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December 16, 2014 / integralds

A Macroeconomics Reading List for Undergraduates

My main reading list is intended for graduate students and researchers in economics and macroeconomics. Most of its articles are beyond the reach of all but the most well-prepared undergraduate students. Hence to meet the demand for a reading list at the undergraduate level, I am introducing the following extended syllabus:

The basic macro reading list

This reading list is different from the main one in the following respects:

  • It is much shorter at six pages rather than 30
  • It is composed primarily of nontechnical or semi-technical articles of general interest
  • It takes a broad stance on what “macroeconomics” is, devoting one-sixth of its length to international development history and another sixth to the microeconomic role of government
  • It is roughly evenly split between normative and positive macroeconomics.
  • Especially where poverty is concerned, the readings branch out from strictly “economics.” For example, books by journalist David Simon and sociologist Richard Florida make an appearance.
  • I place an unusual emphasis on measurement; yes, at some point in your life you should roll up your sleeves and work through BEA’s GDP calculations and BLS’ CPI calculations.
  • The prerequisite is one semester of college-level macroeconomics, though some of the readings will make more sense after having taken an intermediate macro course, a course in public finance, or a course in monetary economics.

I hope some find it useful.

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