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Econ 201A: Principles of Macroeconomics   

Prof. Susan Kline, CRN 70671 & 70672

E-mail: (or use Canvas)


However you ended up in this course, I am excited to have you “here”. Please make sure to read through this syllabus.  As an incentive (one of our first vocabulary words) there will be a quiz on Canvas during Week 2 to make sure you are aware of the course organization and policies. (Is this a direct or indirect incentive? A negative or a positive incentive?). This course is HYFLEX which means if you are feeling unwell, you can attend via a Zoom registration link. I encourage you to come to campus as it is a better way to engage with the material, but IF YOU ARE FEELING UNWELL, please do not come to campus.  

Required Course Materials:  

Principles of Macroeconomics, 3rd edition by Coppock & Mateer and SmartWork5. SmartWork5 is a fee-based online homework system that is required for this course. HOWEVER! Access to the e-Textbook and SmartBook is included when you sign up for the course.  Your Cuesta student account will be charged $70. You may “opt out” and not be charged this fee, but please note that buying the Textbook and access to SmartWork 5 will be more expensive if you do opt out.

You will also need access to a webcam for use with Proctorio, which you will use for Exams. 

Your grade for the course will be determined by the following activities:

Homework: will be assigned weekly via SmartWork 5 and will count for 15% of your grade.

Exams: During the term (3 middle of the term or midterm exams) will be administered via Canvas, and use Proctorio and the webcam to ensure that students complete exams without help from other individuals and will account for 20% each, or 60% of your total grade.

Final Exam: this will be a cumulative exam of any course material covered. It will be administered in-person during finals week. If you are feeling ill, please let me know and we can schedule a time when you can take it away from the group.  The final exam will account for 25% of your total course grade.

Grade Calculation:

A: 89.5% or greater

C: 69.5% to 79.4%

B: 79.5% to 89.4%

D: 59.5% to 69.4%


Student Learning Outcomes  What will you learn in this course? Students will be able to:

  1. Illustrate the economic way of thinking, including but not limited to marginal analysis, opportunity cost, and how people respond to incentives.
  2. Identify assumptions of economic models and use economic models to make predictions of outcomes when factors in the economy change.
  3. Calculate key economic variables such as unemployment, inflation, and national income.  Critically analyze these variables and how they are calculated.  
  4. Evaluate factors that contribute to economic growth.
  5. Identify the role that monetary policy, fiscal policy, and international trade play in shaping the national economy.  


What does it mean to be successful?  As I hope you will explore in this class, success is a personal goal, not one determined by society and the goals they expect of us. Success comes in many forms. To be successful in this course for the ADT, however, is to earn a passing grade of “C” or better. Don’t know what an ADT is? Ask me!

How can you be successful in this course?  Be engaged.  Don’t approach this course as a task that you must finish - if you do, this will be a long semester for you and me.  Instead, approach this with the idea that the tools and thinking that you will be introduced to in this course can be applied to ANYTHING. Find your passion, and then let the tools of this course help you clarify and be successful within your passion.  

What will you learn in Principles of Macroeconomics?  Economics, whether it be macro or micro, is looking at how people make decisions (micro) and the outcome of those decisions on the overall economy (macro). We will see some micro-foundations about how people make decisions in the first unit of macro as we learn about comparative advantage and opportunity cost. But what economics does from a bigger picture is look at how various factors (or variables) interact to predict an outcome.  To do this we build economic models. What we will primarily be learning in this class are a few key economic models, including basic supply and demand, and then in the macroeconomy, aggregate demand and aggregate supply. The purpose is to predict if a factor (variable) changes, what other factors (variables) we expect to change as a result.  The hardest part about this class is that factors (variables) are always changing, therefore making correct predictions can be very difficult.  This is why we will employ the phrase “ceteris paribus” which is Latin for all else equal.  If this sounds like predicting the weather, it is! 

Why should you take Principles of Macroeconomics now? Other than the fact that most of you are likely taking this class because you “need” to, being able to see how changes in one factor (variable) will affect different parts of the economy will help you to make better decisions. It will also prepare you to see business in a bigger sense than just what a company does.  It will ask questions such as, what obstacles will this business face?  Is this a viable business in the current state of the economy? And other similar questions.  

Now is always a great time to invest in your human capital! 

More Information about...

