WAYLAND BAPTIST UNIVERSITY: SPRING SEMESTER 2002: WEDNESDAYS
ECONOMICS 4346-SA02: SURVEY OF ECONOMICS
Instructor: Gary L. Moon
Telephone: Home & Work: (210) 945-4943
Fax at WBU: (210) 826-5699, attn: Mr Moon
Division of Business Syllabi
A. Course Description: one semester survey course covering microeconomics and macroeconomics..
B. NEW Textbook J: Principles of Economics, 2nd Edition, by N. Gregory Mankiw. Harcourt College Publishers, 2001.
C. Course Outline: Senior level survey course for BSOE Degree candidates seeking an understanding of economic principles and policies involving national fiscal, monetary, and international trade decisions and impacts on individuals, business firms, and industries. We will develop an economic (analytical) reasoning sense to explain how and why societies behave characteristically in resolving conflicts between resource availability and economic growth desires. Specifically, this course's objectives are to:
(1) provide you a historical appreciation for evolutionary and revolutionary roles economic actions play in developing societies.
(2) broaden your understanding of economic principles based on human behavioral patterns exhibited when making psychological, social, and political choices while facing scarce resources.
(3) develop your conceptual, analytical frame of reference that applies economic theory to current problems, issues, and trends facing investors, consumers, and the economically disenfranchised.
A. Requirements for Undergraduate Credit:
(1) Course has three exams each worth 25%, and one position paper, worth 25%. Final grade is the average of these four assessments. We will adhere to WBU’s grading policy, but I will give numerical grades on the exams and paper to give both of us specific feedback on how well we are meeting our objectives.
(2) Make-up Exams are available within certain parameters. I will do my best to accommodate your work schedules, but see me before a crisis for details and possible arrangements. All exams must be “made up” before the next scheduled class meeting.
(3) Missed Classes. Avoid absences; economics is difficult due to much theory and often a new syntax for you. If duty calls for missing, make friends with smart attendees. Per expressed WBU and VA guidelines, any student missing 25% (3 classes) of the scheduled class meetings will receive a grade of "F" for the course. As a matter of courtesy, inform me prior to class starting if you need to depart early. (For those counting, 25% of 11 meetings is 2.75 classes; regardless if “excused” or unexcused; so the third absence is the magic number.) L
(4) Tardy. Realizing traffic exists, three (3) "tardies" may count as one absence.
A. Methods of assessing competencies students will acquire: To study economics is to understand the world. To absorb the economic analysis explaining and anticipating human behavior that establishes Haves and Have Nots and the financially supporting Middle Masses, focus on economic definitions and graphic explanations of principles. Upon completion of this course, students will use words, mathematics and graphics to define and explain how nations meet or fail to achieve their common, wealth-producing goals: price stability, low unemployment, and high and sustainable economic growth--while considering nation-state-industry-individual impacts on Earth's environment.
(1) Exams are objective and subjective, emphasizing the application of definitions and principles to assessing real world situations having economic ramifications. They require math solutions, written explanations; and always, thinking before answering. Generally, you’ll describe theory, then assess fixes to real-world issues.
(2) Position Paper Guidelines. Present research data and analysis of both sides (pro, con) of an economic issue or resolution; then argue your position using that analytical evidence in support.
(a) Focus research on government, business, or international economic actions or policies involving fiscal, monetary or international exchange and trade that seeks to preserve or explain solution impacts on price stability, unemployment, economic growth, corporate or individual economic behavior, or externalities.
(b) The short, but poignant and substantiated paper should cover 4-6 pages, typed, and double-spaced. Include an Abstract (good practice for business community decision makers) and References Page and use the format guides in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), 5th Ed (see Wayland Baptist University Bookstore for a copy). For guidance on the Abstract page, see p. 12; for the Reference Page, see p. 28 and pp. 215-281; and for clear examples on citing Internet sources, see pp. 231-281. Practicing proper formatting prepares you to compete at the management and executive levels of your major where “writing it right the first time” is expected when you are evaluated comparatively against other college graduates. To that extent, though the paper is short, do recall that you convince your boss in the Abstract and impress his peers and staff in body, and establish your credentials as a subject matter expert on the Reference Page.
