Teaching Macroeconomics with Excel


Each Excel workbook contains links to screencasts streamed from vimeo.com.

All screencasts are aggregated into a Macroeconomics with Excel channel (which is searchable), but it can be a chore to find a particular video. Thus, below is a complete listing of every screencast, organized by workbook, with a brief description. Click to view or select the link and copy to send it to someone.

The printed book will have much more detail on what is covered in each screencast and Excel workbook, including suggestions for how to use this material in a course.

Total Screencasts: 61

Video quality is affected by connection, device, and player. Pause to buffer if choppy playback and toggle HD if the image is grainy.

Remember to pause or rewind as needed.

1. Charting in Excel:

HowtoChart.xls: a gentle introduction to graphing in Excel, includes simple and double Y charts using data from Central American countries. (6 screencasts)

vimeo.com/econexcel/how-to-chart-in-excel: basic demo of how to create a chart in Excel.

vimeo.com/econexcel/chart-non-contiguous: charting when data are not next to each other.

vimeo.com/econexcel/using-series-formula: directly editing the SERIES formula in a chart.

vimeo.com/econexcel/double-y: make a chart with two y axes, one for GDP and the other for population.

vimeo.com/econexcel/real-gdp-per-person-instead-of-double-y: chart GDP/population for Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

vimeo.com/econexcel/five-countries-on-one-chart: chart of real GDP per person for five countries; using SERIES formula; amazing variation.

RecessionChart.xls: uses the EconChart.xla add-in to enhance an oil price chart by adding shaded regions for recessions and applies shaded areas to a chart of USincome inequality. (5)

vimeo.com/econexcel/howtoinstallexceladdin: shows how to install an add-in Excel via the Add-Ins Manager.

vimeo.com/econexcel/realcrudeoilpricechart: charts real crude oil price over time.

vimeo.com/econexcel/addrecessionbars: use the Econ Chart add-in to add recession bars to real crude oil price chart.

vimeo.com/econexcel/shadedbarswhenpricefalls: more practice with the Econ Chart add-in.

vimeo.com/econexcel/shadedbarsapplication: use the Econ Chart add-in to replicate a chart on income inequality.


2. Economic Growth Literacy

MaddisonData.xls:a macro-enhanced Excel workbook of Maddison’s World Economy data that enables easy comparison of countries over time. (9)

vimeo.com/econexcel/maddisondataintro: how to use the workbook, highlighting growth as the most important open problem in economics.

Numeracy -- mastering fundamental mathematical concepts about growth.

vimeo.com/econexcel/measuringgrowth: computing growth via annual percentage change and compound annual growth rate for US real GDP per person; demos Data Vertical button and Equation Editor.

vimeo.com/econexcel/logscale: showing how a log scale reveals if something is growing at a constant rate.

vimeo.com/econexcel/ruleof70: explaining the Rule of 70 and applying it to US real GDP per person.

vimeo.com/econexcel/percentagechangeapprox: simple numerical example and concept applied to Australian real GDP, population, and real GDP per person.

Economic Growth Literacy -- knowing what economists know about economic growth.

vimeo.com/econexcel/seeminglysmalldiffgrowthrates: seemingly small differences in growth rates create huge gaps over time.

vimeo.com/econexcel/tremendousvariability: large variation in real GDP per person; sorting data.

vimeo.com/econexcel/growthnotgiven: sorting and Excel's RANK function used to show that early fast growers are not guaranteed to continue growing fast.

vimeo.com/econexcel/worldshares: charting shares of world output for UK, USA, and China.


3. The Solow Model

1. KAcc.xls: introduction to the Solow Model with focus on capital accumulation and the mechanics of the model. (2)

vimeo.com/econexcel/kacc: introduces the Solow Model and shows how to use the EqPath sheet to run a simulation and find the steady-state solution.

vimeo.com/econexcel/kacccs: copies the EqPath sheet and does comparative statics analysis via direct comparison of two economies.

2. GoldenRule.xls: explores transitional dynamics after changing the saving rate. (3)

vimeo.com/econexcel/grcs: uses the canonical graph (Solow diagram) to do comparative statics.

vimeo.com/econexcel/groptimals: uses graphs and Solver to find the saving rate that maximizes c.

vimeo.com/econexcel/grnameexplained: demonstrates the temporary decrease in c after increasing s to its Golden Rule value; uses the Comp Statics button.

3. Population.xls: empirical data followed by analysis of the effect of population growth on the Solow Model. (9)

vimeo.com/econexcel/popworld: world population growth since 1950 and log scale to show it has not grown at a constant rate.

vimeo.com/econexcel/popvariouscountries: population growth in various countries with log scale to show differences in growth; effect of European conquest on indigenous peoples.

vimeo.com/econexcel/popmalthus: data on England's population; direct editing of SERIES formula to modify a chart.

vimeo.com/econexcel/poppyramid: creating a population pyramid chart by accessing US Census data directly from within Excel; animating chart; sex ratio at birth.

vimeo.com/econexcel/popproject: forecasting via extrapolation; Pivot Table to do a cohort component projection (including how the population pyramid chart is made); conditional formatting; discussion of carrying capacity.

vimeo.com/econexcel/popsolowmodel: steady-state solution via simulation and comparative statics using the Scenario Manager.

vimeo.com/econexcel/popfastslown: exploring the ratio of output per worker in two countries with different n, ceteris paribus.

vimeo.com/econexcel/popgoldenrulepopgrowth: the Golden Rule in the Solow Model with n > 0.

vimeo.com/econexcel/popconvergence: speed of convergence and half-life via Excel's MATCH function.

