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Econ 232 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory. This is a macroeconomic theory course with a focus on applications to the real world. Do you aspire to work as an economist in an investment bank or hedge fund?

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econ 232 intermediate macroeconomic theory
Econ 232 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
  • This is a macroeconomic theory course with a focus on applications to the real world.
  • Do you aspire to work as an economist in an investment bank or hedge fund?
  • Have you ever thought it would be fun to work on current affairs at a newspaper like the New York Times/Wall Street Journal or The Economist?
  • Do you dream of one day running a business and want to know how the wider economic environment will affect your balance sheets?
  • Then this course may be helpful to you.
econ 232 intermediate macroeconomic theory2
Econ 232 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
  • This course aims to provide you with a toolkit for thinking about current macroeconomic issues.
  • The toolkit is straight-forward enough to carry around in your head, yet powerful and flexible enough to apply to new and unexpected events.
  • What are the macroeconomic implications of the sub-prime mortgage market crisis?
  • Why does the US have such a large current account deficit and what are the likely implications?
  • Does it matter for economic growth in the US that the average American carries over $12000 in credit card debt?
  • These are potentially complex questions that will be made accessible by the analytical tools developed in the course.
econ 232 intermediate macroeconomic theory3
Econ 232 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

Taught by: Professor Ben Zissimos

Office hours: 1-2pm Mondays

1-2pm Wednesdays

Meetings outside office hours by appointment

Phone 322 3339


teaching assistant
Teaching Assistant

TA: Caleb Stroup

Office: 401 Alumni Hall

Office hours: Wednesday 5-7pm


course outline
Course Outline

Intermediate level course in macroeconomics.

Although the course has an applied focus, it will introduce the tools of modern macroeconomic theory to think about current issues.

Main Text: Blanchard, Macroeconomics 5th ed,

published by Prentice Hall

See my web site to access lecture notes and problem sets.

to access my web site
To access my web site:
  • Go to Vanderbilt University Economics Dept. website:
  • Click “Faculty”
  • Click “ZISSIMOS, Ben”
  • Click “Personal Page”:
  • Click “teaching”
  • Click “Econ 232 Macroeconomics”

OR … Google me!

pre requisites

Econ 100 (or equivalent), a basic knowledge of differential calculus and ability to solve simultaneous equations in two variables are prerequisites of this course. You will need to be able to tackle problems of the form:


2x + y = 0

2x + (1-a)y = 1

simultaneously for x and y in terms of a.


There will be two midterms and a final examination. Both midterms held during regular class periods. The midterm examinations are scheduled for September 30th and November 4th. The final examination will be as scheduled in the Vanderbilt catalogue. The examinations will consist of problems to be solved and written discussions/explanations. They will test whether you can use the models introduced in the course to answer questions about macroeconomic issues.

  • Each midterm is worth 30 percent and the final examination is worth 40 percent.
  • 5 bonus marks will be awarded to each student who hands in all but 2 problem sets, one each week by the beginning of the appropriate class each week.
problem sets
Problem Sets

Approximately one problem set per week.

No points are given for problem sets.

You may work on homework with other students. However, the work you hand in should be in your own words.

If you hand in a homework then you will receive an answer key for it which you can use to verify your answers.

You may consult with me or TA if necessary.

  • No credit will be given for a missed examination or failure to hand in a problem set on time unless you have an excused absence as described in the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Catalogue.
  • Except in cases of emergency, arrangements for completing a missed examination or for handing in a problem set due during an excused absence from campus must be made prior to the date of the examination or the due date of the problem set.
honor code
Honor Code
  • The Vanderbilt Honor Code applies to this course.
  • Thanks for your interest in the course. If you have any comments or questions then please let me know.