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The Power of Macroeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World

In this course, you will learn all of the major principles of macroeconomics normally taught in a quarter or semester course to college undergraduates or MBA students.


Course at a Glance

About the Course

In this course, you will learn all of the major principles of macroeconomics normally taught in a quarter or semester course to college undergraduates or MBA students.   

Perhaps more importantly, you will also learn how to apply these principles to a wide variety of situations in both your personal and professional lives. In this way, the Power of Macroeconomics will help you prosper in an increasingly competitive and globalized environment.

Course Syllabus

Week One: An Overview of Modern Macroeconomics

Week Two: The Aggregate Supply-Aggregate Demand Model and the Classical-Keynesian Debate

Week Three:  The Keynesian Model and Fiscal Policy

Week Four: The Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy

Week Five: Unemployment, Inflation, and Stagflation

Week Six: The Warring Schools of Macroeconomics

Week Seven: Economic Growth and Productivity

Week Eight: Budget Deficits and the Public Debt

Week Nine: International Trade and Protectionism

Week Ten: Exchange Rates, The Balance of Payments, and Trade Deficits

Week Eleven: The Economics of Developing Countries

Recommended Background

This course is suitable for everyone from advanced secondary or high school students to billion dollar hedge fund managers.  It requires no complicated mathematical training.  While a previous study of microeconomics might be useful in more quickly assimilating some of the graphical material, it is certainly not a pre-requisite.

Suggested Readings

It is unnecessary to use a standard macroeconomics textbook to learn the material presented in this course.  However, if you are interested in a companion book to this course, I can heartily recommend Macroeconomics by David Colander published by McGraw-Hill-Hill as an optional text.  This is perhaps my favorite textbook because it emphasizes the historical evolution of macroeconomic theory and practice – one of the major themes of this course.

As you take this course, you may also want to keep up with the latest macroeconomic news by reading newspapers like the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal or perhaps subscribing to the weekly magazine, the Economist.

My own book, Always a Winner, may be useful if you are interested in learning more about forecasting the economy and business cycle and using that forecasting information to strategically manage a firm or organization.

If you are more interested in a career in money management or want to learn more about how an understanding of macroeconomics can help you better manage your own investment portfolio, you may also want to read my book When the Market Moves, Will You Be Ready? as an optional text.

Course Format

This is a complete college and MBA-level course in the principles of macroeconomics as normally taught in a quarter or semester timeframe. 

The centerpiece of the course is a set of eleven lectures, broken down into 5 to 7 topics per multimedia presentations, specifically designed to simulate the traditional classroom lecture experience; and each lecture covers topics such as inflation, unemployment, fiscal policy, monetary policy, and, in this age of globalization, exchange rates and the economics of free trade.

These multimedia presentations feature a digitally-mastered audio sound track; and each slide in a typical presentation will include an outline of material from the audio track, dynamically constructed graphs such as the Keynesian model, animated charts and figures, and historical photos of people such as Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and Ben Bernanke, or some combination thereof.

To make these lectures as interesting – and as fun -- as possible, each is highly interactive so that throughout each lecture, you will be asked numerous questions and you should feel free at any time to put the presentation on pause as you contemplate possible answers.

After each lecture, you will be able to take an online quiz and immediately after you complete the quiz, you also will be able to check both your grade and your answers.  At the end of the course, you will then be able to take a final exam online to see how well you did in the course.


What can I receive for completing this course?

You can earn a Verified Certificate by verifying your work with a risk-free, no obligation Signature Track trial. Payment for Signature Track can be made anytime until the week before the course ends — so you’ll be more certain that you’ll earn your Verified Certificate.

If you choose not to verify your work, you can still participate in the complete course.  While your final score will be noted on your course records page, this course will not offer a Statement of Accomplishment.  

What resources will I need for this class?
The course is self-contained, with other reading material amplifying the analysis and application of economic reasoning.

Does this class prepare me for admission to an MBA program?
This course in Macroeconomics is an appropriate course for satisfying any pre-MBA requirement in macroeconomics. It can also be used in MBA programs.  (Students are advised to check with their own universities' academic advisers on the acceptance of this course for academic credit in their undergraduate and MBA programs.)

Is there an open license to the materials included in this course?
Yes, some materials are available for reuse under a Creative Commons license from the UC Irvine OpenCourseWare site.