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Consumer Economics

Consumer Economics 50:220:303
Professor:Daniel Roccato
Office: Bus 206 by appointment
Telephone: 856-222-0110
E-mail: Roccato@rutgers.edu 

Course Objectives

This course will explore contemporary economic consumer issues including the state of theU.S.economy, consumer spending, household saving, personal finance issues, the labor market, status of consumer households, government policy and financial markets. There will be a special emphasis on how the economy impacts individual households and consumers as we seek to relate basic economic theory with current events and real life situations. This will be a highly interactive, participant-driven class.     

Required Textbook

Owing to the contemporary nature of this class, Professor will supply all reading materials.

Teaching Methods

Students are expected to maintain a reading pace that corresponds to the weekly topic. Assisted by the reading materials, students will learn in a collaborative environment through class discussion and collaboration. Students are encouraged to read topical articles in business publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, etc. as the course progresses.

Attendance and engagement are the keys to success!

Course Outline

Week 1 – 2.   Current Economic Conditions. What is the status of the American consumer? Are we in an economic recovery? Should we blame Wall Street for our economic woes?     

Week 3 – 4.  Government Policy – What is the impact of fiscal policy (taxes, spending) and monetary policy (interest rates, money supply) on consumers? Low interest rates are good for the economy……right? What is the impact of $16 trillion of government debt?     

Week 5 – 6.  Jobs and Personal Finance. CorporateAmericais enjoying record profits, but where are the jobs? Is this “structural” unemployment and if so, what is the cure? Your earning power is your single biggest financial asset, how do you increase your value? Investment strategies for consumers.    

Week  7.  State of the American Consumer. Will consumers spend again or is this the “new normal”? How do demographics impact consumer behavior and economic activity?  

Requirements and Grading

Homework (brief summary/opinions regarding reading assignments) – 80 points

Final Exam – 10 points

Attendance and Engagement – 10 points

90-100%                A
85-89%                  B+
80-84%                  B
75-79%                  C+
70-74%                  C
60-69%                  D
Less than 60%      F

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals.  Joint efforts are only legitimate when the assistance of others is explicitly acknowledged. The principles of academic integrity entail simple standards of honesty and truth.  Each member of the university has a responsibility to uphold the standards of the community and to take action when others violate them. Students are expected to know, understand and adhere to the policies on academic integrity outlined in the in the University Code of Academic Conduct.

Students with Disabilities

Students who are seeking an accommodation because of a disability are directed to the website http://learn.camden.rutgers.edu/disability/disabilities.html or they can contact the Camden campus Disability Coordinator, Mr. Tim Pure at 856-225-6442, Armitage Hall Room 362. The email address is disabilityservices@camden.rutgers.edu. All contact will be considered confidential.