Economics CPD Courses Coming up this Term!- Book Your Places Now!
If, like me, you spent much of the spring and summer of this year being 'gently persuaded' to purchase loom bands and their paraphernalia, you may find this short presentation and task on demand and supply of the product useful.
For many weeks, it seemed almost impossible to undertake a shopping trip with my youngest son without him pointing out the huge selection of available bands and their construction tools. He built up quite a selection or different colours and styles as my vacuum cleaner can happily testify. Then I noticed a tailing off of his requests and noted that this week, when I pointed out a shop selling the rubber bands at half price, he declared that he was no longer interested - even at the reduced rate compared to just 4 weeks ago.
He seemed less than impressed when I pointed out how this was a fine example of how demand and supply impacts upon price. However, many of you may be at the stage where you are going through demand, supply and equilibrium with your AS students.read more...»
Sitting watching Alex Salmond acknowledge the results of the Scottish referendum, there is a great example of the speed with which the foreign exchange markets respond to news. Sterling fell significantly in value over the last two weeks, with polls suggesting that the 'Yes' campaign was much closer to a win than had previously been expected. However, as the vote closed on Thursday evening, exit polls were indicating a win for the 'No' vote, and, as the chart from Bloomberg above shows, the global 24-hour foreign exchange market showed an immediate and dramatic response in demand for the pound, as the uncertainties associated with Scottish independence were removed.read more...»
Narendra Modi’s term as India’s Prime Minister is in full swing, with a ‘Modi bounce’ seen in recent figures for FDI and an upturn in the rate of economic growth. Optimism is high that change for the better is underway in developing an infrastructure that can support India's 1.2 billion people.read more...»
London's New Year's Eve fireworks display is to be limited to a viewing area of 100,000 ticketed spectators for the first time. The event's popularity made it "untenable" to strain the transport and safety infrastructure with a larger number, the Mayor's office says. Hence the decision to charge £10. This poses a question about the nature of public goods.read more...»
After months of Trappist silence, a whole plethora of large companies has pronounced on the adverse consequences for Scotland of a Yes vote tomorrow. The sectors span the economy, from oil to banks, from supermarkets to phone companies. But what will be the effect of these interventions?read more...»
The economics of Scottish Independence are considered in a short video by Prof Ronald MacDonald of Glasgow University.read more...»
Continuing our theme of sharing engaging activities, here's a fun teaching resource that lasts between 15 and 20 minutes called 'Face It' - a resource that has been extremely popular when we've used it during our teacher CPD events. On the grounds that it may still be too early to test understanding of a particular topic, this version asks 10 questions about topical economics news stories to see how closely your students have been following the news!
'Face It' is a multiple choice quiz with a typical tutor2u twist! Students are shown the questions at the start of the quiz (but not the possible answers) and asked to work out which questions they feel most confident in answering. Then the fun really starts!read more...»
The overall rate of infant mortality has been halved in the past two decades.
That's the good news. But Unicef' s latest figures estimate every day 17,000 under-fives die - 6.3 million a year - from largely preventable causes. Most of the deaths happen in the first hours or weeks following birth.read more...»
Here's a pleasant and short Powerpoint presentation on Perfect Competition that you may wish to include as part of any lesson on the subject. The presentation shows how price, supply and average and marginal revenue shifts as more firms enter the market and the impact that has on profits.
Look out for more diagram testing resources as part of our upcoming Wow Economics CPD events. Regular blog contributor Virang Dal has created a Powerpoint resource called 'Diagram Dissection' that asks students to identify the 'body parts' of a series of 28 economic diagrams.
The growth vrs the environment debate is great for opening a thoughtful discussion about the net benefits of economic growth. Some participants take what might be described as a Kuznets Curve approach to the issue. That might be simply summarised as things get worse to begin with, but after a while they start to improve (OK, I’m simplifying a bit here). In environmental terms, you might illustrate this with the Peak Stuff idea. For several years now, the UK economy’s total consumption of physical resources has been falling. In the past, growth made our economy more and more damaging to the environment. But future growth might have far less of an impact, and even contribute to significant environmental improvements.
What about tropical forests, which observers in the last decades of the 20th century noted were under severe threat? The Economist newspaper seems to take an optimistic view. Future growth may have far less worrying consequences for tropical forests.read more...»
