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Macroeconomic Theory

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Instructor Information

Instructor: Brandon Pecoraro Email Address: [email protected] Office Hours: Via Zoom. Email for appointment.

Course Information

Cred IT Hours: 3

Course Location: Online (Asynchronous)

Course Description:

Corequisite: AS.440.304, math Methods for Economists

This course provides a systematic overview of the theory of aggregate output and employment, the rate of interest, and price level determination. Coverage includes the theories of consumption and investment, the demand and supply of money, inflation, unemployment, and economic growth. These topics are discussed in the context of contemporary empirical work on aggregative relationships.


Sanjay K. Chugh, Modern Macroeconomics ; 1st Edition, MIT Press, 2015. ISBN-13: 978 – 0262029377. ISBN-10: 0262029375

What to Expect in this Course

This course is 15 weeks in length (excluding a week for Thanksgiving) and includes individual work in a weekly cycle of instruction. Each week begins on a Monday and ends the following Monday. A week generally consists of:

  • A reading from the textbook
  • Lecture notes corresponding to the weeks topic
  • Recorded instruction of the weeks topic in context of the lecture notes
  • A problem set

With the exception of the textbook, these items will be posted on Blackboard each week in an order corresponding with the course calendar at the end of this syllabus.

The (11) weekly problem sets will be collected for credit, but not graded. The purpose of the problem sets is for you to practice using the modeling tools taught in this course. Each problem set is due the Monday after they are assigned, at 12:00pm (Eastern Time). Completed problem sets are to be scanned or photographed, and submitted to Blackboard. Solutions for each problem set will be provided on Blackboard one day after the due date.

There will be two non-cumulative exams. The best way to prepare for exams is to build economic intuition by practicing the problem sets, as the exams will focus on the concepts emphasized there. Exams are take-home style, and will be available 12:00pm (Eastern Time) on a Monday and will be due at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) on the Friday of the same week. There is to be ZERO collaboration with other students on exams.

Advanced Academic Programs Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Johns Hopkins University

Specific Technology Requirements & Skills for this Course

Learning online requires some basic knowledge of computer technology. At a minimum, you need to be able to: Navigate in and use Blackboard; the Blackboard Student Orientation course on your My Institution page Create PDF documents from hand-written documents through the use of a scanner or smart phone. Upload PDF documents to Blackboard Send, receive, and manage email

Course Overview

This course provides an overview of the foundations of modern macroeconomic theory within the representative- agent paradigm, which builds explicitly on the principles of microeconomic theory, and applies it to study a variety of macroeconomic issues such as: the consumption and labor behavior of households; the investment and hiring behavior of firms; economic growth; macroeconomic disturbances; inflation; unemployment; and the conduct of fiscal and monetary policy. Throughout, the emphasis will be on theoretical and logical rigor. Mathematics is the

language of modern macroeconomics, and is a tool which provides the benefit of internally consistent analysis.

A goal of this course is for students to become informed consumers of macroeconomic literature and analysis.

Modern macroeconomic theory is used within academia, government, industry and think-tanks to: analyze the effects of changes to taxes and expenditures under consideration by Congress and signed into law by the President; analyze the effects of changes to interest rates due to Federal Reserve policy; and forecast future growth, employment, and inflationary conditions. The exposure to modern macroeconomics gained in this course will guide students in understanding the methodological approaches behind such analyses.

Program Learning Objectives

When you successfully complete the program requirements, you will achieve the following goals: P1 Analyze advanced economic theory

Course Learning Objectives

When you successfully complete the course, you will be able to: C1 Apply basic consumer analysis to various macroeconomic frameworks. C2 Frame empirical measures of private-sector consumption and private-sector savings in the context of multi-period frameworks. C3 Describe how government debt evolves over time based on the fundamental concepts of fiscal deficits and fiscal surpluses. C4 Analyze how government tax and spending policies affect private-sector equilibrium outcomes. C5 Evaluate through macroeconomic frameworks how and why prices of different classes of assets (such as stock indices, nominal bonds of different maturity lengths, and housing markets) often co-move together. C6 Describe the mechanisms through which a large adverse shock to financial markets can cause (deep) recessions. C7 Describe the tools used by central banks in implementing monetary policy in conventional macroeconomic times. C8 Assess how current macroeconomic conditions could re-shape implementation of monetary policy and/or fiscal policy in the future. C9 Place modern macroeconomic and policy frameworks in the context of the several different historical eras of macroeconomic thought over the past century.

