Macro Margin Notes
Up Economic Basics Macro Basics Theory and Policy Monetarism Growth and Trade Macro Review


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Walker Evans' Westchester, New York, Farmhouse, 1931



Economics is the study of how people allocate their limited resources to satisfy their unlimited wants. The ultimate purpose of economics is to understand the choices we make. Macroeconomics is the part of economic analysis that studies the behavior of the economy as a whole. It deals with economy-wide phenomena such as changes in unemployment, the general price level and national income. Microeconomics is the part of economic analysis that studies decision making undertaken by individuals (or households) and by firms. Our topics this semester are divided into five parts. Those topics are listed below and can be found on the pages linked above. Too, I have included a really good summary of most of the topics in this course on the Macro Review page linked above. It might be worth your time to look at that review before starting the course ... it will give you a good overview of where we're headed.


Economics studies how we, as a society, decide...

Economic Term

Ideal Goal

...what is produced and how it's produced.



...who gets what and who does what.





Macroeconomics Margin Notes

Part #1    The Basics of Economics

If you've already taken Micro, this section will reinforce the basic concepts you've already learned. If this is your first economics course, it's very important that you take the time needed to learn these concepts well.


Basic Economic Terminology



Demand and Supply

The Price System

Government Functions in the Economy

The Circular Flow


National Income Accounting



Part #3    Theory and Policy

Classical and Keynesian Analysis

Fiscal Policy

Government Deficits

Part #4    Monetarism


Financial Intermediation and Banks

Monetary Policy

Part #5    Global Growth and Trade

Economic Development

Economic Growth

Global Trade

Part #6    Review








Need Help with Your Course? Try These Resources!

Time Magazine’s The Economy's New Rules: Go Glocal (August 20, 2012)

GO GLOCAL HEADINGGlobalization used to be a one-way street that led away from America. Now high energy prices, political risk and technological shifts are bringing opportunity back home. Welcome to the era of localnomics.

Until quite recently, globalization was seen as a one-way street. American companies, which led the charge four decades or so ago into growing global markets, were its ambassadors, and American workers, whose wages and upward mobility were flattened, were the victims. The core idea was that globalization, technological innovation and unfettered free trade would erase historical and geographic boundaries, making the world ever more economically interconnected and alike. (Foreign-affairs writer Tom Friedman famously encapsulated this notion with the title of his book The World Is Flat.) In this vision, all nations would be on an even playing field, and the US would come under more and more competitive pressure from eager upstart nations. It worked something like that from the mid-1980s to 2008, a period of unprecedented market calm that economists call the Great Moderation. Not so much anymore.

The truth is that the world was never as flat as we thought, and it's getting bumpier. The flaws in the premise are coming into focus. Consider the following: when energy prices and political risk go up, far-flung global supply chains make less economic sense. Low-wage workers in China look attractive -- until robots operated by highly skilled laborers at home are able to do their jobs even more cheaply. Unfettered free trade seems great until the world's fastest-growing economies won't play by the rules of the game. Read the rest…

Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy? GDP, jobs and other indicators have all risen faster under Democrats for nearly the past century.

Switching Costs

Consumer Expectations vs. Reality

Commanding Heights: excellent film series

Financial Globalization: A Controversial Issue (03:27)

Prelude: Uneven Legacy of NAFTA in Mexico (02:04)

Costs and Benefits of Government Regulations (04:52)

Measuring National Success: GDP, HDI and Gross National Happiness (03:47)

Function of Federal Reserve (04:33)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) (03:14)

Globalization (02:28)

Gross Domestic Product (04:08)

Comparative Advantage (02:03)

Adam Smith: The Invisible Hand (Online Video, 42 min): mislabeled as video on Mill so ignore label

The Ascent of Money (2008) BBC (Online Video)

Creature from Jekyll Island: The Origins of the Federal Reserve (1998) (Online Video)

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s College Lecture Series began March 20, 2012. Transcripts and video recordings for each lecture are available at the site. Each lecture lasts about 50 minutes.

Lecture 1: Origins and Mission of the Federal Reserve: the functions of central banks, the origin of central banking in the US and the early experience of the Federal Reserve in dealing with the Great Depression

Lecture 2: The Federal Reserve after World War II: developments in central banking from World War II to the recent financial crisis

Lecture 3: The Financial Crisis and the Great Recession: the policy responses by the Federal Reserve and others that sought to restore financial stability in the wake of the crisis and recession

Lecture 4: The Aftermath of the Crisis: monetary policy responses to the recession, the sluggish recovery from the downturn and the impact of the crisis on financial regulation and central bank practices

Introduction to Macroeconomics and Microeconomics (MP3 audio download, 35 min)

This is the first lecture from the Modern Scholar course Principles of Economics: Business, Banking, Finance and Your Everyday Life taught by Professor Peter Navarro. In this lecture Professor Navarro talks about the basics of macroeconomics and microeconomics. He provides numerous real life examples about how both macroeconomics and microeconomics affect our personal and professional lives. Professor Navarro is able to articulate a number of economic principles in a clear and concise way that is relevant to everyday life.

Economic Analysis: Macroeconomics (online course, varying lengths)

25 audio lectures from Berkeley Professor Steven Wood's Macroeconomics course.


Economics Video and Audio Lectures

Learn Out Loud Economics Audio and Video

Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production, Volume 1 (MP3 audio download, varying lengths)

Capital, Volume I is the first of three volumes in Karl Marx's monumental work, Das Kapital, and the only volume to be published during his lifetime, in 1867. Marx's aim in this volume is to uncover and explain the laws specific to the capitalist mode of production and of the class struggles rooted in these capitalist social relations of production. Marx said himself that his aim was "to bring a science [i.e. political economy] by criticism to the point where it can be dialectically represented," and in this way to "reveal the law of motion of modern society." By showing how capitalist development was the precursor of a new, socialist mode of production, he aimed to provide a scientific foundation for the modern labor movement. In preparation for his book, he studied the economic literature available in his time for a period of twelve years, mainly in the British Museum in London.

Economic Policy Challenges: Macroeconomics and Fiscal Policy (online video, 114 min)

IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard describes a “two-speed recovery” around the globe, where emerging market countries like China and India are growing at a brisk clip of around 10%, while developed nations like the US are lagging behind with growth rates of 3% and below.

The Fed's Monetary Policy Rule (online video, 76 min)

Alan Greenspan retired as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board after serving more than 18 years, arguably the most successful period of monetary policy in the history of the Federal Reserve.

Introduction to Economics (online course, varying lengths)

The course provides a survey of economic principles and methods. It covers both microeconomics (the study of consumer choice, firm behavior and market interaction) and macroeconomics (the study of economic growth, unemployment and inflation). Special emphasis is placed on the application of economic tools to contemporary economic problems and policies.

The Strategic Importance of Global Trade (transcript)

The Strategic Importance of Global Trade with His Excellency Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, speaking at the Global Strategic Review 2007: The Role of NATO in Meeting Global Challenges. Professor Francois Heisbourg chairs the discussion.

The Wealth of Nations (MP3 audio downloads, varying lengths)

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist Adam Smith, published on March 9, 1776, during the Scottish Enlightenment. It is a clearly written account of political economy at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and is widely considered to be the first modern work in the field of economics.

Check out the 6 minute video from You Tube titled Did You Know: Shift Happens ... Globalization and The Information Age. It’s a little out-of-date but still fairly accurate. I think you’ll be quite surprised by most of the statistics.

Just for the fun of it, check out Yoram Bauman’s 5-minute You Tube video, Principles of Economics Translated. It’s a hoot! You might also enjoy Every Breath Bernanke Takes, Columbia Business School’s Spring 2006 Follies spoof on The Police's Every Breath You Take featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard and aimed at then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

For a completely different (and conspiracy-theory-oriented) take on the Fed, watch the following.

Part 1 (07:38)

Part 2 (09:26)

Part 3 (09:37)

Part 4 (09:59)

Part 5 (08:11)

CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf held a news conference on the projected economic outlook and budget deficit for fiscal year 2012 at 2012 Economic Outlook (74 min).

DOL Statistics

Economics Tutorials

Just for fun: Personal Finance Worksheets

Smart Money

Monetary Policy and the Economy in 2012 (3-hour video): Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified on the US economic outlook for the year and the future of economic growth.






Copyright 1996 Amy S Glenn
Last updated:   07/09/2024 2330

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