I.B. ECONOMICS. An educational podcast that looks at the Section 4 topic of Development, in particular at the question of ‘the balance between markets and government intervention’ (Section 4.8). Should governments intervene a lot in markets and in that way boost or accelerate development? Or is it better for them to leave markets alone and take a ‘stand off approach’? What happens if the government in question is corrupt? Does a corrupt government, when it intervenes in markets, hinder, or help the situation? The following video discusses corruption, its causes, its effects, possible solutions to the problem, and the government’s … Continue reading Corruption & Development
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’.
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.
Students often don’t know how to begin writing the main body of their business I.A. In order to help them, I give them questions whose objectives are to guide them in the right direction, and to help them to create a ‘scaffold’ around which they can base their research. Only after the students have followed these 5 stages, have collected their data and have written up their findings, do I ask them to format their IA according to the recommended format i.e. Introduction, Methodology, Main Results & Findings, Analysis & Discussion, Conclusion & Recommendations. Stage 1. Graphical portrayal of the … Continue reading Business Internal Assessment (HL) – The Main Body
Business & Management. The introduction of your business internal assessment (IA) is very important because it is the first thing that your teacher, and any coursework moderators, will read. Is important, therefore, to make a good impression from the beginning. Here is a template that I use to help students write their introduction. The advice that I give is start straight away with the business issue, problem or decision that you are investigating. A common mistake is to start your introduction giving a brief description of the company, it´s history etc. Avoid doing this. Only describe or explain your chosen … Continue reading Business Internal Assessment – The Introduction
Business & Management. He-Joon Chang in his popular book “23 Things They Don´t Tell You About Capitalism” (see my previous post) argues that limited liability, combined with how plc´s have been managed recently, particularly in the Anglo-Saxon world of the USA and the U.K., has been bad for society. He traces the origins of the problem back to 1981 when Jack Welsh, the then CEO of General Electric, coined the term ´maximizing shareholder value´. According to Welsh, this is what companies should do; aim to raise company share prices by increasing profits as much as possible and give as much dividend … Continue reading Limited Liability – Good or Bad for Society? (Part 2)
IB Business & Management. On the IB Business course we learn that businesses maximizing their profits is generally a good thing, that the concepts of limited liability and company legal structures such as the public limited company (plc) are positive, useful things for society, and that a good business manager should consider the long term interests of all the stakeholders in the business. However, is the concept of limited liability really good for society, are plc’s and the way they are run nowadays positive for society, and do business managers really take into consideration the long term interests of all the … Continue reading Limited Liability – Good or Bad for Society? (Part 1)
IB Business & Management. The Coursework Research Question – The Importance of ‘Focus’. One of the first things that you will have to do when starting your business coursework is to choose a good, well focused research question (r.q.) . If you choose an inappropriate or unfocused r.q., you will be handicapped from the beginning. The word count for the HL coursework is only 2000 words (excluding the Research Question and Research Proposal) and for SL it is only 1500 ( for more general information on the business coursework see this page of my blog). These word counts are short, and … Continue reading IB Business Coursework – The Research Question
IB Business & Management. The Key Concepts – The New Syllabus for Examinations Starting In May 2016. The teaching of the new syllabus should be based around three elements; the course content (the syllabus), contexts (the companies that you study throughout the course, whether they be related to your Internal Assessment, an Extended Essay, case studies that you have done in class, a company that you are familiar with) and the key concepts. See the following diagram: – Course Key Concepts * Change A famous adage in business is that if a business does not adapt to the changing external … Continue reading The Course Key Concepts – IB Business & Management
IB Economics. The Similarities and Differences Between South Africa and Brazil. (Syllabus Section 4.1 – Similarities and Differences Between Developing Countries). I am spending the holiday in South Africa at the moment so thought that I would do a post on South Africa and Brazil. When I started studying economics all those years ago we used the terms ‘ the First World’, the ‘ Second World’ and the ‘ Third World’ – meaning the rich countries, the Soviet Bloc countries and the poor countries of the world. However, the phrase ‘ Third World’ implies that all the poor countries are … Continue reading Development Economics – South Africa Verses Brazil