Advanced Academic Programs Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Johns Hopkins University

Evaluation and Grading Policy

Course Requirements assignment Value

Problem Sets 30%

Exam 1 35%

Exam 2 35%

Total 100%

Assignment Feedback I will aim to return assignments to you within 7 days following the due date, depending on the length of the assignment. For problem sets, you should compare your answers with the solutions provided after the assignment has been submitted. If you are unsure where you may have gone wrong, please email me for guidance. For exams, you will receive feedback in the My Grades area of the course which can be accessed via the navigation menu.

Late Policy Exams : You are expected to contact me in advance if you think you cannot meet an exam deadline. In the absence of prior notice, late submissions will not be accepted for exams.

Problem Sets: You are generally expected to submit the problem sets on time. No credit will be given for problem sets submitted beyond that point.

Time Management Expectations It is expected that you look ahead to schedule your time. Be sure to review the assignments at the beginning of the week so that you can plan your time accordingly. Please seek help before becoming frustrated and spending a significant amount of time to resolve an issue.

Active Course Presence You are expected to have an active presence in course by viewing the weekly lecture notes, asynchronous instruction videos, and completing the weekly problem sets. Your attempts on the problem sets should be of high quality, and reflect both a high level of academic thinking.

Course Protocols and Getting Help

Amendments to the Course Changes to the course will be posted in the Announcements section of your course. Please check announcements and the course calendar every time that you log into your online course.

Course Communication Feel free to contact me with comments, questions, and concerns. All email messages will be sent to you via your JHU email account, so you should be in the habit of checking that account every day or you should ensure that your JHU email account forwards messages to another account of your choice.

Email messages will be responded to within 24-48 hours.

Advanced Academic Programs Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Johns Hopkins University

University Policies


This course adheres to all University policies described in the academic catalog. Please pay close attention to the following policies:

Academic Conduct

All JHU students assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the Johns Hopkins Universitys mission as an institution of higher education and with accepted standards of ethical and professional conduct. Students must demonstrate personal integrity and honesty at all times in completing classroom assignments and examinations, in carrying out their fieldwork or other applied learning activities, and in their interactions with others. Students are obligated to refrain from acts they know or, under the circumstances, have reason to know will impair their integrity or the integrity of the University. Students and faculty in Advanced Academic Programs are required to adhere to the academic integrity guidelines and process laid out in the Graduate Academic Misconduct Policy. Refer to the website for more information regarding the academic misconduct policy.

Ethics & Plagiarism

JHU Ethics Statement: The strength of the university depends on academic and personal integrity. In this course, you must be honest and truthful. Ethical violations include cheating on exams, plagiarism, reuse of assignments, improper use of the Internet and electronic devices, unauthorized collaboration, alteration of graded assignments, forgery and falsification, lying, facilitating academic dishonesty, and unfair competition. report any violations you witness to the instructor.

Read and adhere to JHUs Notice on Plagiarism.

Copyright Policy

All course materials are the property of JHU and are to be used for the student’s individual academic purpose only. Any dissemination, copying, reproducing, modification, displaying, or transmitting of any course material content for any other purpose is prohibited, will be considered misconduct under the JHU Copyright Compliance Policy, and may be cause for disciplinary action. In addition, encouraging academic dishonesty or cheating by distributing information about course materials or assignments which would give an unfair advantage to others may violate AAPs Code of Conduct and the Universitys Student Conduct Code. Specifically, recordings, course materials, and lecture notes may not be exchanged or distributed for commercial purposes, for compensation, or for any purpose other than use by students enrolled in the class. Other distributions of such materials by students may be deemed to violate the above University policies and be subject to disciplinary action.

Students with Disabilities

Johns Hopkins University is committed to providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities. Students with documented disabilities should contact the coordinator listed on the Disability Accommodations page. Further information and a link to the Student Request for Accommodation form can also be found on the Disability Accommodations page.

Dropping the Course

You are responsible for understanding the universitys policies and procedures regarding withdrawing from courses found in the current catalog. You should be aware of the current deadlines according to the Academic Calendar.

Getting Help

You have a variety of methods to get help on Blackboard. Please consult the resource listed in the "Blackboard Help" link for important information. If you encounter technical difficulty in completing or submitting any online assessment, please immediately contact the designated help desk listed on the AAP online support page. Also,

Advanced Academic Programs Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Johns Hopkins University

contact your instructor at the email address listed in the syllabus.

