180.336

Macroeconomic Strategies


Professor: Robert J. Barbera

Room: Wyman Park Building 557

Office Hours: Tue Thu Fri, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, request 20-minute slot by email

E-mail: rjb46@jhu.edu

Phone: 410-516-7615

 


Teaching Assistant: Pavel Solís

E-mail: msolism1@jhu.edu

Office Hours: Wed 4:00-5:00 pm, https://JHUBlueJays.zoom.us/j/6995859864

Zoom Meeting ID: 699 585 9864

 

Note: All website issues should be sent to the TA.

Course Objectives

1. To attain a rigorous understanding of U.S. macroeconomic barometers (Issues: theoretical concepts, real world representations, measurement errors/revisions and cyclical fluctuations/secular patterns).

2. To become familiar with the pattern of economic news and the shaping and reshaping of the consensus economic view.

3.To come to appreciate the interplay between long-term trends, economic policies, financial market fluctuations, and exogenous shocks.

4. To learn techniques for Separating Signal from Noise and the Risks/Rewards Inherent in Thinking and Forecasting Outside the Box.


Downloads

Syllabus

Summary Course Outline


Strategist Handouts

U.S. GDP

U.S. Inflation

U.S. Labor Market

U.S. Bond Market

Geo-Political


Lecture 1 - Global Forecast Overview

Notes: Lecture 1

Readings:

How Business Schools Can Help Restore Trust in Capitalism

IMF World Economic Outlook Update, January 2020


Lecture 2 - Debt, Leverage, Asset Prices and Scary Bad News

Notes: Lecture 2

Readings:

NBER Paper: The Leverage Cycle

Example: Hanna and Hal


Lecture 3 - Linking Macroeconomic Barometers: Okun's Law, Phillips Curves, Multipliers, Business Cycles

Notes: Lecture 3

Readings:

U.S. Macro Forecasting: A Primer

Forecasting Monthly Job Growth


Lecture 4 - In the Dark: Uncertain Long-Term Productivity Projections and Disparate Confounding Cyclical Dynamics

Notes: Lecture 4

Readings:

Weekly Average Gasoline Prices


Lecture 5 - A Macro Model without Finance

Notes: Lecture 5

Readings:

Speech from Fed Chair Powell: Challenges for Monetary Policy

A Barebones Forecasting Model

[Optional] 3-Equation Model (Carlin-Soskice)


Forecast Update: Readings

Four Dimensional Chess in the Time of Corona

Oily Disaster


Lecture 6 - Real Interest Rates and Real Economic Activity (Postponed)

Notes: Lecture 6

Readings:

A Consumption-Loan Model of Interest (Paul Samuelson)


Lecture 7 - Forecasting in the Time of COVID-19

Video: Practice Social Distancing

Notes: Lecture 7

Readings:

The Virus Is An Economic Emergency Too

Forecasting in the Time of COVID-19

Flattening the Pandemic and Recession Curves (Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas)

Estimating Actual Infection Rates from Data on COVID-19 Deaths

Embracing Distancing and Cushioning the Blow to the Economy (Robert J. Barbera, Floyd Norris and Jonathan H. Wright)


Lecture 8

Notes: Lecture 8

Readings:

Data: Initial Jobless Claims vs Unemployment Rate


Exams

Midterm 1: Answers


Johns Hopkins University Department of Economics Johns Hopkins University Department of Economics