The Corovavirus Trade-Off. Economic Growth Or Human Life?

IB Economics. Policymakers and politicians have an unenviable decision to make. The longer their economies are totally shut down because of social distancing, implemented to combat the coronavirus, the more they stagnate, the higher the rates of unemployment and the greater likelihood that businesses, once closed down, will never open up again.  In other words, the economic damage rises exponentially as time goes by. How long can we go on with our economies totally closed down? They face a classic trade-off, similar to the trade-off found in a Production Possibility Frontier:- If they want to stop the virus from spreading, … Continue reading The Corovavirus Trade-Off. Economic Growth Or Human Life?

Amazonian Rainforest Fires.

I.B. Economics. The recent Amazonian fires here in Brazil and their potential impact on global warming got me thinking about the role of economics, and how economic theories and models may be complicit in the process of environmental destruction and global warming. Do our models factor in the environmental impacts of economic activity, or do they ignore them? Many analysts think that they ignore them and that new ways of thinking about the role of the economy and it’s connection to the environment are needed. One of these analysts is John Fullerton, an ex-Wall Street banker who has founded the … Continue reading Amazonian Rainforest Fires.

Brazil’s Labour Laws Reformed.

IB Business & IB Economics. For the first time since 1945, as from today, November the 11th, 2017, new labour laws come into force in Brazil. The new laws have been welcomed by the business community, who feel that the laws bring Brazil’s labour market into the 21st century, but many, including  the Trade Unions and the poor, have protested against the changes. In economic language these types of changes are often referred to as ‘ making the labour market more flexible’. In economics it is an example of a ‘ market based supply side policy’ the aim of which … Continue reading Brazil’s Labour Laws Reformed.

Executive Pay and Donald Trump.

IB BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT AND IB ECONOMICS. From ‘Brexit’, to the election of Donald Trump as US president, a number of recent world events have surprised and shocked many people. Can we link anything on the IB Economics and IB Business & Management syllabuses to these profound changes in politics, society and economics? Can business and economics explain anything about these happenings? Of course it can! Let’s look first at executive pay (Section 2.4 of the Business syllabus, salaries and remuneration) . As Ha-Joon Chang points out in his masterly book “23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism“, the salaries … Continue reading Executive Pay and Donald Trump.

There Is No Such Thing as A ‘Free Market’.

I.B. Economics. Anyone studying economics, no matter how briefly, will soon come across the phrase, the ‘ free market’. We also talk about ‘ free marketeers’, who are economists who believe that the less the government ‘ interferes’  in markets the better. They tend to argue that when the government steps into markets and introduces, for example, a minimum wage or a price ceiling, then this results in a restriction on the ‘freedom of choice’ of the players in the market, and also causes a loss of efficiency in the market. One of the main themes of the IB Economics  … Continue reading There Is No Such Thing as A ‘Free Market’.

Brexit – A Revolt Against Globalisation.

IB Economics & IB Business. On Thursday June 23rd the British people voted in a referendum to leave the European Union ( EU). The value of the Pound promptly dropped 10% and stock markets around the word fell. As a British citizen myself who is on holiday in the UK, I thought that it would be apposite to make Brexit the topic of my next blog post.  Brexit is short for a ‘ British exit’ of the EU. So what has Brexit got to do with the IB Economics and IB Business courses? A lot. The topics of ‘ globalization’, … Continue reading Brexit – A Revolt Against Globalisation.