Professor Christopher Ragan
Introduction to Macroeconomic Policy
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm, Leacock 132
I. Housekeeping Details
1. Office Hours. My office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am - 11:00 am. If you are unable to see me then, please speak to me to arrange an appointment. 2. Required Textbook and MyEconLab. The textbook for this class is the macroeconomics half of Economics, by C. Ragan and R. Lipsey (13th Canadian Edition, published by Pearson Canada). You can also purchase the macro half separately; Macroeconomics (same authors, same publishers). Both are available at Paragraphe bookstore.
With new versions of the textbook, you will receive pin-code access to MyEconLab, an on-line collection of questions and supplementary materials designed specifically for this textbook. MyEconLab provides students with an excellent way to study the material, conduct self-tests, access the e-book to review topics during a self-test, and access the Additional Topics readings, some of which we will use in this course. For students who have a used copy of the textbook: pin-code access to MyEconLab can be purchased separately from Paragraphe bookstore.
Note that the three (optional) mid-term quizzes can only be done within MyEconLab so it is strongly recommended that you have access to it.
The MyEconLab registration number for this course is XL14-M1XG-401Y-0Z62. 3. Supplementary Readings. Several supplementary readings will be placed on the course’s MyCourses page. I will also assign several of the Additional Topics that have been written to accompany this textbook. They are only available on the MyEconLab site. 4. Assignments. There will be three assignments for this class. They will be posted on the course’s MyCourses page and must be handed in by groups of 5 students. These assignments are mandatory.
— McGill University, Economics 295B: Course Outline page 1—
5. Grading. There are three parts to your final course grade: 1. There will be three optional quizzes in this course. Each quiz is worth 10% of your final grade. The quizzes must be done online on MEL and must be done on a McGill computer with a physical internet connection. The dates and times for the quizzes are as follows:
9 pm – 10 pm (Chapters 19-22)
9 pm – 10 pm (Chapters 23-26)
9 pm – 10 pm (Chapters 27-30)
2. There will be three mandatory assignments in this course. Students must hand in joint assignments (with groups of five students). Each assignment is worth 4% of each student’s final grade. No late assignments will be accepted. 3. The final exam will be scheduled by the University during the April exam period. Your grade on this exam will constitute (88-10Q)% of your final course grade, where Q is the number of optional quizzes taken.
6. Diversification. Note that you have a choice regarding how you will be graded in this course. Less effort – greater risk:
Greater effort – less risk:
take the 88% final exam
take all three quizzes and the 58% final exam
— McGill University, Economics 295B: Course Outline page 2—
II. General Course Description
This course is designed to introduce you to the basics of macroeconomics, as well as some beyond-the-basics topics such as open-economy macro, fiscal and monetary policy, and unemployment. Some emphasis will be placed on existing debates in the design and conduct of macroeconomic policy. The following four themes will clearly emerge. Theme #1: In the short run, most economists agree there is no guarantee that the economy will arrive at a position of “full employment”. A short-run macroeconomic equilibrium with unemployed resources (both capital and labour) is entirely feasible. Theme #2: Due to the first theme, the government...
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