Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 16:37:08 MST
                                        From: Renee Buchanan [RBUCHAN@ssb1.saff.utah.edu]

University of Utah
Anupam Tyagi
tyagi@econ.sbs.utah.edu
(801) 581-7481
Economics 202 "Principles of Macro Economics"
4 quarter credit hours

This course introduces students to macroeconomics; which "... studies national and international economic issues relating to government policy, institutional structure, and economic stability. Basic models of growth, stability in employment and inflation, and government spending and monetary policy are developed and presented in historical context." (General Catalog, 1996/97). Servicelearning is incorporated with this course to show that macroeconomic issues are social issues affecting peoples' everyday lives, thus contextualizing seemingly abstract and far removed theoretical ideas in textbooks. This approach also helps in synthesizing learning by doing, observing, experiencing, reflecting, reading, writing and sharing ideas. We will attempt to provide a useful service to the local community and connect some of the contemporary issues to more abstract ideas lying in the realm of macroeconomics text-books. Students will volunteer with local non-profit agencies. This course is to be taught in Summer, 1997 with a maximum enrollment of 70 participants.

On Meeting Service-learning criteria

  1. Participants in this class will be volunteering with non-profit agencies in Salt Lake City. They will provide Direct or Indirect Service. The former will consist of directly assisting people nonprofit organization works with and the latter will facilitate formation of informed opinions which are often crucial for making decisions in the public sphere. Participants in indirect service will volunteer with a local organization and compile information through a group-project to fulfill needs of the organizations; thus, indirectly meeting the needs of the community. Participants are expected to will work with Lifecare (helping senior-citizens and disabled), Housing Authority of the County of Salt Lake (tutoring children from low-income families) and Utah Issues (developing a Utah Indicator of Well-being (UIW) - an alternative to conventional measures like GNP and per-capita income).
  2. Text-book, additional readings and class-room discussions will help participants understand the macroeconomic context of socioeconomic phenomena which they come across while volunteering, e.g. unemployment and poverty.
  3. Participants in this class will keep a journal to help them think about and situate the issues they come across in their service project within the macroeconomic issues and policies discussed in class; for example, unemployment and inflation. A suggested way do this will be to make entries in a notebook as they collect information or do direct service. Participants will be required to submit journal summaries during the quarter. A service-experience paper (for direct service participants) will synthesize individual experiences/contributions with course material.
  4. Credit given for journals and papers will take into account participant's ability to relate service experiences with class room learning. An assessment of the service-learning will include assessments by non-profit organizations, written submissions of journals and papers, examinations and class-room participation.
  5. Direct and indirect service will be provided to fulfill the needs identified by the non-profit organizations and they will be directly involved in guiding and evaluating the service through reflection sessions and feed-back to the instructor.
  6. This principles of macroeconomics class aims at exposing participants to some basic concepts and contemporary macroeconomic issues, which will help participants in better comprehension of social changes. It is hoped that this, along with exposure to everyday issues via service-learning, will provide a motivation to seek information and form learned opinions on issues related to local and larger community. Understanding of fundamental concepts and issues related to GNP as a measure of success, economic growth, unemployment, inflation, budget deficits, international trade and finance should provide a foundation on which participants can build on in future.
  7. It is hoped that course readings and lectures will help participants in understanding some economic phenomena in society, particularly in lives of the people being helped through service. Basic macroeconomic policies discussed in the class will aid in relating service-experience to social institutions and situating these in a wider context; e.g., how will proposed changes in the consumer price index affect the people being served by participants of the class?
  8. Reflection sessions and class-room discussions will provide participants with opportunities to learn from other class members and representatives of non-profit organizations. Participants will also have the option of writing a joint service-experience paper with other members helping the same non-profit organization. This will aid a deeper analysis of the issues.

Course Description:

Important Note: this class has two sections: a service-learning section and a non-service-learning section which is like any regular class.

What is the purpose of this course?

The purpose of the course is to introduce you to basics of macroeconomics and help you understand basic concepts and reasoning behind related newspaper articles. At the completion of this course it is hoped that you will be able to see the reasoning behind policies, such as, changes in discount rate by the Federal Reserve .

What am I going to do to achieve this purpose?

This course provides basic theoretical background. You will be encouraged to think about some of these issues through choosing the service-learning section of this class, keeping a journal, taking quizzes, a final and writing a paper.

How much of economic theory will I study? How much mathematics do I need to know? You will spend significant time going through some theoretical basics in macroeconomics. This is to give you enough theory to get you started and help you understand the issues better.

Mathematics you will require for this class is the basic arithmetic, geometry and algebra taught in high schools. Some concepts that you will require are: Slope of a straight line, arithmetic manipulation of numbers with decimals (e.g., 1.575 + 6574.7843 = 6576.3593, 3.5x2.5 = 8.75), percentage calculations (22% of 60 = 22/100 x 60 = 13.2 and 23 is 40.35% of 57, since 23/57 x 100 = 40.35), square and cube of a number (e.g. 2x2 = 2 2= 4, 2x2x2 = 2 3 = 8, 2x2x2x2x2 = 2' = 32), manipulations of fractions (e.g., I/(I-0.25) = 1/0.75 = 100/75 = 4/3 = 1+1/3 = 1.33333...

Textbook:
Textbooks for this course are:

  1. "Macroeconomics: Principle and Policy" 5th Edition, by William
  2. Baumol and Alan S. Blinder.
  3. Economic Report of the President. 1997 (optional).
  4. Dollar and Sense - Macroeconomic readings.

Please take notes in the class since we may not follow the textbook to the word. If you miss a class please make arrangements to get class notes from someone.

Other required readings:

(1) You are required to subscribe to a daily news-paper of your choice. We will use this to discuss contemporary issues.

(2) We will have additional readings which can be obtained from the Reserve Desk at the Marriot Library.

For Service Learning section: each student will choose a local non-profit agency for service learning. Student will be working as a volunteer in the agency for 3 hours per week. Students will work with: Life-care Services (working with elders and disabled), Housing Authority (tutoring children) or Utah Issues (Alternatives to GNP as measures of well-being).

Three Quizzes: Quiz #1 will comprise of TEN multiple-choice (40 points) and ONE short answer question (10 points). Quiz #2 will comprise of TEN multiple-choice (40 points) and ONE short answer question (10 points). These will be held during the classes. The course-material covered will approximately be as follows:

Quiz #1 Course covered in weeks I - 2. Quiz #2 Course covered in weeks 3 - 5.

Final Examination: Final will be comprehensive. It will comprise of 30 multiple choice (30 points) and 2 short answer questions (20 points).

2 Journals (one page, single spaced each): for service-learning students. The purpose of this is to make you think about the issue you are working on, the information you are collecting and discuss them with other people and write an informative journal. The way you can do this is keep a journal (a notebook) and make entries as you collect information or do service. To bring issues into focus you can ask yourself three questions: what?, so what?, now what? That is, What have you come across (an information, an event, a happening); so what is the significance of this? How is this related to macroeconomics? Now what else do you need to know and what are the different ways of interpreting the same event/information. Submitted journal entries will be based on your notebook-journal. Journals are due on the Tuesdays of 3rd and 6th weeks.

One issue-paper topic: for students not doing service-lea Due on the Thursday of the 2nd week. This will be a one or two page explanation of the paper topic/s that you are thinking of writing on. You can explain %what the issue is, what you already know about the issue and what kind of information you will look for (can mention some possible sources).