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CCOG for EC 202 Spring 2024

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Course Number:
EC 202
Course Title:
Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Covers the overall economy. Includes the basic reasons for and the problems of recession, inflation, and stagflation; the use of monetary, fiscal, and incomes policies; and other economic management tools. Recommended: MTH 95, MTH 98, OR MTH 105. Please note that it is not necessary to complete EC 201 before taking this class. Audit available. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores.

Addendum to Course Description

Credits from this course qualify for general education purposes at Portland Community College and may be applied toward satisfying Associates Degrees at Portland Community College.  Books and other materials are at the discretion of each course instructor.  Prices for texts and/or other materials may be found at the Portland Community College bookstore. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Discuss basic concepts and theories in macroeconomics.
  2. Formulate independent conclusions about economic issues and
  3. Explain economic processes utilizing an understanding of the historical evolution of economic systems, institutions, and ideologies.
  4. Differentiate paradigmatic perspectives regarding the stability or instability of the macroeconomy.
  5. Evaluate different public policy options for addressing macroeconomic issues and problems.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

This course examines macroeconomic theory, method, and policy. It requires students to reason, both qualitatively and quantitatively, about contemporary economic institutions and processes. These institutions and processes include, inter alia, work, production, and employment; investment, growth, and inflation; fiscal and monetary policy; technological change and the natural environment. With this reasoning, and an appreciation of the historical origins of contemporary economic systems, students gain the ability to conceptually organize their experience of economic processes and discern its meaning. Furthermore, the course fosters an understanding of contemporary economic policy and politics with an aim to promote a sense of social responsibility and possibility.

Course Activities and Design

This course may include lecture and discussion formats utilizing faculty expertise, texts, supplementary reading materials, films, speakers, and other classroom aids at the discretion of the instructor.  Regular attendance and completion of assigned reading are essential to the successful completion of this course.  Instructors will teach in accordance with the goals and objectives listed in this Course Content Guide.  The course Content Guides are developed by college-wide subject area faculty and are approved by management. 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Traditional and nontraditional techniques will be used to assess student mastery of the content, competencies, and outcomes. These techniques can assess either products or processes:

Products: multiple choice exams, essays, individual group projects, student demonstrations, research projects, other projects with specified rating criteria, and portfolios.

Processes: interviews, documented observations, web searches, journals, student self-evaluations.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • What macroeconomics tries to explain; an introduction to GDP growth and fluctuations.

  • Macroeconomic measurement; Output, income, employment, and inflation.

  • The economy in the long run; explaining trends in output, labor, and financial markets; economic growth.   

  • The economy in the short run; explaining economic fluctuations.

  • Economic policy; the role of the Federal Reserve; fiscal policy and the government budget.

  • The international economy; exchange rates, the balance of payments; monetary and fiscal policy in an open economy

Skills and competencies

  • Build a vocabulary of economic terms that will enable the student to find the daily reading of papers and periodicals easier and more meaningful.

  • Develop the ability to summarize an argument, understand economic reports, and to discern between positive and normative statements.

  • Develop the ability to acquire and analyze quantitative data and make mathematical computations using formulas.

  • Develop the ability to use and apply theoretical models.

  • Develop the ability to think clearly about policy tradeoffs.