Econ 219: Intermediate Macroeconomics

Welcome to this web page! This class is usually taught in several sections, and this page is relevant for the section taught by Christian Zimmermann. This section meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays form 11 AM to 12:30 PM in room 213, Monteith Building.

Office hours for this class are Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-2:15 PM or by appointment.


This class will use the following textbook: Macroeconomics, by Steve Williamson. It should be available at the UConn Bookstore (Co-op). Each new book comes with a code that allows you to register on the publisher web site and enjoy some supplementary material, such as the study guide Conference Board data and PowerPoint files. I encourage you to use the Study Guide. We may use Conference Board data (or some other data). I will not use PowerPoint. Those who have a used textbook main not be able to log into the website, as the codes expire after a session (when used).

We will not cover every chapter of the textbook, and I will cover some material not covered in the textbook. Supplementary material along with links to more on certain topics on the web are provided below.


This is the first time I will be teaching this class in such a format, so the schedule is still a little bit up in the air. This is a tentative schedule and I will amend it as we progress.

DateTopicTextbook PagesRecommended Exercices
129 AugCourse Introduction
23 SepMacroeconomic measurement39-632-1, 2-4, 2-8
35 SepDealing with business cycle data65-751-1, 3-1, 3-3, 3-4
410 SepBusiness cycle facts I75-83
512 SepQuiz 1, Business cycles facts IINot in textbook
617 SepHousehold decisions, Data problem handed out89-1124-3, 4-5
719 SepFirm decisions113-1264-6, 4-9
824 SepQuiz 2, A first macroeconomic model: statics I131-134
926 SepA first macroeconomic model: statics II, Data problem due134-1495-3, 5-4
30 SeptReview session, Monteith 311, 5-6pm
101 OctMid-term I
113 OctBringing some dynamics: consumption and savings165-1926-1, 6-3
128 OctBringing some dynamics: Ricardian equivalence192-2086-6,6-8
1310 OctBringing some dynamics: investment and interest rates215-231
1415 OctQuiz III, Bringing some dynamics: aggregate output and employment231-2597-1, 7-3
1517 OctGrowth: stylized factsPartially in textbook
1622 OctGrowth: the Malthusian modelNot in textbook
1724 OctQuiz IV, Growth: the Solow model265-2768-1
1829 OctGrowth: Golden Rules276-2978-3, 8-5
1931 OctEndogenous growth297-3098-9
3 NovReview session, Monteith 311, 6-7pm
205 NovMid-term II
217 NovMoney: what it is317-319,513-520
2212 NovMoney: what it does I321-332
2314 NovMoney: what it does II333-3609-2, 9-3, 9-7, 9-8
2419 NovQuiz V, Sticky wages I369-385
2521 NovSticky wages II386-40610-1, 10-3
263 DecMoney surprises, coordination failures, Instructor Evaluation411-417, 426-43811-1, 11-7
275 DecQuiz VI, Real business cycles417-42611-4
2810 DecDid we mention unemployment?539-556
11 DecReview SessionMonteith 311, 1:00-2:00
2917 DecFinal exam, Arjona 115, 3:30-5:30All of the above


There will be two "mid-terms" and a final exam. Each will last a full class. I will also sprinkle a certain number of quizzes here and there, both to entice you to work without delay and to allow me to check we are on the right track. The formula will be: Yes, there will be a data project... More later. Dates will also be set once I understand the calendar.

A word about grades. When I grade, the average is usually around 60%. This allows me to reward better those who do well. Do not be too alarmed when you get a grade that is lower than those you get in other classes. But if it is really low, you should do something about it...

There are no past exams available so far. If I encourage you to do particular exercices, keep in mind that I may ask similar questions.

Mailing list

Students registered for this class receive regular emails with various updates about the material covered and about grading. Be sure to give me a valid email address that you regularly use.

Supplementary material and links

Classified by chapter, not necessarily by the order we cover the topics in class.
1. Introduction
2. Measurement: Gross Domestic Product, Prices, Savings, and Wealth.
Data sources
Statistical offices around the world.
The Boskin Report
3. Measurement: Business Cycles.
The Hodrick-Prescott filter, various codes for various softwares.
The article that first used the Hodrick-Prescott filter. Published two decades after its writing...
US business cycle dates, as determined by the NBER.
An article on stylized facts for US business cycles.
A working paper with stylized facts for many countries.
An article on the robustness of business cycles facts through time, in particular the comovement between output and prices.
4. Consumer and Firm Behavior: The Work-Leisure Decision and Profit Maximization.
5. A Closed-Economy One-Period Macroeconomic Model.
6. A Two-Period Model: The Consumption-Savings Decision and Ricardian Equivalence.
7. Investment and the Determination of Aggregate Output, the Real Interest Rate, and Employment.
8. Economic Growth.
Economic Growth Resources
Malthus' Essay on the Principle of Population.
The Penn World Tables.
An interactive tutorial for the Solow growth model
Robert Solow
Simon Kuznets
Paul Romer
9. A Model of a Monetary Economy: Money Neutrality, Long-Run Inflation, and Money Demand.
Milton Friedman
10. Keynesian Business Cycle Theory: The Sticky Wage Model.
11. Market-Clearing Models of the Business Cycle.
The QM&RBC home page, with lots of material on RBC theory.
The article that started RBC theory.
A critisism of RBC theory by Gregory Mankiw.
A response by Charles Plosser
A criticism of the representative agent construct.
A response by Charles Plosser.
Finn Kydland
Edward Prescott
12. Trade in Goods and Assets.
13. Money in the Open Economy.
14. Money, Banking, and Central Banking.
Central banks around the world.
15. Unemployment: Search and Efficiency Wages.
16. Inflation, the Phillips Curve, and Central Bank Commitment.
To contact me: Phone: 6-3272, Email: