Research has shown that major sports competition can lead to a considerable economic development in the years following the event. For example, after the Summer Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, there was a significant impact on tourist traffic, with the number of tourists visiting the city doubling to 3.5 million eight years later; a benefit referred to as the “Barcelona effect”.
April 17, 2012
The appointment of a new head of the World Bank provides an opportunity to review the functions of this global financial institution whose primary purpose is to provide loans to developing countries so that they can reduce poverty.
March 26, 2012
It is easy for some students to be rather cynical about modern business practices especially after studying market failure and the behavior of monopolies and oligopolies. The media is also quick to expose the corrupt and greedy practices of corporate leaders.
March 14, 2012
A recent article in the Economists, The End of Cheap China is an excellent source for students to explore Theory of the Firm and International Economic concepts and see how they are connected.
March 4, 2012
Students are often quite intrigued by the notion of Fair Trade. The Guardian has produced a podcast to mark the launch of the first fair trade label 25 years ago. It explores how these brands have undergone significant growth and now close to 20% of all bananas and coffee sold in the UK bear the label for example. Once a small, grassroots movement, today fair trade seems fully mainstream but important questions are posed: Does the practice of fair trade make much difference? Does it go far enough? Is the movement still relevant? And where does fair trade need to go next?
March 1, 2012
Ian Stewart is my favourite Maths teacher/writer – easy to read and his discussions are accessible for our TOK students.
In this latest book, 17 Equations that Changed the World, Stewart identifies and explores seventeen equations that he believes are fundamental to the development of western history. The equations range from Pythagoras’s theorem about right-angled triangles, to contemporary selections such as Black-Scholes equation about financial derivatives. It also includes a discussion of the intriguing square root of minus one.
February 24, 2012
The Phillips Curve is an HL topic that some students find quite difficult. It is not often mentioned in mainstream economic commentary in the same way as other aspects of macroeconomics. A recent article in the Economist, Life on the Philips Curve, is a spirited challenge to those economists who use the Phillips Curve to argue against what they deem as over stimulation of the economy. The article is challenging and is probably better suited as an enrichment activity for those students who have already mastered the basic concepts related to this theory.
February 15, 2012
This article, Japan’s suffers economic contraction, by economic commentator Malcolm Foster, outlines the various factors that have contributed to a significant contraction in the the Japanese economy in the fourth quarter of 2011. The article identifies the strong yen, weak demand from Europe and the flooding in Thailand as key factors for why the worlds’s third largest economy saw GDP shrink 2.3%.
January 24, 2012
Price discrimination is a far more common practice than most students are aware of and they find the standard example of movie tickets quite compelling. This report, Why heavy people should pay more to fly, raises the issue of whether airlines should charge passengers on the basis of weight and should provoke a interesting discussion of the merits of such a decision.
January 15, 2012
HL students can find the self-correcting nature of current account imbalances within a free floating exchange environment difficult to grasp. It is not a topic often addressed by the mainstream press but this article by Bloomberg, China-Japan Currency Agreement points to a New World Order is a good opportunity for students to understand the concept.