(c) Don’t let pride get in the way of this requirement—college is about learning, not being graded. WBU provides and English teacher, normally in Room 106, every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. to assist with writing term papers—at no charge. Think of the economics here: perfection for free! Stunning deal!
(d) Sources: Use a minimum of three (3) sources, only one of which may be from a daily newspaper or weekly news magazine. (The textbook isn’t a source.) See "K" below to begin a journey.
(e) TexShare’s Library: WBU participates in the Texas Library Resource Sharing Program with every university and college and academic library in this town and most in Texas. Get a card from the Secretaries at WBU and you can conduct research 24/7, and eyeball-to-eyeball with the librarians at each university. Enjoy. J
F. Supplementary Materials:
(1) American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th Edition. Washington, DC.
(2) Wayland Baptist University, Division of Business. (December 15, 1998). "Local supplement to APA Guidelines for Term Papers and Research Reports in Business Administration." San Antonio. (NOTE: Find this guide on Wayland Baptist University’s HOME (Web) Page (www.sa.wbu.edu); click on "Library Resources;” then click on "Business Department Supplement to the APA Guide”.)
G. Method of Instruction: Course is lecture and student-participation oriented over 11 weeks, four hours per week. The test results and student feedback may be used to alter course format.
(1) How to study: Read and outline the chapters before class and write down definitions. Listen and take detailed notes, particularly highlighting what the instructor spends time on that is in the readings. Revisit your chapter notes and synthesize each chapter’s Key Concepts and Questions for Review, graphs, explanations, and examples with layouts and graphs from class. (If I take time to draw it, I like it.) Here’s how I think: Economics is worth your time only if you can take the book’s explanations and apply them to actual news while the course is occurring..
(2) Tests: Though some memory of definitions and explanations is necessary, the ability to present logical economic rationales (tell the story) for how and why reality works as it does is of greater importance. Approach exams with an “if change occurs, then this follows in reaction; so ultimately, that happens” attitude. I will endeavor to have exams that require you to tell the story of why something occurs, how it can be fixed, who disagrees with that and why; and what happens if its not corrected. Change isn’t always better.
H. Syllabus Note: This syllabus is only a plan, modifiable for academic reasons during the course if prudent. Therefore, the requirements of the course may be altered from those appearing in the syllabus. The plan also contains criteria by which the student’s progress and performance are measured; and that may also be changed, if warranted.
I. SCHEDULE OF CLASS WORK, EXAMS AND PAPER
DATE CHAPTER READING OR CLASS ACTION REQUIRED
Microeconomics—Market System works through A. Smith’s (1776)”Invisible Hand”
Feb 27, 2002 Read Chapter (CH) 1 & 2. Define economics and conceptualize Ch 1’s Principles in detail, as these are immutable human behavior laws. Understand Ch 2’s Circular Flow and the course is easy; comprehend the Production Possibilities Frontier (PPF) and you understand why wars occur—economic limits drive tradeoffs. Peruse the Appendix to renew skills in graph reading, functions, shifts and causality. Use “thinking like an economist” to structure your Paper’s research.
Mar 6 Read CH 3 & 4. Expand Ch 2’s PPF to a non-violent solution by increasing resources via Ch 3’s trade and specialization, as driven by the Law of Comparative Advantage. Ch 4 is the heart and soul of Economics—Laws of Demand and Supply, knowing the differential impact on quantity between a “price change (D)” (movement along the Demand or Supply curves) and “non-price change (D)” (shift out or back) is critical to telling the “if this changes, that happens to Equilibrium” story. You can’t study this chapter enough! Really. It’s how Economists talk.
