Course Contents

Course Contents at a Glance

an icon of a pair of binoculars The following list is a summary of the topics covered in this macroeconomics course.

Module 1: Economic Thinking

  • Understanding Economics and Scarcity
  • The Concept of Opportunity Cost
  • Labor, Markets, and Trade
  • Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
  • Economic Models
  • Purpose of Functions
  • Solving Simple Equations
  • Creating and Interpreting Graphs
  • Interpreting Slope
  • Types of Graphs

Module 2: Choice in a World of Scarcity

  • Budget Constraints and Choices
  • Calculating Opportunity Cost
  • The Production Possibilities Frontier
  • Productive Efficiency and Allocative Efficiency
  • Rationality and Self-Interest
  • Marginal Analysis
  • Positive and Normative Statements

Module 3: Supply and Demand

  • Economic Systems
  • What Is Demand?
  • Factors Affecting Demand
  • What is Supply?
  • Factors Affecting Supply
  • Equilibrium, Surplus, and Shortage
  • Changes in Equilibrium
  • Finding Equilibrium
  • Changes in Supply and Demand

Module 4: Applications of Supply and Demand

  • Price Ceilings
  • Price Floors
  • A Closer Look at Price Controls
  • Trade and Efficiency
  • Consumer & Producer Surplus
  • Inefficiency of Price Floors and Price Ceilings
  • Labor and Financial Markets

Module 5: Elasticity

  • Elasticity of Demand
  • Examples of Elastic and Inelastic Demand
  • Calculating Elasticity and Percentage Changes
  • Calculating Price Elasticities Using the Midpoint Formula
  • Categories of Elasticity
  • Price Elasticity of Supply
  • Income Elasticity, Cross-Price Elasticity & Other Types of Elasticities
  • Elasticity and Total Revenue
  • Elasticity, Costs, and Customers
  • Tax Incidence

Module 6: Macroeconomic Measures: GDP and Economic Growth

  • The Macroeconomic Perspective
  • What is Gross Domestic Product?
  • Calculating GDP
  • Alternative Ways to Measure the Economy
  • The Difference Between Nominal and Real Measurements
  • Comparing Nominal and Real GDP
  • Converting Nominal to Real GDP
  • Business Cycles
  • GDP and Standard of Living
  • Labor Productivity and Economic Growth
  • Measuring Productivity and Growth Rates
  • The Power of Sustained Economic Growth
  • Relatively Recent Economic Growth
  • A Healthy Climate for Economic Growth

Module 7: Macroeconomic Measures: Unemployment and Inflation

  • Who Counts in Unemployment?
  • Calculating the Unemployment Rate
  • Patterns of Unemployment
  • Cyclical Unemployment
  • Frictional and Structural Unemployment
  • The Natural Rate of Unemployment
  • Inflation
  • Calculating Inflation with Index Numbers
  • The Consumer Price Index
  • Shortcomings of the Consumer Price Index as a Measure of the Cost of Living
  • The GDP Deflator and Other Major Price Indices
  • Problems with Inflation
  • Benefits of Low Inflation

Module 8: The Aggregate Demand-Aggregate Supply Model

  • The Aggregate Demand-Aggregate Supply Model
  • Building a Model of Aggregate Supply and Aggregate Demand
  • Interpreting the AD-AS Model
  • Shifts in Aggregate Demand
  • Shifts in Aggregate Supply
  • Business Cycles and Growth in the AD–AS Model

Module 9: Keynesian and Neoclassical Economics

  • Aggregate Demand in Keynesian Analysis
  • The Core of Keynesian Analysis
  • The Expenditure Multiplier Effect
  • Keynesian Economic Policy
  • The Neoclassical Perspective
  • The Neoclassical Perspective and Potential GDP
  • Flexible Prices and Graphing in the Neoclassical Model
  • Speed of Macroeconomic Adjustment
  • Policy Implications of the Neoclassical Perspective
  • Say's Law versus Keynes' Law
  • Neoclassical and Keynesian Perspectives in the AD-AS Model
  • Balancing Keynesian and Neoclassical Models

Module 10: Keynesian Economics and the Income-Expenditure Model

  • The Key Role of Aggregate Expenditure
  • Aggregate Expenditure: Consumption
  • Aggregate Expenditure: Investment, Government Spending, and Net Exports
  • Equilibrium in the Income-Expenditure Model
  • Finding Equilibrium Using Algebra
  • Recessionary and Inflationary Gaps in the Income-Expenditure Model
  • Real Aggregate Supply in the Income-Expenditure Model
  • The Spending Multiplier in the Income-Expenditure Model
  • The Spending Multiplier and Changes in Government Spending

Module 11: Fiscal Policy

  • Fiscal Policy and the Federal Budget
  • Government Spending
  • State and Local Government Spending
  • Taxation
  • Federal Budgets and National Debt
  • The Question of a Balanced Budget
  • Automatic Stabilizers
  • Expansionary and Contractionary Fiscal Policy
  • Neoclassical Fiscal Policy and Supply-Side Economics
  • Fiscal Policy, Investment, and Crowding Out

Module 12: Money and Banking

  • Defining Money by Its Functions
  • Measuring Money: Currency, M1, and M2
  • Credit
  • Financial Markets and Assets
  • Financial Markets, Supply and Demand, and Interest
  • The Commercial Banking System
  • Banking Assets and Liabilities
  • How Banks Create Money

Module 13: Monetary Policy

  • Banks, Loan Finance, and the Payments System
  • The Federal Reserve System and Central Banks
  • Bank Regulation
  • Monetary Policy
  • Monetary Policy and Open Market Operations
  • Monetary Policy and Interest Rates
  • Monetary Policy and Aggregate Demand
  • Federal Reserve Actions and Quantitative Easing

Module 14: Policy Applications

  • Viewpoints on Government Policy
  • The Phillips Curve
  • Policy Implications: No Phillips Curve Tradeoff in the Long Run
  • Rational Expectations
  • Ricardian Equivalence
  • Practical Problems with Discretionary Fiscal & Monetary Policy
  • Policy Implications: Dampening Business Cycles vs. Laissez-Faire
  • Policy Implications: Supply Shocks and Economic Growth

Module 15: Globalization and Trade

  • Absolute and Comparative Advantage
  • Comparative Advantage and the Gains from Trade
  • Intra-Industry Trade
  • Demand and Supply Analysis of International Trade
  • Protectionism
  • The Tradeoffs of International Trade
  • The Role of the GATT in Reducing Barriers to Trade
  • Trade Policy: Organizations and Agreements

Module 16: Exchange Rates and International Finance

  • The Foreign Exchange Market
  • Strengthening and Weakening Currency
  • Demand and Supply Shifts in Foreign Exchange Markets
  • Macroeconomic Effects of Exchange Rates
  • Exchange-Rate Policies

Licenses and Attributions