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Unit 4 Macro: Improving Competitiveness in Croatia

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Economics student Anthony Beaumont writes on the policies that might sustain an improvement in the Croatian economy as it settles into being the 28th member nation of the EU single market

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Unit 4 Macro: ASEAN - Trade and Economic Growth

Monday, September 16, 2013

Economist Anthony Beaumont considers how the deeper economic integration within the ASEAN single market can act as a stimulant to economic growth and development for member nations

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Revision Presentation - Protectionism

This revision presentation explains and illustrates the concept of protectionism. The presentation explains the factors that motivate protectionism and the methods employed, including tariffs, import duties, dumping, currency manipulation and the favouring of domestic firms and industries.

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Unit 4 Macro: Ambitions for ASEAN in next phase of Globalisation

Thursday, September 12, 2013

ASEAN is a trade bloc of 10 nations with an aggregate economic size of $2.3 trillion. Their aim is to establish a fully-fledged economic community (AEC) by the end of 2015. The trading bloc’s diversity – ranging from advanced economies like Singapore to developing countries like Myanmar is an interesting feature – who will be the winners and losers from deeper economic integration in the region?

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Unit 4 Macro: Gains from International Trade

Friday, September 06, 2013

Here is an updated revision presentation on international trade that can be downloaded from our tutor2u slide share stream

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Marginal Revolution - New Online Course on Trade Theory

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Our friends over at Marginal Revolution are starting a new short course in international trade.

  • Why do countries trade? And how do they decide what to trade?
  • What are the effects of trade on wages, prices, welfare, and economic development?
  • What is protectionism, and how should we analyze tariffs and quotas in in a supply-and-demand framework?

Click here to find out more

Unit 4 Macro: Patterns of Trade Activity for Students

As an introduction to trade theory I am looking at data on the pattern of exports for different countries drawing on 2010 data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity at MIT. The task for students is to match the country with their pattern of exports (% by value) for the year 2010. There are ten countries - who can get all ten right? Download the resource below - in pdf format and also the charts in a powerpoint format

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Unit 2 Macro: india’s Faltering Economy

India is Asia's third largest economy but it is experiencing an economic slowdown with the rate of economic growth dipping to the lowest level in more than a decade.

The economy is suffering from a persistent trade deficit (worsened by a fall in exports), together with high rates of inflation and a sharply depreciating currency (the rupee). Billions of dollars of currency have been taken out of the economy by worried investors - this is known as capital flight.

Consumer demand for goods and services is being hit by rising prices as the cost of imports surges and other prices head higher too. Onion prices for example have more than trebled.

This BBC news video looks at the weakening of economic growth in India. Can India put in place economic reforms and policies to return the economy to the growth rate needed to sustain the improvement in living standards that has occurred since the early 1990s?

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Unit 4 Macro: Growth and Development in Vietnam

Thursday, August 29, 2013

This blog brings together study resources on growth and development issues for the emerging Vietnamese economy. After many years of rapid growth, the socialist-oriented transition economy is entering a slowdown phase with growth of less than 5% in part because the boom in cheap low-value added manufacturing built on low wages is hard to sustain. Other economists point to endemic inefficiency among state-owned enterprises as a key factor holding back potential growth in a country once described as "little China".

One bright spot is that Vietnam has surpassed Brazil to become the largest coffee exporter in the world.

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Unit 2 Macro: Lessons from the Whisky Industry in Exporting

Britain's exports of whisky have been growing strongly in recent years helped by a lower pound and fast-rising demand from whisky drinkers in emerging markets. Whisky exports set to rise to £4.5bn by 2017 even though sales to traditionally strong markets in the European Union have stalled because of persistent recession in countries such as Spain, Portugal and Italy. This Channel 4 news report looks at the experiences of two whisky producers - one a small-scale manufacturer and the other the giant Diageo to consider prospects for UK exports as a way of strengthening the recovery,

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Will the Indian Rupee continue to fall in value?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The main financial headlines in Mumbai recently have centred on the continued fall in the value of the Indian Rupee- now down by over 20% against the dollar in the last month. But what causes a currency to fall in value so sharply and so quickly?

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New! OCR A2 Economics Unit F585 (The Global Economy) - Rapid Revision Q&A Guide

An updated edition of Richard Young's popular OCR A2 Economics Unit F585 (Global Economy) Revision Guide is now available for purchase from our online store.

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Working Hard for a Big Mac - A Measure of Real Wages Around the Globe

Thursday, August 22, 2013

An intriguing take here on relative real wages in a range of developed and developing economies - using that staple resource to help teach PPP: the price of Big Macs!

