Archive for the ‘335 Administrative Alerts’ Category

Administrative Alert (335-402): Email answers

May 10, 2009

Professor Vaughan is out of the country. He will reply to emails sent to him when he gets back.

Posted at 7:56 am CST


Admin Alert (335/402): Updated Syllabi

March 29, 2009

Updated syllabi to take us through the rest of the semester now appear in the Spring 2009 Syllabi page.   Also, as announced in class, I am changing my office hours for the remainder of the semester.  They will now be:

M-W: 5:45 to 7:30 pm.

I will be usually available by appointment between 2:45 and 3:45 M-W.   Also, we will have a standing 7 pm Friedman and Schwartz review session on Tuesday nights.

Posted at 8:20 CDT

Admin Alert (335/402): Retrieving Papers

February 2, 2009

If you miss class and need to pick up graded work, please see Azamat Abdymomunov. You can find his office location/office hours on the “Contact Information (TAs)” page.

Posted at 12:44 pm

Admin Alert (335/402): Syllabus Changes, etc.

January 29, 2009

The syllabus indicates most every quiz will have a take-home component due the following Wednesday.   To that end, in an earlier post I said there would be one this week.  There will be no take-home exercise this week, and I am changing the schedule for these exercises. It is important to get your hand dirty  with data.  It is also important to practice essays/problems of the type appearing on exams.  (The goal of weekly quizzes is to provide an incentive to keep up, not test deep understanding.)   That said, I can tell folks are getting off to a slow start on Friedman & Schwartz  (F&S).  I want you to spend time with the book, so you have (1) an understanding of U.S. macroeconomic history that to help you think more deeply about the current financial crisis/recession and (2) an exposure to/appreciation of original research in economics.   But, believe it or not, I realize you do have other classes.  So to head off despair and F&S neglect, I will not give weekly take-home data exercises/problems.  Instead, I will gin up a few take-home exercises for part 1 of the class and a few for part 2.  Each will count as an additional quiz, and you will have 10-14 days to knock it out.  But I will still average your best 10.  What this means is you now have at least 18 quizzes (assuming 4 take-home exercises).   Note: This is a Pareto improvement — no one is worse off (blow off the take-home exercises and your quiz average is based on the best 10 of the 14 originally scheduled ) and anyone completing an exercise is better off (more quiz drops).   Standby for the first take-home exercise.

The consensus view is sessions should continue, so I will hold them for at least the next few weeks.  The next one will be Monday or Tuesday night at 7 pm.  (I am having problems finding a room.)  I will post the date/time/location no latter than Monday morning.   Again, these are optional and offering them is Pareto improving by the same reasoning as the change in the take-home exercises.

Last Wednesday, I spent the entire 402 (am) class answering F&S questions.  To keep other classes from getting too far ahead, I devoted much of 335 and 402 (pm) lecture to non-scheduled material (FOMC statement in 335/Barro vs. Krugman in 402).   In all three classes, I built slack into the course outline, so we
should to catch up in a few lectures. And further F&S tangents shouldn’t be a problem; the study sessions will take care of most questions. To avoid “where are we?” type confusion, I will make it clear each week what is fair game for quizzes.   And, of course, I will note in class where we are.  (This advisory is targeted at my fall 104 students.  Last semester, I did not use class as productively as usual, in large part because of a 14-year hiatus from 104.   There is still rust — I have not taught 335 or 402 in 4+ years — but it is coming back pretty fast.)

Note to 335: Monday I will finish up “Overview of Financial Markets” and start “Financial Structure.”  The “Intro to Money” chapter is short and descriptive, so I will leave it to you.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by MDV at 4:17 pm

Admin Alert (335/402): F&S Study Session

January 26, 2009

I will conduct a study session over chapter 2 of Friedman & Schwartz  Tuesday night at 7pm.  It is tentatively scheduled for Seigel L006.  (I will email a room change if necessary.)  The session will last an hour.  I have re-read the chapter and made notes in the margins about things you might struggle with.  So the format will be like this:

