Social Science Education

ECON 200

Economics 200 Office: HH 273

Principles of Macroeconomics (B3) Hours: 11:00 - 12:00 MW

Dr. Conant 9:00 – 10:00 R

Fall 2004 Or by appointment

E-mail: econjlc@isugw Phone: 237-2163

Text: Macroeconomics: Principles, Problems, and Policies by McConnell and Brue, McGraw-Hill, Sixth edition, 2005.

Course Objectives:

The basic purpose of this course is to provide you with the broad conceptual framework necessary to understand the workings of the American economic system and the varied and fundamentally economic nature of many governmental and public policy issues. A basic understanding of economic concepts is essential before you can appreciate the implications of your interactions within the complex structure of your businesses, governments, and communities. The evolution of human institutions, both private and public, have been stimulated by dynamic economic forces. Without an understanding of these changing economic forces and their consequences, individuals will lack a true understanding of why their institutions are structured the way they are. All individuals are economic "actors", and the world is their "stage". Whether you wear the hat of a consumer, a business decision-maker, a governmental decision-maker, or a voter, you will be making economic decisions that will affect the quality of your life and that of your fellow citizens.

The course will provide the analytic tools which will allow you to interpret the public debate over important issues that will make you more perceptive, knowledgeable, and responsible citizens. The secondary objective of the course is to acquaint you with the Indiana Academic Standards for Economics. A variety of economic education materials used in 6th-12th grade social studies classrooms will be used to help you learn to integrate economic concepts and lessons into courses in other social science disciplines such as US and World History, Geography, Government, Social Systems, International Studies, and Current Issues courses.

Why good citizenship requires economic literacy:

The aim of the popularization of economic studies is not to make every man an economist. The idea is to equip the citizen for his civic functions in community life.  The conflict between capitalism and totalitarianism, on the outcome of which the fate of civilization depends, will not be decided by civil wars and revolutions. It is the war of ideas. Public opinion will determine victory and defeat.  It would be a fateful error for the citizens to leave concern with economic studies to the professionals as their exclusive domain. As the main issues of present-day politics are essentially economic, such a resignation would amount to a complete abdication of the citizens for the benefit of the professionals.

The plain citizens are mistaken in complaining that the bureaucrats have arrogated powers; they themselves and their mandatories have abandoned their sovereignty. Their ignorance of fundamental problems of economics has made the professional specialists supreme. If the citizens are under the intellectual hegemony of the bureaucratic professionals, society breaks up into two castes: the ruling professionals, and the gullible citizenry. Then despotism emerges, whatever the wording of constitutions and laws may be."  Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy (1944)

Tentative Course Schedule

Date Topic Date Topic

R 8/25 Intro to Class

T 8/30 Chap 1: The Nature & Method of Economics R 9/2 Chap 2: The Economizing Problem

T 9/7 Chap 3: Individual Markets R 9/9 K-12 IN Academic Standards in Economics

T 9/14 Chap 3W: Supply & Demand Analysis R 9/16 Chap 4: The Market System

T 9/21 Chap 5: The US Economy R 9/23 Chap 6: The US in the Global Economy

T 9/28 MS & HS Economic Lessons R 9/30 EXAM I

T 10/5 Chap 7: Measuring GDP R 10/7 Chap 8: Intro to Economic Growth and

Stabiltiy

T 10/12 Chap 9: Basic Economic Relationships R 10/14 Chap 11: AD & AS

T 10/19 Chap 12: Fiscal Policy R 10/21 Chap 12: Fiscal Policy

T 10/26 EXAM II R 10/28 MS & HS Economic Lessons

T 11/2 MS & HS Economic Lessons R 11/4 Chap 13: Money & Banking

T 11/9 Chap 14: Money Creation R 11/11 Chap 15: Monetary Policy

T 11/16 Chap 16: Long-Run AS R 11/18 Chap 17: Economic Growth

T 11/23 EXAM III R 11/25 Thanksgiving Break

T 11/30 Chap 18: Deficits, Surpluses, and the Debt R 12/2 Chap 20: Int’l Trade

T 12/7 MS & HS Economics Lessons R 12/9 Chap 22: Economics of Developing Nations

T 12/14 EXAM IV (1:00pm)

Assignments:

1. Find political cartoons (http://cagle.slate.msn.com/) or short newspaper/magazine articles dealing with 8 of the economic concepts listed below. Discuss how the cartoon/article illustrates the economic concept and whether the concept is accurately used and why. Indicate the IN academic standard(s) that could be taught with the cartoon/article and evaluate the classroom effectiveness of using the cartoon/article.

