Spring 2013 Syllabi

ECN 232-51 Stover

ECN 232-51 Stover

by Stewart Stover -
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ECN 232        Macroeconomics                              Stu Stover


Office Hours; before and after class


Home Phone:  517-589-9092


Email:  stoverstewarth@jccmi.edu or



About the Course


Macroeconomics covers basic economic concepts including resource scarcity, supply and demand, and the economic roles of households and businesses.  We will also look at the role of government in providing public services, encouraging growth, and fighting inflation and unemployment.  The course will also cover current economic events such as unemployment, imports and exports, national debt, tax cuts and budget deficits, and the actions of the Federal Reserve Board in setting interest rates.  Students will also learn about economic data commonly reported by the news media.


ECN 201 is equivalent to first year economics courses in colleges and universities and transfers as an equivalent course.  The course is intended for business or other majors who require economics as part of their program.  However many students take it as an elective so they may become more knowledgeable about the US economy and the government's economic policies.  The course benefits:


business majors and others who need some overall economic understanding

working people who want some understanding of economic forces affecting their jobs

investors who need to understand the economy and economic data


This course will contribute to the following Associate Degree Outcomes:


ADO 5 Understanding human behavior and social systems  Students will learn to:


Recognize factors that determine and govern human behavior. Distinguish between individual and external factors.


Understand the methods of analysis and interpretation used by economics to explain economic outcomes.


Begin to use appropriate terms and concepts.


Describe at least two economic principles that govern human behavior.


ADO 7 Critical Thinking       Students will learn to:


Identify impact of human emotion on economic behavior.


Describe larger consequences of choices made by individuals and groups.


Describe steps in solving an economic problem.


Apply an economic principle to a new context



Class Resources


The text is Macroeconomics by Tucker (recent ed). A DVD accompanies the text and has some good short video presentations, check the “DVD Reviews” at the course web site for a guide to the best ones. You can buy the DVD or there are some on reserve in the JCC library. You should consider purchasing the Study Guide that accompanies the text, many students find it helpful.




There are  number of assignments that seem appropriate for a hybrid class. 

A midterm that allows you to convince me that you understand the concepts and the applications of what we have covered over the first few weeks.  Two questions will be required,  3-5 pages each. 

Possible questions include:

  1. Are inflation and unemployment adequate indicators of the economic health of the nation?

  2. Why is inflation getting harder to determine?  Explain why the Fed seems so intent on keeping it low? Or explain why when oil prices went up so much last year that commodity did not seem to effect inflation that much.

  3. Adam Smith created a new economic theory.  What was wrong with the old one and what did he propose?

  4. Explain comparative advantage, absolute advantage and explain what that has to do with today’s economy.

  5. Economically what is the difference between a supply side and a demand side approach to stimulating the economy?

Final – Three questions will be required, 3-5 pages each.  Questions you did not use on the midterm will be available plus any of the following questions.

  1. Let us assume that Cuba has decided to become a democratic, capitalist nation.  You are the key consultant to help them make the transition.  Come up with a plan to determine what to keep from the old system, what to get rid of and what to adopt.

  2. There has been a strong sentiment in some parts of America (and around the world) to go back to protectionism.  Explain your position on free trade or protectionism.

  3. Keynes is widely respected for coming up with an approach to dealing with the Great Depression.  What did he propose and how did it work?

  4. There has been a lot of talk in the media about socialism.  It seems that many countries around the world have been pretty successful with a socialist approach.  Explain the economics of the pros and cons of adopting a more socialist approach.

  5. Bill Clinton famously said about other countries around the world, “Just hook them on capitalism.”  Is the solution to world poverty just to hook people on capitalism?

  6. Greece is the latest country that seems to have crashed and burned economically requiring the IMF and the EU to step in and bail them out.  Explain what went wrong and how the IMF does what it does to help get countries back on track.


The third assignment is a group presentation.  This will be discussed in more detail in class.  In general the idea is to come up with a topic such as explaining the Great Depression, Scandinavian style socialism/capitalism, WTO/GATT and managing world trade, FTAA, mini dragons, Global financial meltdown, why we must save or let go the US auto industry, Federal Reserve and the Banking system or many other potential topics.  We will save much of the time for the last two class sessions for this.


I also expect that we will have an online community and you will each respond to a question that I pose each week.  The questions should be helpful in doing the midterm and final.  We will discuss this more in class.



Grading System


The midterm will be worth    25%

The final will be worth            25%

The presentation                   25%

Class discussions                 25%



How To Do Well in This Class


Economics is a hard subject which means it takes more time to learn it. Previous students who did well in this class reported they spent at least six hours a week outside of class studying economics. Reading the text is important but you should also use the other class resources on the course and text web sites. Some students like to use the Study Guide that accompanies the text. Tutors and study groups are available and are good sources of help.


Tentative Schedule


Wk 1                           Ch. 1


Wk 2                           Ch. 2-3


Wk 3                           Ch. 4+5


Wk 4                           Chapter 6


Wk 5                           Ch. 7, 8


Wk 6                           Ch. 9, 10 (we will discuss some of the issues in Ch. 7 and 8 also)


Wk 7                           Ch. 11


Wk 8                           Ch. 12


Wk 9                           Ch 13, 14 (money issues)


Wk 10                         Ch 16, 16W,


Wk 11                         Ch.  17


Wk 12                         Ch 18


Wk 13                         Presentations


Wk 14                         Presentations