Mar 13 Read CH 5 & 6. Chapters answer life’s ponderings, why do “they” (business, government) charge so much, or so little? With WBU degree, you are “they.” Ch 5 says Total Revenue is a function of only two variables: Price Elasticity of Demand and Supply. Total Revenue drives Business and elasticity drives profit, thus prices. CH 6 addresses governments countering the Laws of Supply and Demand to meet the sociologically disenfranchised’s political demands: price and rent controls (ceilings); and subsidies and minimum wage laws (floors). (Hint: Why don’t controls and subsidies work?) Using Ch 5’s Price Elasticity, who pays the burden (taxes) for CH 6’s governments manipulating Capitalism’s laws in Ch 1 and 4? [Depends on elasticity, yes?)
NOTE: THIS ENDS MATERIAL FOR EXAM #1,
Mar 20 EXAM #1: CH 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
[Yes, we have class after the exam. Figure 2 hours for Exam.]
Microeconomics: OK, the Market System apparently isn’t perfect and fails, sometimes.
Peruse CH 7, stopping to grasp the concept of Consumer Surplus, pp. 146-147; and Producer Surplus, p. 151; and Market Equilibrium, pp. 153-154. This lets us talk to Market Efficiencies or Failures down the road. As Capitalism (business grads) fails in the markets, governments (law grads) find “solutions” that keep “them” employed—yes, it’s always about Power to Rule.
Read CH 9. Knowing whose “surplus” is gouged answers the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) and International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) riddle in the enigma: free trade vs. restricted trade using Tariffs and Import Quotas to benefit or hurt domestic consumers, unions (labor), governments, and businesses—they can’t all win. This is your Management battleground versus your Unions.
Mar 27 SPRING BREAK! J Research Paper work? The best pro-con paper emerges when you data-search the topic you passionately can’t support, then do just that and attack your position. Lawyers conclude that given facts, from heated strife and verbal jousting comes the verdict best supported.
Apr 3 Read CH 10 & 12. [Great paper ideas here!] The US consumes almost 48% of the world’s resources, but we are only 4% of the population. but 25% of the pollution. The Private Sector, as influenced (controlled?) by the Public Sector, does fail. Why? Absorb Ch 10’s treatment of PIGOU vs COASE entirely—these guys are rocking your world now. Externalities: which are good, which are bad? Globalization vs. Fundamental Islam is the new dynamic of your life, a whole paradigm shift giving the name, “War against Terrorism.” But both are struggles between the Haves and Have Nots, each couching their Rationalism or Idealism quoting the same God, but often forming “economic ships” that pass in the night, neither approving of the other’s culture on Spaceship Earth. CH 12’s Design of the Tax System is worth serious, quiet reading. For once, you can follow every government’s thinking, and as a “they,” explain why taxes are as they are. Come out of this reading understanding the tradeoff between tax equity and efficiency. Now you know.
Apr 10 Scan CH 13’s Costs of Production. If you’ve had accounting and/or financial management, you will blow past this at warp speed; but, if Economics is one of your first courses, read Ch 13 in detail. From here out I take for granted you know your Business Major, so you understand “cost language.” I won’t cover this material, but am available to answer any questions you have.
Scan CH 14 (Perfect Competition) and CH 15 (Monopoly) for familiarity. I’ll cover the comparative essence of these in a handout, as they set the ends of corporate organization spectrum.
Read CH 16 & 17. For Ch 16, focus on Oligopoly pricing techniques and we’ll hone in on their natural failure tendencies—greed and fear leading to cheating. I won’t spend much time on Game Theory; however, for you romantics, John Nash’s life (Gaming in Economics = Nobel Price in 1994) was the theme of “A Beautiful Mind”, so you may enjoy Gaming. It’s how you maximize stock market gains. For CH 17, note the vast majority of the world’s business is done by Monopolistic Competitors, so spend some time on this chapter, particularly Fig 17-3, p. 382. Focus on how Monopolistic Competitors ensure profits at prices above resource allocative efficiency per Capitalism’s preference.