Here is a useful update on recent changes to UK competition law - pertinent for teachers who want to keep up to speed with reforms to competition authorities including the creation of the Competition and Markets Authority.
WOW! Economics 2015 is tutor2u's flagship CPD course for ALL A Level Economics teachers.
WOW! Economics 2015 builds on the phenomenal success of the previous two years with yet another resource-packed day designed to provide teaching colleagues with effective and innovative teaching & learning materials.
The 2015 course features completely brand new teaching & learning resources - if you've been on a previous WOW! Economics, you are in for another treat! We've listed these resources further below.
The feedback from previous WOW! Economics courses has delighted us and we've grown the team of contributing Economics teachers to ensure that WOW! Economics 2015 is our best-ever.read more...»
Teaching the New A Level Economics: Mastering Quantitative Methods
A key feature of the new A Level and standalone AS specifications (for first teaching from September 2015) is a greater focus on quantitative methods.
The Ofqual subject criteria with which awarding bodies must comply states that specifications must require learners to:
"...develop analytical and quantitative skills in selecting, interpreting and using appropriate data from a range of sources"read more...»
Here's a short activity in testing student understanding at working out fixed, variable, average and marginal costs and then total, average and marginal revenue. Using a 'Smartwatch' case study as the backdrop the activity asks students to calculate costs and revenues and then work out the profit maximisation and sales maximisation points. Oh yes, and students have to plot a chart as well!
The transport economists amongst you will be giving considerable thought to the question of tackling road traffic congestion. I’ve picked up on two stories here because they take contrasting approaches. The first is to use technology and regulation to tackle the problem – the so-called command and control approach. The other relies on price signals, so might be described as a market led approach.read more...»
Storify is a wonderful tool for promoting external reading to our students and for making reading articles or viewing videos interesting as opposed to being a chore. Take a look at my account on Storify to see how it could be used as part of your teaching portfolio
Here's an engaging 5 to 10 minute activity for your next AS (Year 1) Economics class. The 'Eliminator' quiz does not cover any specific topic but acts as a way of finding out what your students may already know or to stimulate discussion.read more...»
Economics teachers from schools and colleges throughout the UK are cordially invited to a one-day event at Eton College on Monday 17th November.
The Euro zone lurches into yet another crisis, with fears of deflation and a further drop in output. There are several dominant explanations of why Europe has been unable to recover from the crisis. Most commentators subscribe to them either on their own, or in various combinations, depending on their tastes.
Wow! Economics is back for the 2014-2015 academic year with 40 brand new resources. If you've not been to a previous version of this Economics Teacher CPD event then come along and enjoy a fantastic day of engaging resources aimed at inspiring students and improving their potential grades. If you've been before then don't miss out on a whole new set of activities to add to your catalogue. We guarantee that you'll have colleagues looking over at your desk and wondering where they can get something similar to spice up their teaching.
To find out about what we've got in store, read on....read more...»
The economics of Scottish independence has been turned in to a gay romantic comedy in an online series launching today. The mini-series ‘United Queendom’ tells the story of a couple on the verge of separation: Scott and Adrian argue over oils (for the bath), who controls the credit card, membership of ‘The Club’ and whether they should aspire to be like their neighbour, the Scandinavian model.
At the end of each episode, the viewer is presented with a choice of endings and votes on whether the couple breaks up or stays together. Embracing the apathy of some of today’s voters, the poll also includes an option for those who just ‘don’t care’. The ending with the most views will be declared the winner.read more...»
This might be a familiar refrain on matchday, as yet another referee gets it in the neck from a partisan crowd - as the chap who officiated the Germany-Scotland game did, no doubt. However, it's rare for economists to be humble enough to admit that, many's the time that we aren't always as certain of economic outcomes as we think we are.
A great example to start you off looking at how economists understand markets: after a run of rain-wrecked years, British farmers are bringing in the last of what looks like a bumper cereals harvest. 2014 could be the biggest yield ever for wheat. Good news. But for whom?read more...»
This west African health crisis is a tragedy. It could be an issue that stimulates an economics discussion. According to James Surowiecki in The New Yorker there are no real tools to stop the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The lack of treatment is disturbing. But given the way drug development is funded, it’s also predictable.read more...»
