Macroeconomic Data Analysis

Instructions:

Please answer each of the following questions, making sure to address each prompt. The responses should be in your best, most clear writing.

1.) Macroeconomic Data Analysis

Choose any macroeconomic data – i.e., data table, visualization, and/or “raw” data. Anything that you’re interested in. Be sure to include the data in your answer.
Overall, look to show that you are thinking like a macroeconomist. Please:

o introduce the data, including source, date, and other relevant information;
o contextualize your data, providing a narrative and explanations given historical events and current, contemporaneous macroeconomic policy;
o hypothesize a change in macroeconomic policy and the likely consequent changes in your data, making a “back-of-the-envelope” macroeconomic forecast.

How might economists from different schools of thought interpret your data?
How might economists from different schools of thought assess macroeconomic policy in the context of your data?

2.) Gross Domestic Product, Inequality, and Price Stability

Go to the data website for the World Bank – data.worldbank.org – and get the following information for any country of interest to you:

o Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current US$ at two different points in time (e.g., 1995 and 2018) – link here;
o GDP growth (annual %), for your time points – link here;
o GDP per capita (current US$) for your time points – link here;
o The Consumer Price Index for your points in time – link here;
o The Gini coefficients for those same points in time – link here;

As a macroeconomist, briefly analyze your findings, looking to relate them.

[Be sure to include the data in your answer.]

3.) Employment, Unemployment, Underemployment

Go to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website (www.bls.gov) and:

o choose and research any statistic of interest to you on either employment or unemployment;
o analyze and broadly introduce the specifics of the data, explaining any corresponding charts or visualization(s) of the data;
o write a brief narrative description of the data using concepts, definitions and ideas introduced in Chapter 5 to explain and give a more detailed account of the data;
o formulate your own macroeconomic policy to deal with any negative consequences of the data/statistic you chose.

How might economists from different schools of thought interpret your data?
How might economists from different schools of thought assess macroeconomic policy in the context of your data?

[Be sure to include the data in your answer.]

4.) Federal Government Spending, Inflation

Go to www.usaspending.gov and find some data on Federal government spending of personal interest to you. Please:

o thoroughly introduce and contextualize your data;
o discuss your data in the context of the business cycle;
o where applicable, discuss your data in light of:

  • stocks, flows
  • the sector, sectoral balances
  • inside wealth, outside wealth
  • horizontal transactions, vertical transactions
  • assets, liabilities, net worth (saving)

Is the Federal spending you have focused on inflationary or going to cause inflation? Briefly discuss the conditions under which heterodox economists – i.e., proponents of MMT – believe inflation will likely occur. Do you agree? Explain. Lastly, define inflation and attempt to connect the Federal spending you are analyzing with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

[Be sure to include the data in your answer.]

5.) Money and Monetary Sovereignty

Briefly research the currency of any nation in South America, Africa or Asia/Southeast Asia. Contextualize and give a brief background as to the currency. Look to apply concepts, tools and insights learned towards analyzing the country’s unit of account. Look to identify the question as to policy space, floating versus fixed exchange, in the context of your example – e.g., what is the unemployment rate corresponding to the currency? If there are shortcomings with respect to unemployment, idle resources, and idle capacity utilization, what would you recommend in terms of fiscal and monetary policy?

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