2. Review 4 on-line lessons that are effective tools for teaching at least 4 (at least 1 per lesson) of the IN Academic Standards for High School Economics (http://www.marcopoloeducation.org/index.aspx or the IDOE Academic Standards Resources site ).

Grading:

Exams 60%

Reading Quizzes 10%

Assignment 1 15%

Assignment 2 15%

Total 100%

Makeup Policy:

Exams may be made up IF prior permission is granted, or a signed doctor's excuse if provided.

Attendance:

Attendance is expected on a regular basis. Chronic absence from class will be considered as evidence of a lack of effort and preparation. Since the examinations are based on the text and the classroom discussions, students who do not attend class regularly are at a significant disadvantage on exams.

Participation:

Classroom participation is expected. This is an issues oriented class, and classroom discussions are an important component of the learning process. An unwillingness to participate will be considered as evidence of a lack of effort and preparation. Participation will be an important factor in determining borderline grades.

Economic Concepts for Assignment 1

Opportunity Cost

Supply and/or Demand

GDP

Inflation

Employment/Unemployment

Economic Growth/Development

Fiscal Policy

Monetary Policy

Federal Reserve

Deficits/Debt

International Trade

The Benefits of Studying Economics:

Your college education is only the beginning of a long road that will have countless twists and turns.  There will be ample time to change jobs and careers. It is for precisely this reason that economics is a good subject to study. You need to prepare yourself to take advantage of whatever opportunities become available. Economics provides a good foundation for confronting change because it teaches a disciplined way to analyze and to make choices. The following sections present some of the reasons for studying economics.

Economics Deals with Vital Current Problems

The study of economics covers inflation, unemployment, monopoly, economic growth, pollution, free markets vs. bureaucracy, poverty, productivity, and other issues in the headlines. Economics is a problem-based social science, and the problems with which it is concerned are among the issues that fill newspapers and pervade politics. Economics is relevant not only to the big problems of society, but also to personal matters, such as one's job, wages, unemployment, the cost-of-living, taxes, and voting.

Economics Uses Theoretical Models and the Scientific Method

Some students become impatient with the seemingly endless array of conjecture and descriptive material that characterize many of the social sciences. Economics is a social science with models for organizing facts and for thinking about policy alternatives. Because economics deals with prices and numbers and because so many of its quantities are objectively measurable, economic theory is more fully developed than most other kinds of social theory.

Economics Prepares Students for Community Leadership

A knowledge of economics and an understanding of current economic institutions and problems are essential not only for certain occupations, but for leadership roles as well. Economics can serve as an avocation as well as a career foundation. As someone knowledgeable about economics, you may play a leading role in a political party or a civic club or organization. You will be an informed commentator on current issues in any setting. Few disciplines are equal to economics in preparing one to be an interested, interesting, and understanding observer of passing events and a leader in making decisions.

An Economics Major Opens Up Many Career Options

Economics, unlike some majors, leads to a great diversity of career opportunities. These include careers in business, law, journalism, teaching, politics, finance and banking, government service, public and private overseas service, and labor leadership.  Employers, especially business firms, who are looking for liberal arts graduates often favor economics majors because these students have been through a rigorous sort of training. The demands of majoring in economics tend to drive away the less ambitious, and attract the better minds. Thus, a degree in economics may prove to be a valuable credential. The payoff goes beyond getting a job; the salaries of economists tend to be higher than those of other social scientists.

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