Econ 219: Intermediate Macroeconomics

Welcome to this web page! This class is usually taught in several sections, and this page is relevant for section 2 taught by Christian Zimmermann. This section meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00 AM to 9:15 AM in Monteith 233.

Office hours for this class are Wednesdays 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM, 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 (which I will encourage you to use), Conference Board data and PowerPoint files. We may use Conference Board data (or some other data). I will not use PowerPoint. Those who have a used textbook may not be able to log into the website, as the codes expire after a session (when used).

A second edition of the book is now available. You may still use the first edition without much loss. The study guide is not available online anymore, but you may find a copy from previous students. The second edition has some added material that is covered by supplementary material that you can download in the schedule below.

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 a tentative schedule and I will amend it as we progress. The recommended exercices are from the study guide (C=Chapter, S=Short answer question, G=Graphical/numerical question).

And to help you follow the class, the list of symbols used.

Textbook pagesRecommended Exercices
DateTopicEd. 1Ed. 2Ed. 1Ed .2
117 JanCourse Introduction
219 JanMacroeconomic measurement I39-6337-56C2: S1-6, S8-9, S12, G1-2C2:S1-4, S6-9, S12-14, G1-2
324 JanDealing with business cycle data 65-75, notes 1-1163-74, notes 1-11
426 JanBusiness cycle facts I75-83, notes 12-2174-84, notes 12-21C3: S1-3C3: S1-3
531 JanQuiz 1, Business cycles facts II, Data problem handed outnotes 12-21notes 12-21
62 FebHousehold decisions I89-10391-104C4: S1-2, G1-2, G6C4: S1-2, G1-2, G6
77 FebHousehold decisions II, Firm decisions I103-120104-120C4: S3, G3-4C4: S3, G3-4
89 FebQuiz 2, Firm decisions I, A first macroeconomic model: statics I120-126, 131-134120-126, 133-136C4: S5, G5C4: S5, G5. G7-8
914 FebData problem due, Review session
1016 FebMid-term IMaterial: all until class 8Material: all until class 8
1121 FebA first macroeconomic model: statics II134-149136-151C5: S2-5, S7, S10-12, G3C5: S2-5, S7, S10-13, G3
23 FebNo class
1228 FebBringing some dynamics: consumption and savings165-192235-265C6: S1-2, S4-6, G1, G3C8: S1-2, S4-6, G1, G4
132 MarQuiz 3, Bringing some dynamics: Ricardian equivalence192-204265-274C6: S8-9, G4C8: S8-9, G6
1414 MarBringing some dynamics: investment and interest rates 215-235293-314
1516 MarBringing some dynamics: market equilibrium I235-249314-327C7: S1-4, G1C9: S1-4, G1
1621 MarQuiz 4, Bringing some dynamics: policy; Growth introduction249-259327-338C7: S7-9, G2C9: S8-10, G2
1723 MarGrowth: the Maltusian modelnotes 1-8174-185C6: S10-14, G3
1828 MarGrowth: modern stylized factsnotes 8-12168-174, notes 8-12C6: S1
1930 MarGrowth: Growth accounting, the Solow model265-280185-191, 200-205C8: S3-7C6: S3-7
204 AprReview session
216 AprMid-term IIMaterial: classes 11-19Material: classes 11-19
2211 AprGrowth: Solow revisited, Golden Rules280-297191-200, 214-219C8: G1-2C6: S15, S17, S20-21, G1-2
2313 AprEngogenous growth: a survey297-309220-231C8: S9-10C7: S5-9, S12-13
2418 AprQuiz 5, Money: what it is317-323, 513-520349-354, 536-542C9: S1, C14: S1-4C10: S1, C15: S1-4
2520 AprMoney: what it does I, Extra-credit problem handed out, Teacher evaluation323-339354-363C9: G1, S2-4C10: G1, S2-3
2625 AprMoney: what it does II339-343, 352-357363-373C9: S5-6C10:S4
2727 AprQuiz 6, Extra-credit problem due, Money: what it does III343-363543-550, 375-378C9: S7-8C10: S5-6
30 AprReview session: Monteith 233, 3:00-?
1 MayFinal exam: Monteith 233, 3:30-5:30Material: all of the above with strong emphasis on classes 22-27Material: all of the above with strong emphasis on classes 22-27


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 whether we are on the right track. The formula will be:

15/30% means that the lowest of the mid-terms and final will count for 15%, the two others for 30%. A 5% extra-credit project will also be offered towards the end of the term. 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 past exams available on the Spring 2003 page, the Fall 2003 page, the Spring 2004 page, the Fall 2004 page and the Fall 2005 page. More are on the Fall 2002 page, but this class followed somewhat different schedule and/or material. 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.

To contact me: Phone: 6-3272, Email:

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, in particular a web interface.
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 (bad link, try this)
Robert Solow
Simon Kuznets
Paul Romer
9. A Model of a Monetary Economy: Money Neutrality, Long-Run Inflation, and Money Demand.
Canadian Tire Money
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 criticism 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.