ECON 3080 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

Instructor Contact:

Alpna Bhatia, PhD


About the Course:

Students will study models of aggregate output, unemployment, prices, interest rates, inflation, and economic growth, in the short-run, the medium-run, and long-run, with applications to the U.S. economy, monetary and fiscal policy issues.  Students will think critically, construct arguments, and solve problems using the theory and data that economists use. An important outcome of the course is the development of coherently understanding and analyzing important practical economic issues.

Course Prerequisites:

Requires prerequisite courses of ECON 2020 (Principles of Macroeconomics) and

ECON 1088 or MATH 1081 or MATH 1300 or MATH 1310 or APPM 1350 (math and Calculus) (all min grade C-) and

Restricted to students with 22-180 units completed


This course requires proctored examinations. Exams are proctored which will require planning on your part. Proctors are individuals who administer the exam process following the guidelines provided by the University of Colorado Boulder to ensure academic integrity. Some proctoring options require the student to pay a fee.


By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Apply algebraic, graphical and calculus tools to macroeconomic theory
  • Apply macroeconomic principles, theories and models to critically analyze and explain economic situations encountered in the real world that involve macroeconomics.
  • Distinguish between different macroeconomic terms and concepts and apply them to different macroeconomic problems.
  • Synthesize the information given in each section to explain key concepts and set up and solve problems that utilize the macroeconomic principles.
  • Acquire the ability to think about complex economic issues in a logical objective manner, so that you discriminate between correct solutions to macroeconomic problems, and common misconceptions.
  • Evaluate different economic arguments and interpret the reasons why some are well-founded, while others are not.
  • Communicate the results of macroeconomic analysis in a clear and professional way.

Required Texts:

Macroeconomics with Sapling Plus, 10th Edition, by N. Gregory Mankiw, Macmillan Publishing, ISBN 9781319106072. Sapling Plus is the website where you will read your textbook and complete some graded assignments. You will access Sapling Plus through our course website, Canvas. You will have a free Sapling Plus trial for the first two weeks of class before having to purchase it.

Grading (out of 1000 points):

  • Model Prep (110 points): There will be a weekly (Econ) Model Prep activity that will revolve around math or writing about economics being used that week. There will be twelve (12) Model Prep activities, in total, and the lowest of these model prep assignments will be dropped from your final grade calculation.
  • Learning Curve (75 points): Each chapter has an associated learning curve activity on Sapling. Students complete this activity by answering questions until they reach the target score. Once students reach the target score, they receive full credit (a grade of 100%) for completing the activity. Students may continue answering questions to review even after they’ve completed the activity or after the due date has passed BUT credit is awarded only when completed by the due date.I will count your 15 best learning curve activity scores.
  • Problem Sets (220 points): There are twelve (12) Problem sets each worth 20 points. The lowest of your problem set grade will be dropped from your grade calculation.
  • Discussion or Exercises (150 points): Formal class discussion and exercises help extend economic analysis by relating actual events to the theories presented in class. There will be six (6) discussions or exercise postings, each worth 30 points. Your lowest score is dropped.
  • Practice Exams (20 points): There will be two (2) practice exams, one before each exam that you can take multiple times. Each practice exam is worth 10 points.
  • Exams (425 points): There are two (2) exams. The midterm exam is worth 200 points and the cumulative final exam is worth 225 points. The exams are completed in a proctored setting.

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado