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):

  • Module work (200 POINTS) – As you are going through the module you will do two types of assignments.
    • Mid-Module Homework: For each module you will be required to go through the chapter and lecture readings and complete a mid-module Homework. For each homework, you will have two attempts and the attempt with the highest score will count. There will be 12 mid-module Homework assignments worth 10 points each. The lowest two of these 12 homework assignments will be dropped from the final grade calculation.
    • Econ Model Prep: There will be a (Econ) Model Prep activity that will revolve around a reading, web work, current event, or math. For each Model Prep activity, you will have two attempts and the attempt with the highest score will count. There will be twelve (12) Model Prep activities, in total, and the lowest two of these model prep assignments will be dropped from the final grade calculation.
  • Q-A Board Discussion posting (200 POINTS) – Class discussion in the Q-A boards will help extend economic analysis of by relating actual events to the theories presented in the textbook and in class. There will be six (6) discussions postings, every other week, and the lowest score will be dropped. These discussions will occur asynchronously. The Q-A board is in each corresponding unit. There are two parts to this board. Together, both parts, each Q-A board and comment assignment, will be worth 40 points.
    • You must discuss the issues raised by the professor- Original (discussion) Post – 25 points,
    • You must evaluate a fellow student’s post – Peer evaluation – 15 points.
  • Problem Sets (200 POINTS) – There are twelve (12) Problem sets each worth 20 points. The problem sets will include a combination of multiple choice, calculations, and short answer questions. You have two attempts at each problem set and the attempt with the highest score will count. The lowest two of these assignments is dropped from your final grade calculation.
  • Exams and Practice Exams (400 POINTS) – There will be two (2) practice exams each worth 50 points. There will be two (2) exams. The proctored midterm exam is worth 150 points and the proctored cumulative final exam is worth 200 points. The format of the exam will be multiple choice and calculations and will be closed book.

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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