Production, Employment, Prices (PEC2263.02)

Lopamudra Banerjee

The three indicator variables frequently used to examine the health and overall behavior of an economy are: aggregate level of production, aggregate employment, and aggregate prices. In this course, we will explore the connection between these three key variables, and study the economic forces that drive growth and fluctuations of an economy in their terms. We will examine, further, how policy interventions by the state and various economic institutions might shape our focal variables, and affect the economic dynamics within and across countries over the long-run and in the short-run. The two specific emphases of the course will be on [a] the potential effects of shocks generated by the current pandemic on aggregate employment and income over time, and [b] the systemic implications of economic inequality for economic prospects of a country.

This is an introductory course on macroeconomic theory and applications. The course is designed for students in their first and second years of college. We will explore the basic ideas in the course verbally and through written expositions, and make use of macroeconomic data (on unemployment, inflation, and production) to provide evidential support to our arguments. We will use graphs and mathematical formulations to express the key concepts in formal terms. For this, a grasp of high-school algebra and geometry is required, and some familiarity with spreadsheet analyses of data is expected. Also, some knowledge of calculus will be advantageous. No prior knowledge of economics is necessary to take this course.

The course is designed to [1] help students gain a critical understanding of core economic principles and apply them to a wide range of real-world issues, and [2] guide them in formulating their own analytical questions as they expand their knowledge through active, self-determined investigation. Throughout this course, students will expand their capabilities for economic reasonings, and progress in their capacities to inquire, engage and communicate.

The course will be taught through [A] asynchronous tutorial meetings [normally between two or three students and the course instructor] based around conversations on students’ work and questions, together with [B] one two-hour long synchronous meeting each week to be attended by all students in the class for lectures, data workshops, class discussions and collective sharing of ideas. Additionally, pre-recorded lectures on key topics will be made available to the students to give information relevant to the course material and support their independent studying.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Hybrid in-person and remote, with faculty in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 8:30AM-12:10PM (2nd seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: All courses , Political Economy
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