Macroeconomics is always in the news. Whether it is the exchange rate, gross domestic product, unemployment, the government debt, or the arcane pronouncements made every six weeks by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, it is hard to avoid a daily encounter with some macroeconomic concept or other. Unfortunately, it is just as hard to try and work out what it all means, which bits are important, and which sound-bites makes sense. More importantly, it is difficult to know how the big picture affects everyday decision making, the standard of living of us and our children, and how governments and communities can design policies to make us all better off.
This course provides an introduction to the big issues in macroeconomics. Arranged in five topics, it covers:
- long run economic performance and the growth in living standards
- basic macroeconomic accounting, economic fluctuations and economic crises.
- money, finance, wealth, the banking system, and central banking
- using fiscal and monetary policy to stabilize the economy.
- taxes, government expenditure and intergenerational economics
- international linkages and trade.
The course is based on material taught at the University of Otago, but adapted to the needs of New Zealand public servants and taught over an intensive 3 week period.