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Economics at the Movies - The Cola Road Documentary

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

For years, a mystery has baffled visitors to developing countries: Coca-Cola is everywhere, but basic medicines are not. This year, Zambia has become the first African country to embrace a trial of the ColaLife concept. ColaLife aims to use Coca-Cola’s distribution model to deliver life-saving medicines to far-flung, rural communities

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Development Economics: Living on One Dollar

Monday, August 19, 2013

What is it like to live in extreme poverty? Could you budget only one dollar a day to survive? Four friends from the United States spent their summer living in Guatemala on one dollar a day to try and understand the reality of poverty first hand. This is the official trailer of a new documentary being screened for the first time in August 2013 and comes from the Center for Global Development

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Container Economics - Maersk’s Big Bet

This is a simply fabulous video to show to economics students of whatever vintage - there is so much relevant stuff in here it would struggle to fit into one of the containers that fill the world's largest ever freight ships. Challenge your students to find as much economics in this as possible and then make some connections between the topics!

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Enterprise, rather than aid, will boost the development of poorer countries

Saturday, August 10, 2013

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”. This Chinese proverb has great sense and should be applied to foreign aid. Simply giving developing countries money does not benefit them in the long term, as this aid is finite. Inward investment gives them the skills to develop their own economies, whilst benefiting the aid-givers in the process. Bono is well known for his philanthropic work and he recently said: "In dealing with poverty here and around the world, welfare and foreign aid are a Band-Aid. Free enterprise is a cure." So this really is a "rockstar" concept.

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Unit 2 Macro: Changing the GDP Calculation

Friday, August 09, 2013

The United States is making changes to the way that it calculate the value of their national output and the result is that the total value of the goods and services produced in the world's biggest economy will be substantially higher as a result. 

According to this article from BBC news "The way the US economy is measured has changed, to include the amount spent on intellectual property outlays such as pop song production and drug patents for the first time." Check out this short dynamic chart from the Economist for more background details. The gain in GDP is 3.5% or - in effect - a country the size of Sweden has been created by changing the scope of the GDP measurement!

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Unit 4 Macro: Climate Change in Africa Will Hit the Poor the Hardest

Monday, August 05, 2013

A new World Bank report says rising temperatures in the next few decades will cause food shortages and increased poverty in Africa. This short video provides some background on some of the key sustainability challenges facing the continent.

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Unit 4 Macro: Quah v Chang on Market-Led Development

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Here are some summary notes from a discussion between Danny Quah and Ha Joon Chang at a recent LSE panel discussion on the question "Is there a future for market-led development?"

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Unit 4 Macro: Perspectives on the BRICS Slowdown

Saturday, July 27, 2013

There has been renewed focus in recent weeks on the slowing growth rates in the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China. It is inevitable that the pace and sources of growth will change as these countries develop and experience continued structural adjustments. How successful will they be in responding the the challenges and opportunities of the next stage of development? In this blog we link to some recent articles on the BRIC countries for students wanting to deepen their understanding of this important area of the A2 macro course.

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Unit 4 Macro: China’s Great Re-Balancing

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Here is another good resource for students who are looking at prospects for the Chinese economy as part of their macro economic studies. While the Chinese economy continues to slowdown, policymakers in Beijing are faced with the dilemma of how to rebalance an economy that till now has relied heavily on investment. The FT's Simon Rabinovitch reports from Guiyang. A re-balancing China will have to be a slower-growing China.

Follow the tags at the bottom of this blog for connections to all of our recent Unit 4 macro blog entries on China.

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Unit 4 Macro: Growth Slowdown in China

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The pace of growth of the Chinese economy is weakening with new data showing an annual growth of real GDP dipping to just over 7%. China's economy is re-balancing away from investment and exports towards consumption. But at present there is a squeeze in household spending. Consumption in China contributed 60.4% to GDP growth in first half of 2012, only 45.2% in the first six months of 2013.

We link here to some resources on the issues surrounding the reduction in growth rates for the Chinese economy.

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Competitive Advantage - Kenyan Distance Runners

Saturday, July 13, 2013

They dominate the major championships in long distance events and the standard of their running is so high that several runners have opted to compete for other countries in order to gain selection for World and Olympic events. What makes Kenyan distance runners so good? From where have they established their enduring competitive advantage? Are there parallels and lessons for countries wishing to compete in the global economy? This news feature from the Guardian offers some interesting clues!

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Unit 4 Macro: Frontier Asian Economies on the Rise

Thursday, July 11, 2013

This new short video from the IMF takes a look at a group of fast-growing countries known as Frontier Asia. Asia's developing economies represent the region's economic frontier, emerging as a new source of economic dynamism. These countries aspire to climb the development ladder by addressing the challenges of infrastructure, technology and financing.

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Unit 4 Macro: Changing FDI Flows in Recent Years

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A short but useful infographic from the Economist - perhaps a resource when teaching aspects of globalisation. Foreign direct investment decisions show how the global economy is different since the financial crisis.

