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Macroeconomic Policyb (Econ 134) Berkeley

Sandra Watson
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University of California, Berkeley

Macroeconomic Policy From The Great Depression To T… (ECON 134)

Eco nomics 134
Co urs e De s criptio n
The course will analyze current macroeconomic challenges and policy responses in the
United States through the lens of modern macroeconomics and economic history. It will
include a survey of business cycles since the Great Depression and an in-depth look at
key macroeconomic policy issues, such as the impact of monetary and fiscal policy, the
causes and effects of financial crises, and the role of uncertainty and balance-sheet
effects in short-run fluctuations. The course is designed to build on the material in
intermediate macroeconomics, and will include both theoretical and empirical analysis.
Three hours of lecture and one hour of section per week. Prerequisites: Economics 100b
or 101b.
Re adings
The analytical framework for the course is presented in the open-access document
Short-Run Fluctuations by David Romer, 2018. The other readings consist of scholarly
journal articles, book chapters, and policy analyses. A reader containing Short-Run
Fluctuations and the readings that are not available online is available at Copy Central,
2576 Bancroft Way. The other readings are available online through the Berkeley library
using the links on the syllabus.
Le cture and Se ctio ns
Lectures are held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:00 to 6:30 in 245 Li Ka Shing. It
is course policy that electronic devices, including phones, tablets, and laptops, are not to
be used during lecture.
There is one section per week that will be used for discussion and to clarify the more
difficult technical material. Students will be asked to think critically about the readings
and discuss both the historical content of the assigned readings and the merits of the
empirical approaches used.
As s ignments and Grading
There will be a midterm and a final. In addition, students will be required to write a
short critical and analytical essay on a selection of topics, and complete four graded
problem sets. In determining the final grade, the midterm will count for 25 percent, the
paper for 25 percent, the problem sets and section participation for 10 percent, and the
final exam for 40 percent.


Macroeconomic Policyb (Econ 134) Berkeley

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