This course will teach students the basic tools of macroeconomics, with a focus on how to apply them to real-world economic policy. We will begin by exploring the tools used by economists to understand how living standards have evolved over time and why they differ across countries; we will also evaluate what policymakers can do to promote long-run sustainable and inclusive growth. The course will then turn to periods of economic instability. We will learn tools that help us understand what causes unemployment and inflation and what monetary and fiscal policy can do to combat them. We will pay particular attention to the recent financial crisis and recession as it has revealed the importance of the financial system to macroeconomic performance and has underscored several key policy challenges for the years ahead.
A previous semester-long course in economics or a quantitative undergraduate background (e.g., some engineering or math).