Apr 17 Read CH 19. This is where Unions play applying Ch 5’s Price Elasticity of Demand to the issue of Earnings and Discrimination. Education is the greatest enhancer of earnings, but so is maximizing one’s natural talents. (Wealth follows those that can’t wait to do “it” everyday. Amazing Kung Foo stuff, here. More stunning is the number ignoring this truth.)
NOTE: THIS ENDS MATERIAL FOR EXAM #2,.
Macroeconomics: Aggregate efforts by business and governments to achieve price stability,
low unemployment, and high and sustainable economic growth.
Read CH 22. Measuring Gross National Product (GNP) or Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Real terms (take out effects of pure price changes with GDP Price Deflator) moves every nation’s investment capital, and fuels liberal vs. conservative political arguments regarding economics. (Americans historically vote in large numbers on only two issues: peace and pocketbooks.)
We want to synthesize this chapter into an Economic Model using the Expenditures or Income Approach to measuring GDP or GNP (know the difference).
Apr 24 EXAM # 2: CH 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 19. OPEN NOTES J. (No, NOT Open Book).
[Yes, we have class after the exam. Figure 2 hours for Exam.]
Read CH 23. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) drives your existence, as IT IS the BASIS for all cost of living adjustments, tax and social security changes, payroll taxes, and of course, bills. Study the chapter in detail, as I will expand it so you actually use the CPI for your life, be it pay raise requests, divorce and child support settlements, or civil court suits for damages. Bring a calculator to class for this part. Get the notes from students if you are absent--bad class to miss!
Thumb through CH25. I’ll answer any questions; otherwise, this chapter is for YOUR information only. Do take some time to know the BOND MARKET—it’s how you’ll live off your 401(k) Plan or Thrift Savings Plan when you get Old (about age 55 these days, given layoffs.)
I consider this an “informational chapter,” not one I’m overly interested in “testing.” Keep it fun!
May 1 Read CH 26 & 27 & CH 28’s pages 627-637. For CH 26, know the definitions of unemployment and the impacts of increasing minimum wages from the Federal level. The parts on Unions using minimum wages to decrease competition (alter the union member elasticity of supply) are key to future chapters on Fiscal and Monetary Policy. Ditto for the Theory of Efficiency Wages—making YOU the Business man your own enemy. John Maynard Keynes used your tendencies against you in the Depression (1930-1939) and took your capitalistic self-regulating powers away, in favor of “government influence” today.
Read CH 27, noting I will spend time on M1 and M2 types of money, a super-quick overview of the Federal Reserve System, then detailed discussion of the Banks and Money Supply and the Fed’s Tools of Monetary Control. This is what drives every Finance course, your home loans, and the stock market fluctuations, daily. Create money, control it, change it—this is Wall Street’s gig.
For CH 28, we’ll keep it simple, but must come out understanding the Quantity Theory of Money so you appreciate WHY the FED moves so often, and WHY Congress and the Presidents fight the Fed so openly; and vice versa for the Fed. Knowing this theory brings you great wealth as a future retiree--manipulator of your own investments. There’s no “luck” in the stock market. J
May 8 PAPER DUE! NO LATE PAPERS! You had this “Suspense Date” since Feb 2002. Agree?
Read and Absorb CH 31 and 32. Where A. Smith (1776) said economies self-regulated and K. Marx (1848) said the resultant concentration of wealth would destroy capitalism; John Maynard Keynes (1932) called for “market socialism,” or purposeful government manipulation of macroeconomic variables to stop the extremes of the market system—called it Fiscal Policy. CH 31 sets up Aggregate Demand (AD) and Short-run Aggregate Supply (SRAS) curves to explain changes and impacts on the Expenditure Model of GNP: Y = C + I + G + NX (net exports). As earlier in this course, we will SHIFT curves to explain changes. CH 31 allows us to talk to CH 32.
