Econ 309: Advanced Macroeconomics I

Welcome to this web page! This term, this class is taught by Christian Zimmermann on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM in ArtB 107.

Office hours for this class are Wednesdays 7:30 AM to 12:00PM, or by appointment, in Monteith 318.


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 (once used).

A third edition of the book is now available. You may still use the first or second edition without much loss. Their study guides are not available online anymore, but you may find a copy from previous students. The second and third editions have some added material that is covered by supplementary material that you can download below.

I also use this textbook for undergraduates in Intermediate Macroeconomics, but only cover part of the textbook. In this class, I expect to cover most of it, including the mathematical appendices, plus various other tidbits from elsewhere. Thus I will not assume much knowledge about macroeconomics, but I will assume that you know the following: derivations, logarithms, maximization, variance and correlation. You should know the basic definitions of macroeconomic aggregates and national accounts.

The course will cover the principles of modern, micro-founded macroeconomics. We will do a lot of graphical analysis sometimes complemented with solving the corresponding systems of equations. We will cover basically five parts: the growth model, the business cycle model, money, the open economy and possibly overlapping generations. The last topic is not in the textbook, and we may only introduce it. So be prepared for an intensive semester...


There will be three components to the class grade:

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. *=required material.
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 same for the band-pass filter.
The article that first used the Hodrick-Prescott filter. Published two decades after its writing...
A paper that studies whether 1600 is a good penalty for quarterly data for the HP-filter.
A paper suggesting what penalty to use for other frequencies.
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. Economic Growth: Malthus and Solow
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
7. Income Disparities Among Countries and Endogenous Growth
Paul Romer
8. A Two-Period Model: The Consumption-Savings Decision and Ricardian Equivalence.
9. A Real Intertemporal Model with Investment
10. A Monetary Intertemporal Model: The Neutrality of Money Neutrality
Canadian Tire Money
Milton Friedman
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 (Kydland-Prescott 1982).
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. Keynesian Business Cycle Theory: The Sticky Wage Model.
13. International Trade in Goods and Assets
14. Money in the Open Economy
15. Money, Inflation, and Banking
Central banks around the world.
16. Unemployment: Search and Efficiency Wages
17. Inflation, the Phillips Curve, and Central Bank Commitment