Due October 22

Excel Spreadsheet with Calculations and Charts for Taylor's Rule

(7) Due November 5

(8) Due December 5

Note:  A Calendar of Data Releases appears on the last page of the JP Morgan US Weekly (see the link below to latest JP Morgan US Weekly) 

**Reading Assignments**

Week of September 3

(1) Latest Beige Book Summary:  Federal Reserve Board's "Beige Book"

(2) R. Mark Rogers, "Handbook of Key Economic Indicators", Introduction

(3) The Economist, "Guide to Economic Indicators", Chapters 1-4.

(4)  Macroeconomics, N.Gregory Mankiw, Worth Publishers, 2002, Chapter 9-13 (Mankiw Textbook Site)

(5) Economic Report of the President, 2002, Overview and Chapter 1:  Economic Report of the President, January 2002 (direct link)
 

Week of September 10

(1) R. Mark Rogers, "Handbook of Key Economic Indicators", Chapters 1, 10, 13 (also skim 2, 8, 12, and 14)

(2) The Economist, "Guide to Economic Indicators", Chapters 4, 5, 7, and 9.
 

Week of September 17

(1) R. Mark Rogers, "Handbook of Key Economic Indicators", Chapters 3, 5, 7 and 15 (also skim 4, 6, and 9)

(2) Survey of Current Business Articles on Chain-Type GDP Measure

        BEA's Chain Indexes, Time Series and Measures of Long-Term Economic Growth (May 1997)

        Preview of the Comprehensive Revision of the National Income and Product Accounts:  BEA's New Featured Measures of Output and Prices (July 1995)

        Spread Sheet With GDP versus GDI Comparison Charts

(3) Bureau of Labor Statistics Articles on the Consumer Price Index

        Frequently Asked Questions about the CPI

        How the BLS Measures Price Changes

Geometric Weighting As Used in the Official CPI:

        Planned Change in the Consumer Price Index Formula (April 1998) (PDF)

        List of Items in the CPI with Arithmetic versus Geometric Mean Formula (PDF)

New Chained Supplemental CPI Index:

        Note on a New, Supplemental Index of Consumer Price Change

        An Introductory Look at the Chained Consumer Price Index (PDF)

        Discussion of the Historical Behavior of the Chained CPI

The CPI Research Series:

        Information on the CPI Research Series Using Current Methods

 

Weeks of September 24 and October 1

(1) Class and On-line Materials on Fair Model

      Fair Model Main Site :

           Ray Fair has a US Model and a Multi-country model on his site, but we will use only the US Model:

        In the "Getting Started" link, read items 1-3 listed under the US Model.  Then go to item 4: "US Model Workbook"
        In the "US Model Workbook", read the Preface and Chapters 1-3.  Skim the rest of the workbook.

        In the "Macro Modeling" link read the Preface, Chapter 1, Chapter 2 through section 2.1.5, and Chapter 3 through section 3.2.5.  Skim chapter 5 for details on the equations of the model.
 

(2) San Francisco Fed Review Article on BVAR Forecasting Model for Real GDP Growth
 

Week of October 8

(1) Central Banking in Theory and Practice, Alan Blinder, MIT Press, 1999, Chapters 1 and 2.

(2) Macroeconomics , N.Gregory Mankiw, Chapter 14, for an overview of this topic.
 

Weeks of October 15 and October 22

(1) Central Banking in Theory and Practice , Alan Blinder, MIT Press, 1999, Chapter 3.

(2) Inflation, Unemployment, and Monetary Policy, Robert M. Solow and John B. Taylor, MIT Press, 1999, Chapters 1-4.

(3) Explaining the Decline in the NAIRU:   "What's Behind the Decline in the Nairu?"   (Includes slides shown in class)
 

** Midterm Exam in Class on October 24**
 

Weeks of October 29 and November 5

(1) Macroeconomics, N.Gregory Mankiw, Chapter 15, for an overview of this topic.

(2) Budget Forecasts

The Bush Tax Cut: One Year Later (by William Gale and Samara Potter, Brookings Institution Policy Brief, June 2002)

The Budget Outlook: Options for Restoring Fiscal Discipline (by Alan Auerbach, William Gale, and Peter Orzag, Brookings Institution Policy Brief, June 2002)

How Big is the Prospective Budget Surplus? (by Alan Auerbach and William Gale, Brookings Institution Policy Brief, September 2000)

Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update (Congressional Budget Office, August 2002)

The Budget and Economic Outlook, Fiscal Years 2003-2012 (Congressional Budget Office, January 2002)

A 125-Year Picture of the Federal Government's Share of the Economy, 1950-2075 (CBO Policy Brief, Revised July 2002)
 

Weeks of November 5 and November 12

(1) Tax Cuts and Inflation

"Fiscal Policy and Inflation,"  Betty C. Daniel, Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, July 13, 2001.

(2)  Social Security Readings and Information

Social Security and the Federal Budget (Andrew Eschtruth, Boston College Retirement Center Policy Brief, October 2000)

The Impact of Trust Fund Programs on Federal Budget Surpluses and Deficits (CBO Policy Brief, November 2002)

Social Security and the Federal Budget: The Necessity of Maintaining a Comprehensive Long-Range Perspective (CBO Policy Brief, August 2002)

The Looming Budgetary Impact of Society's Aging (CBO Policy Brief, July 2002)

Social Security Trustees Report 2002

"How Would Financial Risk Affect Retirement Income Under Individual Accounts?" Gary Burtless, Boston College Retirement Center Policy Brief, October 2000.

(3)  Indexed Bonds

"Policy Watch: The Introduction of Indexed Government Debt in the United States,"
David W. Wilcox, Journal of Economic Perspectives , Vol. 12, Number 1, Winter

1998.

 

**Term Paper Assignment:  Rough Draft Due November 19, Final Draft Due December 10**
 

Weeks of November 19 and November 26

(1)  What's Behind the Recent Surge in Productivity Growth?

"Computers and Aggregate Economic Growth: An Update," Daniel Sichel, Business
Economics , April 1999.

"The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story?"
Stephen Oliner and Daniel Sichel , Federal Reserve Board Working Paper, May 2000.

"Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," Dale W. Jorgenson, American Economic Review, March 2001.

"Information Technology and Productivity: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?" Federal Reserve Board Working Paper, May 2002.

(2) International Economic Policy Coordination

"Macroeconomic Policy Coordination Among Industrial Countries," Gilles Oudiz and Jeffrey Sachs, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1984:1
 

(3)  When Do Expansions End?

Economic Report of the President, 1996, Chapter 2 (see pages 25-29)

"Business Cycle Duration Dependence: A Parametric Approach," Daniel Sichel,
Review of Economics and Statistics , May 1991.

 

Week of December 3

(1)  Back from the Brink: The Greenspan Years , Steven K. Beckner, John Wiley and
Sons, 1996.

(2)  Economic Puppetmaster: Lessons from the Halls of Power , Lawrence B. Lindsey,
AEI Press, 1999.

(3) Maestro:  Greenspan's Fed and the American Boom,  Bob Woodward, Simon and Schuster, 2000.
 
 
 

Links to Data Releases:

Bureau of Economic Analysis   (GDP, Income, International Trade, Balance of Payments, Regional Data)

Bureau of Labor Statistics   (Employment, CPI, PPI, ECI)

Federal Reserve Board   (Industrial Production, Interest Rates, Exchange Rates, Flow of Funds)

Census Bureau   (Retail Sales, Inventories, Durable Goods Orders, Housing Starts, New Home Sales)

National Association of Purchasing Management    (Reports on Business)

National Association of Realtors   (Exisiting Home Sales, Home Price Data)

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Historical Data for Major Macroeconomic Time Series)

Bank One Research: US Economic Data Analysis
 

Macroeconometric Model Sites:

Macroeconomic Advisers

Ray Fair's On-Line Macroeconometric Model

San Francisco Fed Review Article on BVAR Forecasting Model for Real GDP Growth

BVAR Model Forecast Table
 

Other Interesting Sites:

Economic Report of the President, January 2001 (direct link)

Economic Report of the President, February 2000 (direct link)

Council of Economic Advisers: Economic Indicators and other publications

Iowa Electronic Futures Market   (Futures Contracts for Election Outcomes)
 
 

JP Morgan Economic and Policy Research Weekly:

September 9, 2002

September 16, 2002

September 23, 2002

September 30, 2002

October 7, 2002

October 14, 2002

October 21, 2002

October 28, 2002

November 4, 2002

November 11, 2002

November 18, 2002

November 25, 2002

December 2, 2002

Additional Articles and Readings

(1) Inflation and Unemployment:

"What's Behind the Decline in the Nairu?"
 

(2) Fiscal Policy:

How Big is the Prospective Budget Surplus? (by Alan Auerbach and William Gale, September 2000)

Long Term Budget Outlook (Congressional Budget Office, October 2000)

The Budget and Economic Outlook, Fiscal Years 2002-2011 (Congressional Budget Office, January 2001

Brief History of Social Security in the U.S. (Social Security Administration)

Primer on Social Security and Relationship to Budget (Andrew Eschtruth, October 2000)

Class Slides on the Budget

(3) Economic Outlook:

WSJ Article from November 20
 

(4) Trade Deficit:

"Our Friend, The Trade Deficit," Washington Post, May 21, 1999
 

(5) Presidential Election:

Florida Vote Analysis (Bruce Hansen, University of Wisconsin)
 

(6)  Papers on Role of Computers in Productivity Growth

"Computers and Aggregate Economic Growth:  An Update,"  (Daniel Sichel, Business Economics, April 1999)

"The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s:  Is Information Technology the Story?" (Stephen Oliner and Daniel Sichel, Federal Reserve Board, May 2000)

(7)  Material on the Duration of Business Cycles

Economic Report of the President, 1996, Chapter 2   (see pages 25-29)

"Business Cycle Duration Dependence:  A Parametric Approach" (Daniel Sichel, Review of Economics and Statistics, May 1991)