Kristin A. Van Gaasbeck

Dept. of Economics | College of SSIS | Sacramento State
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ECON 138: Monetary and Fiscal Policy

Fall 2007

Lecture: Mondays 5:30-8:20pm (web-based course)
Section: 01
Call No.: 86637
Prerequisites: ECON 1A & STAT 1. ECON 100A and ECON 140 recommended.


All assignments and readings for this course are published on WebCT.

Federal Reserve Symposium


Course Description

Catalog Description
Analyzes the policies of central banks and fiscal authorities as they relate to the stability and growth of the macroeconomy. Examines the theoretical and empirical literature regarding the conduct of monetary and fiscal policy and applies the tools of economic analysis to understand macroeconomic policy debates.

Scope and Objectives
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to current issues in macroeconomic policy. We will explore both the theoretical debates and the practical issues faced by policymakers.

This course presents a broad examination of monetary and fiscal policies that governments may use to pursue macroeconomic objectives such as steady output growth, high employment, and low inflation. Attention is given to theoretical models, empirical tests, and relevant institutional details of the U.S. Specific topics include monetary theory, the transmission of monetary policy, international comparisons of monetary policy design, theories of fiscal policy, and analysis of the empirical effects of fiscal policy.

By the end of this course, students should be able to

  • define key components of the monetary system and fiscal policy,
  • demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental issues in monetary theory as they related to policy debates,
  • use monetary theory to analyze how monetary and fiscal policy affect key macroeconomic variables,
  • compare monetary institutions and policies in the U.S. to those in other countries,
  • demonstrate understanding of theories and the empirical effects of fiscal policy,
  • access data and conduct statistical analysis as it relates to policy debates.

You are expected to have a working knowledge of introductory macroeconomics (ECON 1A) and introductory statistics (STAT 1), before coming into this course. The readings, notes, and assignments for this course require a working knowledge of lower division economic theory and statistics.


©2007 Kristin Van Gaasbeck | Department of Economics | 6000 J Street | Sacramento, CA 95819-6082 | 916.278.6223