Welcome to the many new students taking Economics for the first time as schools and colleges begin a new school year.
Here are some links for Economics students wanting to keep bang up to date with a fast moving subject!
Impress your Economics teachers by showing them you are following the news and the many issues that form an important part of year 12 Economics courses. You'll reap the rewards too when it comes to the exams in the summer.read more...»
Many students look at health care spending and rationing decisions when they cover the introductory concepts of opportunity cost, scarcity and the cost benefit principle. In this recent BBC Newnight report, the decisions taken by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) - the organisation that decides whether treatments are cost-effective enough to be purchased for patients by the NHS. Cancer drugs especially those that provide targeted medicine for a small patient population can carry a very high unit cost per patient and this is taken many of these drugs above the level that NICE will allow, even though some of these drugs so make a significant difference.
Should cancer drugs be taken out of the NICE cost benefit calculation or should drugs companies make more effort to lower their prices?read more...»
A great video to use in the classroom as a prompt for discussion. Bad forecasts matter - they affect millions of people. Why are forecasters so bad at their jobs? Complexity is fundamental and when forecasters are also prone to bias when making their projections. Is there hope for better forecasting from a group known as the super-forecasters who seem to be uncannily good at making predictions?
Watch the video belowread more...»
We are taking business growth as our first topic for unit 3 this term, and the FT has some excellent resources to introduce the subject, in th form of short Lex video discussions. The three that I have used look at Fyffes attempt to buy Chiquita, which has been 'gatecrashed' by two Brazilian firms, Carillion's bid to buy the much bigger Balfour Beatty, and then to cover demergers, Barclays' sale of their Spanish business.read more...»
Will the best place to live - as identified by the Economist newspaper - be found in the country with the highest GDP per capita?read more...»
Following a similar format to last week's AS 'World of Economics', this free resource available from the download link below is a rapid 10 minute starter for the first class with your returning A2 students.
Entitled 'Whilst you were away', the resource shows a montage of images. Each image also has a question and all relate to news stories from around the world during the months of July and August 2014. The montage remains on screen with a 3 minute timer fading away at the bottom of the screen - ask your students (individually or in small teams) to answer all 9 questions in the 3 minutes available.
Then go through the answers one at a time - there is an individual slide showing the answer to each question plus a supplementary question for each image to stimulate discussion about how the news stories impact on economics. This is a Powerpoint resource so feel free to edit the questions as you see fit.
John Lanchester is a superbly accessible author on financial economics and his latest book How to Speak Money looks well placed for use by economics departments.read more...»
The relentless rise of the high street barista economy is a factor causing a significant shift in the pattern of jobs in the British economy. Many higher paid jobs in manufacturing have been lost replaced by hundreds of thousands of relatively low paid work in the service sector. The Guardian reports here on a new survey from Incomes Data Services.
Many thanks to Geoff for providing three PowerPoint-based resources designed to stimulate some research by economics students on a selection of countries and businesses of their choice.read more...»
Lurid stories about the excesses in the UK housing market continue to proliferate. True, there is some evidence of a cooling, as the price rises tempt more sellers into the market and temporarily increase supply relative to demand. But at the same time we learn in the Sunday Times that the good burghers of Cobham enjoyed on average – on average! – an increase in the value of their homes of no less than £647,000 over the past twenty years. Other areas in the Home Counties saw similar huge capital gains.read more...»
Download this engaging teaching resource to test student awareness of the international competitiveness rankings!
You may have already seen Geoff's blog on the newly released International Competitiveness Index. The World Economic Forum annually release its table of competitiveness using a variety of data measures including economic performance, quality of education and labour efficiency. The UK has moved up to 9th in the World.read more...»
An excellent short report from Lucy Hornby of the Financial Times on how large coal and oil projects along the course of the Yellow River are causing water shortages for millions of people and threatening the local farming industry. Water has composite demand - it has many uses and farmers along the famous yellow River are finding that the country's rising thirst for energy is placing increasing demand on the supply of water from the river. Difficult choice are having to be made.read more...»
The UK has nudged up to ninth in the annual assessment of international competitiveness established by the World Economic Forum. Click here http://reports.weforum.org/global-competitiveness-... for the UK data and here for the report as a whole http://reports.weforum.org/global-competitiveness-...
