ECONOMICS 500                                                          Tom Larson

CSULA                                                                            Spring 2006

 

MBA Economics

 

 

Office:  Simpson Tower, STF908

Phone:   (323) 343-2938/2930

Office Hours: MW 2:30-4:30, or by appointment.

e-mail: use course web site

__________________________________________________________________

This course includes a web site supported by the University and by WebCT.

Class Web Site: http://www.calstatela.edu/webct. At this page you can create your WebCT account.  To access the course site, you will need to locate the course listing so it can be added to your WebCT account. Go to See courses. From here, go to the College of Business and Economics page and then select Econ500tl from the course list.  Once at Econ500tl, click on the “plus” icon and then self-register for the course. You will need internet access and a web browser (preferably Netscape or Firefox.

The web site contains a variety of features, including online quizzes, course syllabus, course notes, etc.  You should familiarize yourself with the website as soon as possible. 

 

About the Course:

This course is designed to introduce the principles of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. The objective in this course is to familiarize you with the major issues in economics, without resorting to rigorous economic theory. This course is meant to enable you to understand the essential elements of how consumers, firms, and markets behave. We will also focus on measuring economic activity, inflation, unemployment, money supply, and the role of the government. It is important that students with non-business undergraduate degrees have a reasonable background in economics before they begin the MBA core courses. Knowledge of how the market functions, how quantities of goods are bought and sold in such markets, and how prices at which they are bought and sold are determined is essential. Furthermore, it is important to understand how the entire economy functions and therefore what determines the total output of goods and services are produced, the unemployment rate, the rate of inflation, and the interest rate.

 

Communication tools: The course website has a Discussion site. I will be placing discussion topics there almost weekly.  Part of your grade will be based on participation in the weekly discussions.  There is a Mail tool that allows students to email the instructor privately and email other students.

 

 

FINAL: The final exam will be in class on June 7, from 7:30-10:00 pm.

READING ASSIGNMENTS AND COURSE OUTLINE

 

REQUIRED TEXTs: (1) Economics Principles and Policy, 10th Edition, Baumol and Blinder (required). The text can be purchased either in hardcopy or as an e-book. The hard copy text comes with a CD-ROM.  The textbook also has a web site – http://baumol.swcollege.com.

(2) Peddling Prosperity, Paul Krugman, Norton, 1995.  Paul Krugman is one of the top economists in the world today.  He is not only a good economist but is also very knowledgeable about how economic advice is used.  Some people think he is not really an economist because he can be very blunt and often writes for the popular media. He is a serious economist who has a good chance of receiving a Nobel Prize.  This book helps you understand macroeconomics and policy and lets you see how bad as well as good policy is made.  There is a very good website for Krugman material: http://www.pkarchive.org.

Recommended: The Great Unraveling, Paul Krugman.

 

 

It is also recommended that you keep yourselves informed about current economic news and issues by reading one or more of the following:

The Wall Street Journal

The Los Angeles Times

The New York Timesyou can sign up for its internet news alerts.

The Economistthis is the best of this bunch, and is also the most expensive, per copy.

__________________________________________________________________

 

 

WEEK

Chapters

TOPICS

 

 

 

  1

One:

What is Economics

 

Two

The U.S. Economy: Myth & Reality

  

Three:

Scarcity and Choice

 

 

Homework 1 Assigned

  2

Four:

Supply, Demand and Prices: An Initial Look

   

Five:

Consumer Choice: Demand

 

Six :

Demand and Elasticity

 

 

 

 

 

Homework 2 Assigned

  3

Seven & Eight:

Production and Costs

   

Ten:

Perfect Competition

 

 

Quiz 1: Chapters 1 & 2

 

 

Homework 3 Assigned

 

 

 

  4

Eleven:

Monopoly

 

Twelve:

Monopolistic Competition & Oligopoly

 

 

QUIZ 2: Chapters 3 & 6

  5

Fourteen

The Case for Free Markets

 

Fifteen

Market Failures

 

 

QUIZ 3

  6

Twenty-two

Intro to Macroeconomics

 

 

MIDTERM: Covers micro chapters

 

Twenty-three

Goals of Macroeconomic policy


 

 

 

 

  7

Twenty-five

Aggregate Demand & the Consumer

 

Twenty-six

Unemployment Or Inflation

 

Twenty-seven

Supply Side Equilibrium

 

Krugman, 1

The Attack on Keynes

 

 

Homework 4 Assigned

 

 

 

  8

 Twenty-eight

Fiscal policy

 

 Twenty-nine

Money and the Banking System

 

Krugman, 2

Taxes, Regulation and Growth

 

Krugman, 3

The Supply-Siders

 

 

Homework 5 Assigned

 

 

QUIZ 4

  9

Thirty

Monetary Policy

 

Thirty-one

Debate Over Monetary and Fiscal Policy

 

 Thirty-two

Budget Deficits

 

Krugman, 4

Growth

 

 

Homework 6 Assigned

 

 

QUIZ 5

10

Thirty-three

Inflation VS Unemployment

 

Thirty-four

International Trade and Public Policy

 

Thirty-six

Exchange Rates & Macroeconomics

 

Krugman, 8

In the Long Run Keynes is Still Alive

 

 

QUIZ 6

 

 

 

 11

FINAL

Macro chapters.

 

 

Krugman: 1-4, 8.

 

 

 

 _________________________________________________________________

The course grade will be based on:

Midterm (35%)

Final (35%)

Homework (15%)

Quizzes (10%)

Course participation (5%) – this is based on attendance and participation in online discussions.

Exams will be based on material covered in lectures, the homework and in assigned reading.

Quizzes will be online and open book, but will be timed. You will have one week to complete each homework assignment.

 

The course grades will be assigned as follows:

A         90-100%

B         80-89%

C         65-79%

D         55-64%


ECON 500                                                                             Tom Larson

Economics                                                                          

 

What is Economics?

 

 

Economics is not about highly abstract ideas that few people have time to think about (well, sometimes it is) - it is about a wide variety of phenomenon that we each deal with in everyday life.  Economics does tend to focus on market behavior, but is really another way of understanding human behavior.

 

Economic theory has a lot to offer any individual trying to earn a living and raise a family when faced with inflation and unemployment and not enough money, and trying to make good decisions on purchases and savings while striving for a better life.  Economic theory has a lot to offer any society that is faced with inflation and unemployment and is trying to make good decisions on expenditures and investments that will benefit all members.

 

This course has a number of goals and some of them are identified below:

 

1.         We will seek to clearly identify important ideas in economics.  This is not just the instructor’s job; he already has a pretty good idea about which ideas are important.  By taking good notes and working at summarizing the lectures and chapters, the student works to identify and understand the important ideas.  A joint effort is required.

 

2.         We will identify both virtues and shortcomings of market behavior.  We want to know how markets benefit individuals and society, but we also need to know the limitations and failures of markets.

 

3.         We are engaged in scientific study and must be aware of opposing opinions in fair disputes.  Dissent is encouraged.

 

4.         We will be studying economic theories, but will be concerned with finding applications in the real world.  Theory is useful because it illuminates problems that cannot be understood through intuition or "common sense."