Learning Outcomes

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The content, assignments, and assessments for this course are aligned to the following learning outcomes. A full list of course learning outcomes can be viewed here: Macroeconomics Course Learning Outcomes.

Module 1: Economic Thinking

  • Explain what economics is and explain why it is important
  • Use mathematics in common economic applications
  • Use graphs in common economic applications

Module 2: Choice in a World of Scarcity

  • Explain the cost of choices and trade-offs
  • Illustrate society’s trade-offs by using a production possibilities frontier, or curve
  • Explain the assumption of rationality by individuals and firms

Module 3: Supply and Demand

  • Describe and differentiate between major economic systems
  • Explain the determinants of demand
  • Explain the determinants of supply
  • Explain and graphically illustrate market equilibrium, surplus and shortage

Module 4: Applications of Supply and Demand

  • Analyze the economic effect of government setting price ceilings and floors
  • Define, calculate, and illustrate consumer, producer, and total surplus
  • Examine ways that supply and demand apply to labor and financial markets

Module 5: Elasticity

  • Explain the concept of elasticity
  • Explain the price elasticity of demand and price elasticity of supply, and compute both using the midpoint method
  • Explain and calculate other elasticities using common economic variables
  • Explain the relationship between a firm’s price elasticity of demand and total revenue

Module 6: Macroeconomic Measures: GDP and Economic Growth

  • Define macroeconomics and explain how economic indicators like GDP are used to assess the state of the economy
  • Differentiate between and calculate nominal and real GDP
  • Describe economic growth
  • Understand that economic growth is a relatively recent phenomenon, and identify key institutional factors that contribute to economic growth

Module 7: Macroeconomic Measures: Unemployment and Inflation

  • Describe and calculate unemployment
  • Examine causes and types of unemployment, including cyclical, frictional, structural, and natural unemployment
  • Define inflation and explain how the rate of inflation is calculated
  • Identify the consequences of inflation

Module 8: The Aggregate Demand-Aggregate Supply Model

  • Use the AD-AS model to explain the equilibrium levels of real GDP and price level
  • Examine factors that shift aggregate supply and aggregate demand
  • Illustrate economic growth, unemployment, and inflation using the AS/AD model

Module 9: Keynesian and Neoclassical Economics

  • Describe the tenets of Keynesian Economics
  • Explain policy implications of Keynesian economics
  • Understand the tenets of Neoclassical Economics
  • Describe how the neoclassical model responds to fluctuations in the economy and explain policy recommendations
  • Compare and contrast the Keynesian and Neoclassical perspectives

Module 10: The Income-Expenditure Model

  • Use the expenditure output model to explain periods of recession and expansion
  • Explain and find macro equilibrium in the income-expenditure model
  • Explain why the expenditure multiplier happens and how to calculate its size

Module 11: Fiscal Policy

  • Identify the major spending categories and major revenue sources in the U.S. Federal budget
  • Explain fiscal policies, including automatic, expansionary, and contractionary fiscal policies
  • Compare neoclassical and Keynesian approaches to Fiscal Policy

Module 12: Money and Banking

  • Define money, explain the functions of money, and define liquidity
  • Describe the role financial markets play in an economy
  • Explain what a bank does
  • Describe how money is created by lending

Module 13: Monetary Policy

  • Explain the structure, functions, and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System
  • Describe monetary policy and the Fed’s three main policy tools
  • Explain how monetary policy affects GDP and the interest rates

Module 14: Policy Applications

  • Compare viewpoints on government spending and taxes between the Keynesian and Neoclassical perspectives
  • Explain the reasoning behind the theory of the Phillips Curve and why it may not hold
  • Describe the basic tenets of new classical economics, including Ricardian equivalence
  • Identify appropriate macro policy options in response to the state of the economy

Module 15: Globalization and Trade

  • Define and calculate comparative advantage, and understand how countries choose which goods and services to trade internationally
  • Explain how barriers to trade (like tariffs, quotas and non-tariff barriers) affect businesses, consumers and workers in the economy
  • Differentiate between alternative international trade regimes and how they impact global trade

Module 16: Exchange Rates and International Finance

  • Define currency exchange rates and explain how they influence trade balances
  • Analyze how supply and demand affects foreign currencies and exchange rates
  • Explain how the balance of trade (surplus or deficit) affects the domestic economy


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