4. TechProgress.xls: culmination of Solow Model series; incorporates technological progress; theory and data. (8)

www.vimeo.com/econexcel/techproginitial: introduction stressing imaginary (efficiency units) and real economies.

www.vimeo.com/econexcel/techprogcatchuptheory: catch-up growth and convergence; steady-state path as a magnet.

www.vimeo.com/econexcel/techprogcalibrateusa: Solow Model calibrated to match US economic performance in the 20th century.

www.vimeo.com/econexcel/techprogcatchupgermany: capital "destroyed" in the EqPath sheet and Germany's post WWII performance replicated.

www.vimeo.com/econexcel/techprograndom: stochastic disturbance term added via NORMALRANDOM(mean, SD).

www.vimeo.com/econexcel/techprogcompstatics: explores the effects of shocks in n, s, and g on the level and growth rate of steady-state y.

www.vimeo.com/econexcel/techproggoldenrule: the Golden Rule with g > 0; as g rises, the transition period gets shorter.

www.vimeo.com/econexcel/techprogconvergence: shows why CAGR as a function of log y is used; shows that the predicted relationship fails for large samples, but is better for more similar countries.


4. Data via the FRED add-in

1. GDP.xls: uses the FRED add-in to download and analyze basic aggregate data from national income accounts (3)

vimeo.com/econexcel/gdpshares: download US GDP data and show that GDP = C + I + G + NX. It also computes shares of GDP for C, I, and G.

vimeo.com/econexcel/gdpfluctuations: download Real and Potential GDP and the FRED add-in’s graphing tool plots the two series. Percentage change data are used to better illustrate fluctuations and the fact that I is volatile and primarily responsible for variability in GDP.

vimeo.com/econexcel/gdpinvcomponents: download three components of investment: 1) tools, plant, and equipment, 2) housing, and 3) changes in business inventories in an attempt to find the source of volatility in investment. In addition to simply plotting the three over time, they are converted into standard units, which gives an intriguing view.

2. Unem.xls: uses the FRED add-in to download and analyze labor market statistics. (6)

vimeo.com/econexcel/unemintro: download data on the unemployment rate and plot it (with recession bars). Other variables are downloaded and basic definitions are illustrated with the data.

vimeo.com/econexcel/unemgroups: download unemployment data on various sub-groups and illustrate that the impact of unemployment on particular categories of people is extremely variable.

vimeo.com/econexcel/unemseasonaladj: Excel's Pivot Table tool is used to find the monthly average in seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates to show the seasonal pattern in the data.

vimeo.com/econexcel/unemlfpr: download data on the labor force participation rate and show the striking difference in men's and women's LFPR since WWII.

vimeo.com/econexcel/unemsampling: explains the idea of sampling variability by sampling from a hypothetical population in Excel and using simulation to show the results from many samples.

vimeo.com/econexcel/unemsearch: implements and solves a fixed sample search model with Monte Carlo simulation.

3. Inflation.xls: uses the FRED add-in to download price index and inflation data (4)

vimeo.com/econexcel/inflationusahistory: examines the historical record of price variability since World War II, as measured by the CPI, in the United States. The last episode of severe inflation occurred in the 1970s. Since then, the US has enjoyed relative price stability.

vimeo.com/econexcel/inflationcollegetuition:  downloads data from the BLS on the college tuition price index and compares it to the overall CPI. The results are dramatic—college tuition has risen twice as fast as overall prices. It also makes clear that data from other sources can be merged in a spreadsheet with FRED downloads. This is a simple, but powerful point.

vimeo.com/econexcel/inflationrealvalues: shows how to deflate a nominal series of postage stamp prices with a price index to create a series of real postage stamp prices in 2012 dollars; task uses data for minimum wage; long CPI series back to 1790.

vimeo.com/econexcel/inflationcomparing: downloads the CPI, GDP deflator, core inflation, and chained CPI. It compares them and explains why we have competing price indexes.

4. Money.xls: uses the FRED add-in to download monetary aggregates, interest rates, and exchange rates (7)

vimeo.com/econexcel/moneyinflation: downloads various monetary aggregates (M1, M2, and MZM) and tries (and fails) to show how inflation depends on the money supply (including a 10-year moving average).

vimeo.com/econexcel/moneymsi: covers the rather advanced topic of Divisia monetary services indexes (MSI); uses Zoomer tool from Econ Chart add-in.

vimeo.com/econexcel/moneyseigniorage: downloads data on base money and nominal GDP to compute seigniorage rates; has data from IFS for a small subset of countries.  

vimeo.com/econexcel/moneyfftaylor: explains how the Taylor Rule versus the federal funds rate offers a window into how the Fed views the economy. It evaluates the tenures of Fed chairs since 1970. 

vimeo.com/econexcel/moneyfisher: downloads data on interest and inflation rates, showing that they move roughly together and then explains the relationship via the Fisher Effect. 

vimeo.com/econexcel/moneyxrates: downloads data on real effective exchange rates produced by the Fed and the OECD. It looks at the trade share weights for the United States and comments on the relationship between money supply and exchange rates. 

vimeo.com/econexcel/moneyhpfilter: shows how to use the HP array function in Excel to separate a variable into its trend and cyclical components using the Hodrick-Prescott algorithm.


5. Keynesian Models


6. Microfounded Model


Last Update: 29 Aug 2013