CH 32 is THE COURSE in its Finality. The mentally challenged mice stay off the floor here, while the intellectual elephants dance; or more like it, the battle for dominance of the capitalistic and democratic herd is never for the meek. We’ll use Fiscal or Monetary Policy to correct the ills of business decisions, and all actions will have multiplier effects--enormous politics in this chapter. The easiest way to synthesize this chapter: convince Alan Greenspan or George Bush you are their best choice as an Economic Advisor. Give the pros and cons and impacts of every correction that fixed a previous wrong. This is the only true, “real world” in all its glory.
May 15 EXAM #4—FINAL, focus on CH 22, 23, 26, 27, part of 28, and all of 31 and 32. OPEN NOTES J. (No, NOT Open Book). WORTH 25% OF COURSE GRADE
[NO, we DO NOT have class after the exam. Take all the time you want. J]
I’ll give your PAPERS BACK with the Final Exam.
NOTE: HOW SOON DO YOU WANT FINAL EXAM AND FINAL COURSE GRADE FEEDBACK? Realizing it takes some time for WBU to send you the OFFICIAL Course Grade, bring a self-addressed, stamped envelop to the FINAL and turn it in with the finished exam. I’ll inform you ASAP. I can also agree to send the Final Exam and Course Grade to you by e-mail—if you send me an e-mail asking for that material. Keep in mind “privacy” is lost on the Internet when I “Reply” to your address, so use this technique at your discretion. You task me on this method.
J. Provision for Handicapped Students. It is university policy that no otherwise qualified disabled person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity in the University. Any student, who because of a disabling condition may require some special arrangement to meet course requirements, should contact the instructor on the first day of class to make the necessary accommodations.
K. Information Technology : Internet search tools on the World Wide Web (www.)
Welcome to the White House (http://www.whitehouse.gov)
WWW Virtual Library (http://www.w3.org/hypertext/datasources/bysubject/overview.html)
Particular websites relevant to daily economic analysis applicable for investment analysis:
Bloomberg Market and Economic News—daily by nation: http://www.bloomberg.com
Motley Fool: http://www.fool.com
Securities and Exchange Commission: http://www.sec.gov
Cable NBC business news—all day: http://www.cnbc.com
Cable CNN financial news—all day: http://www.cnnfn.com
Mutual fund analysis, all the time: http://www.morningstar.com
Textbook’s Website for those wanting much more to read: http://www.harcourtcollege.com/econ/mankiw
Super daily news in detail: http://www.smartmoney.com
Notable Internet Economic Resources for Paper Writing:
Resources for Economists: http://econwpa.wustl.edu/EconFAQ/EconFAQ.html
National Bureau of Economic Research: http://www.nber.org
European Union: http://europa.eu.int/
International Monetary Fund: http://www.imf.org/
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: http://oecd.org/
United Nations: http://www.un.org/
World Bank: http://www.worldbank.org/
“Beige Book” of Current Federal Reserve Bank Monetary Policy data:
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://stats.bls.gov
Department of the Treasury: http://www.ustreas.gov/
Department of Commerce, FedWorld Information Network: http://www.fedworld.gov/
Council of Economic Advisors & the Economic Report of the President:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/ Then click on the most recent Report you seek.
Economic Statistics Briefing Room of the President: http://www.whitehouse.gov/fsbr/esbr.html
Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census: http://census.gov/
Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC): http://www.federalreserve.gov/FOMC/
Directory of State Economic Data Centers: http://www.census.gov/ftp/pub/sdc/www/sdctxt.html
Web oriented Economists on a world-wide basis: http://www.helsinki.fi/WebEc/WebEc.html
List of Policy Research organizations (Eyes Wide Open : these folks have Agendas): http://www.policy.com
Need some facts? Try the World Fact book: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html
Need Monetary Policy data? Go to the FED: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pressreleases.htm
How about the Law and Economics & Finance (M&A’s) at the Department of Justice? http://www.usdoj.gov/
Want to analyze the President’s current year and next five years Budget of the United States Government?