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Summary of Macroeconomics

Summary of Macroeconomics

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Summary of Macroeconomics

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  1. Summary of Macroeconomics • 5 big questions • 3 processes • 8 fundamental ideas

  2. 5 big questions • What to produce • How to produce • When to produce • Where to produce • Who produces

  3. Approaches Positive How things are Normative How things ought to be Processes/Tasks: Observing and measuring Modeling Testing 3 processes used in 2 approaches

  4. Positive Issues Growth tradeoff consumption today for more future consumption Employment +/ - Inflation +/ - Budget Deficits +/ - Normative Issues Fiscal Policy Monetary Policy Macroeconomic issues, by approach

  5. 8 fundamental ideas • Choices are tradeoffs because of scarcity • Choices are made at the margin because of incentives • Diminishing marginal returns: • “What have you done for me lately?” • “It’s never as good as the last time”

  6. 8 fundamental ideas • Voluntary tradeoffs/exchange make transacting parties better off because of rationality  • Markets are very efficient ways of organizing this sort of exchange • When incentives conflict with marginal choices, markets may fail and alternative mechanisms designed and employed (contracts, government, clubs).

  7. 8 fundamental ideas • Income = expenditure = gross value • Productivity gains enhance living standards

  8. 8 fundamental ideas • inflation occurs when production grows at a slower rate than the quantity and use of money in the economy • Some unemployment is inevitable and necessary

  9. Fundamentals: Opportunity Cost • The value of a commodity as a function of the next best, foregone alternative. • Resources are always scarce. • There is always a trade-off due to scarcity. • Opportunity cost is a mechanism that helps us measure the value of trade-offs in making decisions when resources are scarce.

  10. Fundamentals: Marginal Benefits and Costs • “Marginal” refers to accounting for the benefit or cost of the “last” unit under consideration for exchange. • Law of diminishing returns • Cumulative effect of scarcity • What has a commodity done for you lately?

  11. Fundamentals: Production Possibilities Frontier Attainable/ efficient Unattainable B C Attainable/ efficient D A E Attainable/ efficient Attainable/ inefficient

  12. Fundamentals: Diminishing Returns • Production Possibilities Frontiers bow outward because of diminishing returns in production. • If a scarce resource yields large amounts of a commodity, then using up the resource means that, to keep making more of the commodity, we must use less productive resources • The net result is that greater production of a commodity results in rising opportunity costs—getting less of one commodity for a greater amount sacrificed.