Current Economy

For this exercise, you are an advisor to the President (and I’m the President:)). You will be either a fiscal or a monetary policy advisor. The policy designations will be emailed to you individually by the end of this week. In the end of the project I will expect each advisor to deliver two products: a short, no longer than 15-minute summary presentation of their research and recommendations and a written (approximately 10-page) essay providing a more detailed view of their project. The presentations will have to be delivered to me “live” – in an individual (due to scheduling difficulties) Zoom of WebEx meeting during the last week of classes, where I can ask you questions as needed. Your final grade for the project will be a weighted average of the paper and presentation grades, with paper carrying 70% the weight and presentation carrying 30% the weight.

Stage 1: Analysis of the current economic situation in the country (to a degree you’ve already started your work on this with the data project and honors meetings assignments). While in the end it is completely up to you how you are planning on going about completing this stage, I suggest collecting and analyzing information on the key macroeconomic statistics we went over related to income, prices, employment, etc. I recommend looking at the recent trends in these statistics, comparing these trends to historic data, and using models we are studying (such as AD/AS model) to explain these trends and any possible differences you can see between recent developments and traditional (historic) indicators.

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I would also recommend looking into recent policy and political decisions and developments to analyze and identify possible risks or opportunities to the economy (for example, the tariff wars: can those be beneficial to our economy by moving more production to the U.S. or can they be harmful to the economy by negatively affecting the input costs used by our businesses – think steel and aluminum tariffs and their effects on industries using those materials).

Please ensure that whatever conclusions you are making here are supported by data or someone else’s research (not Wikipedia). I may disagree with your conclusions and question the data, but not having anything to support your conclusions is worse.

I will expect everyone to submit an ACCEPTABLE draft of their paper that will cover stage 1 no later than Friday, November 13th. Basically you have a month to organize your research and your thoughts on the current economic situation in a way . Failure to meet this deadline will result in a 10% penalty on the final paper submission. This draft will need to be emailed to me. DO NOT upload it in Canvas.

Please note that the above deadline is the absolute final penalty-free submission time. As soon as you submit the draft, I will go over it, make my comments and suggestions, and return it to you so that you can use it in your work. As you can imagine, if everyone submits it on the last day, it may aka eye quite a while to go over all submissions. Besides, if you wait until the last minute, and I decide your draft is unacceptable for whatever reason, you will be subject to the penalty,

Stage 2: Policy recommendations. Having completed stage 1, I will expect each of you to come up with a goal for the government or Federal Reserve (addressing the risks or taking advantage of the opportunities identified in Stage 1) and the policy recommendations on how to achieve that goal. You will need to explain specific policies you are suggesting (not just “expansionary” or “contractionary”), analyze possible positive and negative effects of these policies using the models we cover in this course, and possibly suggest alternative policies if your first choice doesn’t work. Note that even if you end up being a neo-classical economist and a firm believer in the “laissez fare” approach to the economy, you will still have to present possible policy interferences and explain why they will not work and thus should not be used. Also think about possible reasons why your policy suggestions may turn out to be inefficient.

If you are a fiscal policy advisor, I will be expecting recommendations regarding tax policy or government spending. For instance, if you are suggesting lowering taxes, I would expect an explanation of what kind of taxes you would lower, the justification for this approach, how the budget deficit will be covered, and short-run as well as long-run effects of your suggestions. If you are suggesting changes in government expenditures, please make sure to discuss in which areas will the changes happen (defense, education, etc…), why, possible short-run and long-run effects of these changes.

If you are a monetary policy advisor, I would expect recommendations concerning money supply and interest rates. Think about your targets, what specific tools will you suggest using in order to achieve the targets, and please explain your choice of the tool(s) over other available options. Just like with the fiscal case, consider short-run and long-run effects of your possible policy intervention. Specifically think whether traditional policy tools will be effective considering the monetary system behavior since the Great Recession.

This is the outline how the paper should go:

Introduction (about 1 page)

Brief description of the specific issue that you are analyzing
Main thesis of your paper
List of theories and models that will be applied
Description of how the paper will proceed
Analysis of related and relevant literature and models (1.5-2 pages)

literature can be both on the topic of your choice (e.g. economic growth, unemployment, inflation) of the theoretical models used (i.e. AD/AS, Philips Curve, etc.)
I expect you to use at least five sources total, not including your assigned reading and class notes
All references must be provided in the text and included in the reference list in the end
Reference style is up to you. My personal preference is Harvard Simplified, but you should feel free to use any system as long as you are consistent
Application of the model(s) to the specific issue (2.5-3 pages)

Contents of this section depend on the particular model and approach you decided to use and can be discussed with me as you proceed with the paper.
Using some real-life data in the analysis is expected.
Suggested policy applications (about 3 pages)

Describe policy changes you are suggesting.
Analyze possible outcomes and tradeoffs in the long and short run.
Conclusions (1-2 pages). For more information on Current Economy visit this: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/economic

Current Economy

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