“Turn to page 29 (section 2.2).  This section (pp. 29-44) has two objectives.  The first is to use the Mv=Py framework to trace changes in the money stock, velocity, prices, and real output between 1867 and 1879.  The big take-away is  the money stock grew by about 1.1 percent per year, velocity declined by about 1 percent per year, prices fell by about 3.5 percent per year, and real output rose by 3.6 percent.  The second objective is to convince you  these numbers are reliable, given the paucity of consistent data series at the time (and the assumptions F&S make).  Don’t worry about all the discussion of whether this number is/isn’t reliable.  Just focus on the general trends in the data and recognize the difficulty in compiling meaningful numbers.  Note, by the way, what is implied by the data trends.  Prices fell consistently over a 13-year period – persistent deflation – yet output grow respectably (a bit above the long-term average for the U.S.economy.  This implies deflation is not necessarily Armageddon.  Put another way, real growth is driven over the long run by real factors, not by the behavior of money and prices.”

I will, of course, take questions as well.  If time permits, we will get into chapters 1 and 13. I will also post reading notes over chapter 2 on the blog tomorrow evening, but I cannot promise they will be as complete as the study-session discussion.

Posted by MDV at 3:01 pm

Admin Alert (335/402): Questions on WSJ and Assigned Reading

January 26, 2009

I have had a fair number of email questions about the following issues:

WSJ Subscriptions
I faxed the subscriptions sheets filled out in class to the WSJ as they filled up.  The last sheet (with 7 names) went to the WSJ last Friday (23rd), so everyone should be getting his paper by the end of this week.  When you receive your first paper, you can register for online access at: WSJ Online Registration.   If you added the class late or did not sign up for the WSJ when the sheet went around, you can sign up on the same page where you register for online access (i.e.,  via the link provided).   I will post pdfs of articles noted in “WSJ Emails” through next Friday (30th) for the benefit of those not getting their paper yet.  (By the way, my spies tell me you can get a free copy — while they last — in Wohl Center and the student lounge of the first floor of the business school.)   I will note the section/page in the paper if you want to read the hard copy rather than the link.  (Note: Yesterday’s Barro post has been updated to include a link to a pdf and a page number from Thursday’s WSJ.)

WSJ Emails on Quizzes
Articles noted in WSJ emails (as well as supporting discussion on the blog) are fair game for quizzes/exams.   For a Wednesday quiz, you are responsible for WSJ emails for the week ending the prior Monday.  So for example, for this Wednesday’s quiz (28th), you are responsible for WSJ emails from Monday the 19th through Monday the 26th.   In this instance, you will be responsible for the Barro post and anything I post tomorrow.

Reading/Lecture for Quizzes
It might not be clear where we are in the textbook because my lectures have not followed the book.  On the syllabus, the reading listed for a given day goes with the lecture for that day.   So in 335 the reading for tomorrow’s lecture is Mishkin, chapter 2 (“An Overview of the Financial System”), and in 402 the reading is Barro chapter 3 (“Introduction to Economic Growth”).  In both classes, chapter 1 in the text is intro/review material I won’t discuss in class — which is why I put it with the “history of macro/intro to Friedman & Schwartz” lecture (which, as noted, is not in text).  Note to 402 students: Chapter 2 of Barro is a refresher on national income accounting.  I will talk about some of that material during the course of the semester, but most of it I leave to you.  Of course, I would be happy to answer questions in class.  Anything in assigned reading is fair game for quizzes/exams, irrespective of whether it is covered in class. But the focus of most questions will be material discussed in lecture — and Friedman & Schwartz (F&S).  Moreover, I will not ask any question over F&S that does not come from the study questions.

Posted by MDV at 5:49 pm

Admin Alert (335/402): Syllabi and F&S Questions

January 18, 2009

Course syllabi are below.  Please note the date for Exam II given in class on the first day was incorrect.  Exam II is scheduled for April 15th.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

Econ 402, Section 1 (10:00 AM, M-W):

Econ 402, Section 2 (4:00 PM, M-W):

Econ 335:

Here are the Friedman & Schwartz Study Notes/Questions:
Friedman & Schwartz Study Questions_Version 1

Please note Wednesday’s (21st) lecture in both 335 and 402 will be an introduction to F&S (i.e., there will be time for questions on the reading before the quiz).   Also, I will update F&S Notes/Questions and post quiz info on Tuesday (20th).

Posted by MDV at 4:45 pm