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Unit 2 Macro: An Introduction to Trade

Thursday, June 27, 2013

KAL, The Economist's resident cartoonist and animator, explains global trade

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Unit 4 Macro: The Global Savings Imbalance

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Economic imbalances are a recurring theme in discussions about prospects for the world economy. We link here to a recent lecture given at Gresham's College on some of the consequences of growing divergences between nations that are net savers and countries that are net debtors.

This lecture will look at the world surplus of savings as incomes gradually shift proportionally towards those who traditionally save a high proportion of their earnings and away from those who traditionally spend most of what they earn. In theory, the excess savings should be matched by higher investment. In practice this is not happening.

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Unit 4 Macro: China’s Transformation - The Long View

Dr Linda Yueh gave a fantastic talk at the ETNC on the growth and development challenges facing China in the years ahead. Here is a shortened version of a recent talk given by her at the RSA in London in April 2013. We have also streamed the contents of the presentation for those who want to follow the talk in more detail.

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Unit 4 Macro: Kal Draws Dumping

Another great short animated video from the Economist - highly relevant to students looking at the economics of protectionism / import controls. KAL, The Economist's resident cartoonist and animator, explains what dumping means and why companines do it.

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Unit 2 Macro: The Rising Middle Class

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hundreds of millions of people around the world are escaping poverty and becoming middle class. The explosion of new consumers in China, India and other economic powerhouses is changing the global balance of power. The BBC website has a new series on exploring the effects of this shift in global economic power and influence - click here for further research and watch the video below

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RES Short: Does Aid Cause Growth?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Every year billions of dollars in aid go to the world's poorest countries. But does it help these countries to grow out of poverty? The question is as old as foreign aid itself. In this RES short video, Michael Clemens of the Centre for Global Development presents award-winning research that offers a new way of answering this question

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RES Short: Why Are There Cities

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Another RES short video from Bob Denham at Econ Films. The size and location of cities follows a clear pattern -- you just need to look at them from far enough away. Wen-Tai Hsu of the National University of Singapore shows this with the help of economics. This research received the Austin Robinson Memorial Prize at the Royal Economic Society annual conference in April 2013. Some important themes mentioned here for students of economic geography.

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Paul Ormerod: Ignore Krugman: We’re not caught in another depression

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

SPOTTING and identifying new species is always exciting. And the last couple of years has seen the emergence of a new type of economic commentator, the recovery denier. Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning economist, wrote a piece at the end of last year in which he compared the current situation to that of the 1930s. On Newsnight recently, another Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz poured scorn on my assertion that the US economy has recovered.

But what does the data tell us? In the 1930s, output in America fell by nearly 30 per cent from its 1929 peak. This time, the fall was only 3 per cent, and the level of output is now higher than it was below the crash. The latest US labour market figures show continued growth in employment. Over 5m net new jobs have been created over the past three years, all of which have been in the private sector. Unemployment has just fallen to a four year low.

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Unit 2 Macro: London Gateway Super Port Prepares to Open

The scale of the new London Gateway Super deepwater Port is truly stunning and its importance to the economy as a trading nation is hard to underestimate - Britain will have a new world class hub port in a key location impacting on many trades and services in and around the South East and beyond. It has taken 10 years to establish and build this huge new infrastructure project, building eventually started in 2008.

Behind the port sits Europe's largest logistics park connected to the South east by road and rail.

This Financial Times news video looks at the background to the project - it is a good example to consider of the macroeconomic consequences of the investment. What price a new Thames Estuary airport (supported by Boris Johnson) to amplify the transformative impact in the years ahead?

Update: BBC news (November 2013) - click here

London Gateway is new competition for Felixstowe port

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Environmental Economics: Carbon Prices for Next 1000 Years

Friday, June 07, 2013

The pricing of carbon emissions needs to be sensitive to both long-run climate outcomes and short-term concerns about the macroeconomy. Research by Reyer Gerlagh and Matti Liski reconciles these two timeframes and comes up with optimal prices of between €20 and €130 per ton of carbon dioxide.

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Oxbridge Economics - New Systems of Finance

Monday, June 03, 2013

The post global financial crisis period is seeing a burst of innovation in the financial system as new platforms of funding especially for businesses seem to be gaining some traction even if they remain very small contrasted with the scale of established banks. This short report from the FT visits a conference on behavioural finance held at Oxford University and quizzes some leading figures on key developments in embryonic, emerging financial businesses. Having watched the video engage in some independent research on peer to peer lending and other fast-growing markets.

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The importance of container shipping

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I have to come clean as a self-confessed container nerd (geek alert: follow the world’s containers using this amazing tool).  Not only are the ships hugely impressive from an engineering perspective, but they are a gift for an Economics or Business enthusiast.  You might want to be thinking about economies of scale, or the negative externalities associated with transport – or perhaps discuss supply side issues and infrastructure.  Container ships cover the lot.