Homework: is assigned through the Norton SmartWork system that is to be accessed via Canvas. Homework is typically due Monday by 5:00 pm. All homework has a 7-day late period where students will receive credit but 4% is taken off for each additional day that it is late, up to 7 days (the following Monday) after the original due date.  Each homework assignment has unlimited attempts for each homework question. “Fake it ‘til you make it”, isn’t just a phrase, it’s pretty much how most people learn. 

Exams: Will be scheduled in person. What I learned during the pandemic was that many students needed a quiet place, away from distractions to take their exams, therefore, I will have exams in class. If you are feeling unwell, please let me knowASAP, and we will work on a time when you can take it away from the group. Students who miss an exam have 48 hours to contact me to let me know WHY they missed the exam, if you do not reach out during this time, I will go over exams and at that point, no make-ups will be allowed. 

Code of Conduct:  Don’t cheat - do your own work. Be respectful of your classmates and me, your professor. For more details see the Cuesta catalog: “Students attending Cuesta College assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the Student Code of Conduct and Academic Honesty Regulations, and the Student Computer Technology Access Agreement.  An instructor may remove a student for good cause from her class for the day of removal and the next class meeting (Ed Code 76032,76033).”

Disabled Student Program and Services (DSPS): Students with disabilities or students who think they may have a learning disability and who may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact Disabled Student Program and Services (DSPS) as soon as possible,  Contacting DSPS in a timely manner will better ensure that necessary accommodations are in place before scheduled examinations.  DSPS may be reached at: San Luis Obispo Campus: (805) 546-3148 or (805) 546-3149 Voice/TDD;  North County Campus: (805) 591-6215 or (805) 591-6216 Voice/TDD. Students enrolled in DSPS services are expected to inform the instructor at least one full week before the first exam to make sure that accommodations are in place before starting their online exam. 


Course Outline of Textbook Readings

Unit 1: Economic Foundations

Chapter 1: Five Foundations of Economics

Chapter 2: Model Building & Gains from Trade 

Chapter 3: The Market at Work: Supply & Demand

Chapter 4: Market Outcomes & Tax Incidence (CS, PS, DWL)

Chapter 5: Price Controls (Price ceilings & floors)

Unit 2: Understanding the Macro Economy through the Numbers

Chapter 6: Introduction to Macro & Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 

Chapter 7: Unemployment 

Chapter 8: Price Level & Inflation

Chapter 11: Economic Growth & The Wealth of Nations


Unit 3: A Model of the Macro Economy (AE/AD/AS) & Role of Fiscal Policy

Chapter 13: Aggregate Demand & Aggregate Supply 

Chapter 14: The Great Recession, the Great Depression and Great Economic Debates

Chapter 15: Federal Budgets: The Tools of Fiscal Policy

Chapter 16: Fiscal Policy (and additional resources about COVID-19 fiscal policy, posted on Canvas)


Unit 4: Role of Monetary Policy 

Chapter 17: Money and the Federal Reserve

Chapter 18: Monetary Policy 

Additional resources regarding COVID-19 application of Monetary & Fiscal Policy, posted on Canvas


SmartWork5 - Homework Due Dates:

Grades Accepted Until

Ch. 1: Homework - The Market at Work

08/22/22 05:00 PM

Ch. 2: Homework - Model Building and Gains From Trade

08/29/22 05:00 PM

Ch. 3: Homework - The Market at Work - Demand and Supply

09/12/22 05:00 PM

Ch. 4: Homework - Market Outcomes and Tax Incidence

09/19/22 05:00 PM

Ch. 5: Homework - Price Controls

09/26/22 05:00 PM


09/28/2022 - in class

Ch. 6: Homework - GDP

10/03/22 05:00 PM

Ch. 7: Homework - Unemployment

10/10/22 05:00 PM

Ch. 8: Homework - Inflation

10/17/22 05:00 PM

Ch. 11: Homework - Economic Growth

10/17/22 05:00 PM


10/19/2022 - in class

Ch. 13: Homework - AD/AS Model

11/07/22 05:00 PM

Ch. 14: Homework - Macroeconomic Debates

11/07/22 05:00 PM

Ch. 15 & 16: Homework - Federal Budgets & Fiscal Policy

11/14/22 05:00 PM


11/16/2022 - in class

Ch. 17: Homework - Money and the Federal Reserve

11/28/22 05:00 PM

Ch. 18: Homework - Monetary Policy

12/05/22 05:00 PM


12/12/2022 - 9:45am in class


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