Title IX Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting

As an instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe and inclusive learning environment on our campus. I also have mandatory reporting responsibilities related to my role as a Responsible Employee under the Sexual Misconduct Policy & Procedures (which prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking), as well as the General Anti-Harassment Policy (which prohibits all types of protected status based discrimination and harassment). It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible. However, I am required to share information that I learn of regarding sexual misconduct, as well as protected status based harassment and discrimination, with the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). For a list of individuals/offices who can speak with you confidentially, please see Appendix B of the JHU Sexual Misconduct Policies and Laws.

For more information on both policies mentioned above, please see: JHU Relevant Policies, Codes, Statements and Principles. Please also note that certain faculty and other University comm unity members also have a duty as a designated Campus Safety Authority under the Clery Act to notify campus security of certain crimes, as well as a duty under State law and University policy to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect.


Johns Hopkins is a community committed to sharing values of diversity and inclusion in order to achieve and sustain excellence. We firmly believe that we can best promote excellence by recruiting and retaining a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff and by creating a climate of respect that is supportive of their success. This climate for diversity, inclusion, and excellence is critical to attaining the best research, scholarship, teaching, health care, and other strategic goals of the Health System and the University. Taken together these values are recognized and supported fully by the Johns Hopkins Institutions leadership at all levels. Further, we recognize that the responsibility for excellence, diversity, and inclusion lies with all of us at the Institutions: leadership, administration, faculty, staff, and students.

For more information on JHUs commitment to diversity, please visit the Diversity at JHU website.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the Johns Hopkins Universitys (the University or JHU) regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to

succeed academically.
For a full description of the code please visit the Student Conduct Code website.

Course Evaluation

Please remember to complete an online course evaluation survey for this course. These evaluations are an important tool in the ongoing efforts to improve instructional quality and strengthen programs. The results of the course evaluations are kept anonymous your instructor will only receive aggregated data and comments for the entire class. An email with a link to the online course evaluation form will be sent to your JHU email address close to the end of the semester.

Advanced Academic Programs Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Johns Hopkins University

Tentative Course Schedule:

The Course Calendar section on Blackboard will list the topic, assignment, and due dates for the current week.

This schedule is subject to change with fair notice. Any changes will be posted via Announcements in Blackboard.

Week Textbook


Topics Assessments Due


( 08 / 30 – 09 /0 6 )
Introduction Introduction NONE
( 09 /0 6 – 09 / 13 )
Chapter 1 Microeconomics of Consumer
Problem Set 1 09 / 13
12pm ET
( 09 / 13 – 09 / 20 )
Chapters 2
and 9
Static Consumption-Labor
Framework; Shocks
Problem Set 2 09 / 20
12pm ET
( 09 / 20 – 09 / 27 )
Chapter 3 Dynamic Consumption-Savings
Problem Set 3 09 / 27
12pm ET
( 09 / 27 – 10 / 04 )
Chapter 4 Inflation and Interest Rates in the
Consumption-Saving Framework
Problem Set 4 10 / 04
12pm ET
( 10 / 04 – 10 / 11 )
Chapters 5
and 6
Dynamic Consumption-Labor
Framework; Firms and Investment
Problem Set 5 10 / 11
12pm ET
( 10 / 11 – 10 /1 8 )
Exam 1
10 /1 5
8pm ET
( 10 / 18 – 10 /2 5 )
Chapter 8 Infinite-Period Framework Problem Set 6 10 / 25
12pm ET
( 10 / 25 – 11 /0 1 )
Interlude General Equilibrium
Problem Set 7 11 /0 1
12pm ET
( 11 /0 1 – 11 / 08 )
Chapter 18 Economic Efficiency
Problem Set 8 11 / 08
12pm ET
( 11 / 08 – 11 / 15 )
Chapter 14 Neoclassical Growth Model; Real
Business Cycle Theory
Problem Set 9 11 / 15
12pm ET
( 11 / 15 – 11 / 22 )
Chapter 7 Intertemporal Fiscal Policy
Problem Set 10 11 / 22
12pm ET
(11/22 -11/29)
Thanksgiving Break NONE
( 11 / 29 – 12 / 06 )
Chapter 15 Monetary Policy in the
Intertemporal Framework
Problem Set 11 12 /0 6
12pm ET
( 12 / 06 – 12 / 13 )
Reading Week
( 12 /1 3 – 12 / 20 )
Exam 2
12 /1 7
8pm ET