More comment and details here:read more...»
Here are a couple of current UK problems. Firstly, although the economy is recovering strongly, tax receipts aren’t. Secondly, flaws in the way the welfare system operates may be creating disincentives in the labour market. Could a radical proposal: streamlining the whole welfare system by paying everyone a ‘citizen’s income’ help?read more...»
According to The Economist there is a long history of efforts to distinguish products that have been made more ethically than others. In the late 18th century, anti-slavery campaigners urged British consumers to boycott sugar from the West Indies in favour of supplies from India. Today’s fair-trade movement took off in the 1960s, mostly in religious organisations that wanted to help the poor, whom they saw as losers in the global trading system. Fair Trade is a really important issue for discussion.read more...»
Here is a new twelve question quiz drawing on economic indicators from the Economists's Pocket World in Figures (2015 edition) which has just been published. Good luck!read more...»
In the Balance is a weekly programme on the changing dynamics of the global economy broadcast by the BBC World Service. Have a check through their episode listings, there is much here for students looking for extension and enrichment listening and for teachers passionate about their subject, not least in the fields of growth and development economics. Here is the link to the programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00m6dzl/episodes/...
Here is another ready-to-use edition of our thinking-skills resource Focus Circle which provides an engaging way to teach factor inputs.read more...»
Raising farm yields in a sustainable way not least because of the challenges of water scarcity is one of the biggest challenges for lower income countries (and advanced nations too!). This blog from the World Economic Forum explores innovative vertical farming. Will this type of farming get the finance to be scaled up? What are the possible consequences for employment in farming sectors traditionally have absorbed a high percentage of employment? This is a good article to read to build your contextual awareness.
Below is a video on vertical farming from the high income country of Singaporeread more...»
Here is an important example of regulatory control of utility businesses with regional natural monopoly power. Ofwat is requiring regional water companies to cut their bills in real terms for the next five year pricing regime. Regulatory agencies are often accused of failing to be sufficient strong with suppliers leading to allegations of regulatory capture i.e. producer interests dominate consumer interests. Ofwat may be an example of a regulator that avoids this criticism. Click here for the article from BBC news
QE, dead cat bounces, margin calls, hi-frequency trading, derivatives, hedging and yields. The irrepressible John Lanchester tries to de-mystify the language of money in his new book! Here is a report on the subject from BBC Newsnight.read more...»
Looking for a 15 - 20 minute activity to start your first lesson with new AS level students over the next week or so? We've got a nice introductory quiz for you!read more...»
After stumbling across a couple of good movie poster makers via the @ukedchat Twitter feed, I decided to knock a couple of quick ones up to brighten up the walls of my classroom. You can make your own resources here: www.fakemovieposter.com or http://bighugelabs.com/poster.php
You can also download the two that I made below here: Movie_Posters.pptx
If anyone has any other great display resources, why not post them up here or contact me @mrwoodeco.
I really enjoyed reading this blog from Simon Taylor on the diminishing role of cash in contemporary economic life. Increasingly most cash is held in high denomination notes, even small scale transactions such as buying a coffee at the railway station or a book at the airport bookstore are paid using debit and credit cards. Is cash as a medium of exchange in almost permanent secular decline?
Simon Taylor looks in his blog at the concept of seignorage - the return on producing notes and coins for governments and their central banks.
Just recently I lost both of my debit cards and was grateful that I usually hold fairly large cash balances to ease my way through a week or so without a card to use. It certainly made me more aware of what I was spending!
Here is the link to the blog: http://www.simontaylorsblog.com/2014/08/27/could-w...
Sir James Mirrlees is one of the mere handful of British recipients of the Nobel Prize in economics. As his fine old Scottish surname might suggest, he has been active in the debate on independence. His latest intervention, which has attracted considerable publicity, is to pronounce that an independent Scotland should be willing to repudiate its share of the UK’s public sector debt. This would be, Mirrlees asserts, a bargaining chip to be used to ensure that a currency union with the rest of the UK will be set up. The Bank of England would continue to act as a lender of last resort to the Scottish banking system.read more...»
As commemorations continue, there is a feature on the BBC website, where Economics Editor Hugh Pym looks at the impact of the Great War on the UK economy. It’s a short, accessible piece with some interesting video clips.read more...»