A while ago I argued that container shipping is the greatest of all 20th century innovations, and this week The Economist has reported that the container has been a greater driver of globalisation than all trade agreements in the past 50 years taken together.

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Unit 4 Macro: Indonesia’s infrastructure deficit

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Here is a video report from the fast-growing country of Indonesia where infrastructure deficiencies threaten their sustainable growth rate. 

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Unit 4 Macro: Linda Yueh - New Column on the Global Economy

Friday, May 10, 2013

The BBC's Chief Business Correspondent Linda Yueh @lindayueh has new page on developments in global economy http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/correspondents/lindayueh/ - definitely one for students and teachers to follow. The opening article focuses on a concept that we have been pushing in our own macro coverage in recent times, namely the emergence of a multi-polar world economy with growth coming from a bigger number of countries / regions and less dependent on the advanced western economies. Read the article here

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A2 Macro: Competitiveness problems in Singapore? Surely not!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Well according to this Economist article there is. Great fodder for A2 students looking for genuine examples of supply side policies and in this case of a government seeking to encourage industries to move up the value chain and wean them of low cost low skilled immigrant labour. Problem is there are unintended consequences:

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Paul Ormerod: The Reinhardt and Rogoff miscalculation

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The distinguished American academic economists, Carmen Reinhardt and Ken Rogoff, have been very much in the news.  Their 2009 book, This Time is Different, was a comprehensive examination of financial crises over the past 800 years.  The work received many plaudits and awards.   They suggested that when the ratio of public debt to GDP in a country rose above the 90-100 per cent range, the chances of a financial crisis increased sharply.  And the consequence was that economic growth in the country would be adversely affected.

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A2 Macro: Revision Notes on Growth and Development in India

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Link here to a revision note on aspects of growth and development in India (revised April 2013)

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The Angry Economist 2 - The George Osborne Edition (evaluating macroeconomic policies)

Friday, April 19, 2013

He's back but he's still angry!  In this latest version of The Angry Economist, our favourite curmudgeonly analyst wants to know students' opinion on George Osborne's economic policies - no wonder his blood pressure has risen!

This simple Powerpoint resource is aimed at getting your students to analyse and evaluate economic policies - 8 of the Chancellor's policies are presented and the Angry Economist randomly picks a macro-economic objective to consider.  All you have to do is get 8 volunteers from your class to do the analysing - a great 10 minute activity whilst revising for the up-coming macro exams at either GCSE, AS or A2 level.

Here is a list of the policies the Angry Economist wants students to look at (you may wish to recap on them before you start the activity):

  • Reduce Government debt
  • Increased number of private sector jobs
  • Increased allowance before Income Tax needs to be paid
  • Cut Corporation Tax
  • Set up Regional Growth Fund
  • Funding Lending Scheme
  • Deregulating some planning rules
  • Frozen Council Tax

Of course, the beauty of this resource is that you can change any of these policies to whatever you want them to be.

Click on this link to download the Angry Economist 2.

PS.  Click on this link to have a look at the original Angry Economist.

Unit 4 Macro: Growth and Development Challenges for China

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Here are some notes taken from a talk given by Linda Yueh on the Chinese economy at the RSA in London on the 18th April, 2013

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Unit 4 Macro: Taking the Pulse of Africa - Growth Outlook is Good

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The latest edition of African Pulse published by the World Bank focuses on growth and development prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa and the overall sentiment is that the region is set to continue with a strong growth performance. 

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Unit 4 Macro: Migration flows across the world

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fantastic interactive website here lets you check out migration flows both inward and outward from any country you care to look at.

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Unit 4 Macro: Graphic Illustration of Global Inequality

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The LSE’s Jason Hickel writes, narrates and directs this short video looking at the extreme truth of how wealth is divided globally.

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Paul Ormerod: Sovereign debt and Euro zone reality

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The recent debacle in Cyprus has essentially been shrugged off by the markets.  The European Central Bank vigorously asserts the crisis in the Euro zone is over.  So why is there continued unease about the financial viability of countries such as Spain and Portugal, a morass into which even the French are now being dragged?

Economic theory helps us understand a bit more about why this is the case.  One thing which the last few years in Europe have shown very starkly is the massive difference between debt which is denominated in nominal terms and that which is in real terms.  Nobel Laureate Chris Sims makes the point clearly in his recently published Presidential Address to the American Economic Association. 

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Unit 4 Macro: From Domestic Product to Domestic Progress

A newly constructed Social Progress Index has been unveiled for the first time with the hope that over time, it might become as widely quoted and recognised as the Global Competitiveness Index as a benchmark of progress made by individual countries in achieving sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth and development. In the 2013 rankings, Sweden comes first and the United Kingdom is second.

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