Econ 204A

Fall 2018 - Henning Bohn

UC Santa Barbara

Welcome to Econ 204A! Posted here are course information, reading list, and various supplemental materials. Changes will be posted throughout the quarter. Please check before class.


• Grades have been reported - Happy Holidays

Schedule Changes:

Contact information:
E-mail: Best use "Econ 204A" in the subject line.

Office: NH 3016. I am trying to be available to graduate students at all times. When the door is closed, don't hesitate to knock. Normal official office hours are TR 1-2pm. See above for schedule changes.

Midterm: in class, Thursday, October 25
The final exam is scheduled by the registrar. 
Class grade is based on midterm, final, and problem sets; details TBA in class.

Problem Sets
Problem sets are normally due Thursdays at the start of class. Assignments & due dates are subject to change: Please listen to class announcements and check this page.
Problem Sets are in part from Romer's book (4th or 5th edition), and in part from the Collection of Practice Problems:
    (1)    Due 10/4. Practice problems 1.1 and 1.3.            
    (2)    Due 10/11. Romer problems 1.3, 1.4, 1.6.
    (3)    Due 10/18. Practice problems, 2.1-2.4.
    (4)    Due 11/1. Romer problems 2.1, 2.2, 2.4. Practice problem 3.1.
    (5)    Due 11/8. Romer problem 2.6. Practice problem 3.2.
    (6)    Due 11/15. Romer problems 2.9-2.10. Practice problems 3.3-3.4.
    (7)    Due 11/29. Practice problems 4.1(a,b), 4.2-4.3.
Due 12/06. Romer problem 2.17. Practice problems 4.4-4.7.

Textbooks: There are many good textbooks on Economic Growth, but none is perfectly suitable for this class. I am also reluctant to require a purchase for a 10-week course that covers only selected chapters.
Romer "Advanced Macroeconomics" has the basics: some chapters will be required and I will assign problems from this book. The 4th and 5th editions are so similar that either one is fine.
Barro/Sala-i-Martin "Economic Growth" presents the Solow model and optimal growth in great detail and it has an excellent technical appendix (highly recommended), but it does not cover OG.
Jones and Williamson are undergraduate texts, perhaps useful if you find Romer or Barro/Sala-i-Martin difficult to follow.
Acemoglu "Modern Economic Growth" provides a high-level and quite encyclopedic coverage, perhaps appropriate for independent reading if you find the class too easy.

Course Outline:

Some overheads/lecture notes will be provided later, to be updated.
Required readings are exam-relevant even if not covered in class. The class covers more than the required reading, often extracted from a variety of other sources that are listed as recommended, optional, or for-reference (in order of relevance). Items not required are only tested to the extent they are covered in class.

Part 2. Exogenous Growth: The Solow Model

Classes #3-4: Main concepts.
Class #5: Applications.
Class #6: New Growth.
Part 3. Optimal Growth in Continuous Time

Class #7: Main concepts. Classes #8-9: Optimal Control. MIDTERM, in class.
Midterm will likely cover slides 1-3b, details TBA.
Exams cover the topics discussed in class and in the required readings. That is, required readings are exam-relevant even if not covered in class. Other, not-required readings are not tested except as covered in class.

Class #10: Digression into discrete-time optimal growth. Classes #11-12: Dynamics of Optimal Growth Class #13: Applications to Fiscal Policy. Class #14: Introduction to Money. The Sidrauski model.  Part 4. Overlapping Generations

Class #15: Main concepts.

Class #16-17: Applications to Fiscal Policy.
Class #18: Dynamic efficiency and Fiat Money

Class #19: Exam Review.

This page and the resources listed are for the exclusive use of UCSB students enrolled in Econ 204A. If you run into technical glitches or errors on this page, please send me a message. Some links (notably to Jstor) can only be accessed from a UCSB server.

Please send any comments to