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1 ECONOMICS 311 GENERAL INTRODUCTION Fall 2009 Robert J. Gordon, AAH 350 MW 8:30-9:50 am, FSK 217 491-3616; [email protected] web site: http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/economics/gordon [You do not have to enter that long URL; just google “Robert J. Gordon” and don’t forget the “J”] Office Hours, T 4-5:30 pm TAs: Riccardo Masolo, [email protected] Ryan Marsh, [email protected] Assaf Patir, [email protected] TA office hours will be announced; all TA office hours are held in AAH 328. 1. The Course: Its Purpose and Prerequisites . Economics 311, along with 310 (Microeconomics), are the basic "intermediate" courses that are taken after the "principles" courses, 201 and 202. Only 201 is a prerequisite for 311, or alternatively a score of “5" on the AP test for macroeconomics. Please note: neither 202 nor 310 is a prerequisite for 311. 2. Relation to Economics 201 . While overlapping Econ 201 in the first two weeks, Economics 311 develops a more complete model of economic activity and applies it to an explanation of the relationships among inflation, unemployment, real output growth, money, the federal budget, the foreign exchange rate, the trade deficit, and other central economic concepts. A single integrated algebraic model is used in 311, and much of the course involves learning how to use this model to answer questions about the real world. There is much more emphasis on using and solving algebraic models in 311 than in 201. Also, 311 uses a custom-designed book of readings (clippings, short articles) to bring the "real world" to bear on every topic. 3. Required Reading . Books are available at Norris; some students prefer to buy them over the internet. See the details on reading listed below. Let me know promptly of any shortages of books. 4. Advice . If you don't understand a particular point in the lecture, wave your hand and ask me to explain it again. Or come up and ask after class. For questions about the
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2 text, problems, and readings, talk to the TAs in the section meeting or in their office hours. You will also find that many of your questions only take a minute or two to answer, and for these you should come up after class rather than making a special trip to office hours, either mine or those of the TAs. You can also reach the TA or me by e-mail (see addresses above). The TAs and I both pledge that any e-mail question will be answered within 24 hours. I am really good about answering e-mails not just from Evanston but when I am on Friday-Saturday trips to the east coast or Europe. 5. Notes on lectures and TA sections. The lectures will mix an explanation of the most important textbook material, and presentation and solution of questions and problems, with lots of comments and examples showing how the textbook model(s) apply to some of the great macro issues of today and yesterday. The outside readings will be discussed frequently in lectures and linked to particular sections of the textbook. TA sections will administer quizzes and discuss answers, provide sample test questions prior to the
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