Category Archives: Eco Events

Diane Coyle in Auckland

NZAE ConfThis year the annual conference of the New Zealand Association of Economisst takes place at the Auckland University of Technology from the 2nd – 4th July. One of the keynote speakers is Diane Coyle from the UK who runs the consultancy Enlightenment Economics. She also has a great website called ‘The Enlightened Economist’ in which she reviews economics and business books. She is the author of several books, including recently:

GDP: A Brief and Affectionate History (Princeton University Press, 2014 forthcoming),
The Economics of Enough (Princeton University Press 2011)
The Soulful Science (2007),

She also edited ‘What’s the Use of Economics: Teaching the Dismal Science after the Crisis’ self-questions economics by economists of a discipline that did not anticipate the crisis and has barely changed since despite its self-evident shortcomings.She was previously Economics Editor of The Independent and before that worked at the Treasury and in the private sector as an economist. She has a PhD from Harvard.

Below is a link to the conference website:

NZAE Annual Conference

Diane Coyle in Auckland

NZAE ConfThis year the annual conference of the New Zealand Association of Economisst takes place at the Auckland University of Technology from the 2nd – 4th July. One of the keynote speakers is Diane Coyle from the UK who runs the consultancy Enlightenment Economics. She also has a great website called ‘The Enlightened Economist’ in which she reviews economics and business books. She is the author of several books, including recently:

GDP: A Brief and Affectionate History (Princeton University Press, 2014 forthcoming),
The Economics of Enough (Princeton University Press 2011)
The Soulful Science (2007),

She also edited ‘What’s the Use of Economics: Teaching the Dismal Science after the Crisis’ self-questions economics by economists of a discipline that did not anticipate the crisis and has barely changed since despite its self-evident shortcomings.She was previously Economics Editor of The Independent and before that worked at the Treasury and in the private sector as an economist. She has a PhD from Harvard.

Below is a link to the conference website:

NZAE Annual Conference

Geoff Riley in New Zealand

tutor2u_logoCo-founder of Tutor2u and economics guru, Geoff Riley is in Auckland for this week. Currently on a Royal Society Fellowship Geoff is also heading to Melbourne and Hong Kong on his trip downunder.

He is doing a presentation to teachers from around the Auckland area at King’s College on Thursday at 2pm. Please email me if you would like to attend – address below. We are very lucky to have someone of Geoff’s calibre here in NZ.

m.johnston@kingscollege.school.nz

2013 Royal Economic Society Essay Competition

tutor2u_logoHere is the information from the Tutor2u site.

Tutor2u and the Royal Economic Society are delighted to announce details of the 2013 essay competition for sixth form students.

Now in it’s sixth year, the essay competition provides a wonderful opportunity for students to engage in independent research and deepen their awareness and understanding of how economic ideas and issues can be applied when addressing contemporary policy problems. For 2013 the Judges have selected six essay titles (shown below).

The final deadline for entries has been moved towards the end of June 2013. This follows requests from many schools and colleges to use the RES competition as a post AS level enrichment activity especially for those students keen on applying to read Economics and related courses at university. The competition is open to all students who are currently studying AS / A2 Level or IB Economics (or an equivalent course).

A promotional poster about the competition will be sent out to schools and colleges in the UK next week. Please display this and encourage your students to enter.

Competition Details

The RES judging panel has settled on six essay titles covering a range of macro and micro economic issues. They are listed below.

The first prize will once again be £1,000 together with an engraved trophy together with cash prizes for the other leading essays.

The deadline for submitting essays will be Monday 24th June 2013 at 2400 hours (GMT)..

– The competition is open to all students who are currently studying AS / A2 Level or IB Economics (or an equivalent course)
– All essays must be submitted online using the official online entry form (see the link below)
– The maximum word count for entries is 2,000 words
– The word count includes footnotes, but excludes references and bibliography.
– Only one entry per student is permitted
– No revisions to entries are permitted once submitted
– Please note that entries to the competition should be unique (i.e. not published elsewhere or submitted to other essay competitions.)

Essay Titles for 2013

– Does the international mobility of talent make it impossible to tax the rich?
– Should the experience of China silence those who think that democracy is good for growth?
– Is the UK banking system too concentrated?
– Should Universities embrace market forces in deciding what to teach and how?
– Should those who object to Heathrow expansion be “bought off’’ at taxpayer expense?
– Must “quantitative easing” end in inflation?

Online Entry Form

Essays for this competition must be submitted online – please use this link to upload essays

https://tutor2u.wufoo.com/forms/res-young-economist-of-the-year-2013/

All entries will be judged by a panel of 15-20 experienced Economics teachers drawn from a range of schools and colleges across the UK. The Teacher Panel meet together in late June for two days and produce a Final Shortlist of entries from the expected entry of over 700 essays. In addition to the Final Shortlist, the Teacher Panel will produce a list of Highly Commended entries. The final winners will be announced in the late summer of 2013.

We will post regular updates on topics relevant to the essay titles chosen.

A2 and AS Economics Revision by Big Screen Education

Any CIE AS or A2 economics students wishing to brush up on some last minute revision should think seriously about these two courses. Run by Ben Cahill of Senior College, they offer the unique setting of the Gold Class Theatre at Event Cinemas Queen Street. See profit maximisation output and the Keynesian 45˚ line on the big screen.

AS – Saturday 13th October – 10am-1pm
A2 – Saturday 10th November – 2pm-5pm

To book go to:

www.bigscreeneducation.co.nz

Tutor2u – 10th Year Anniversary Conference

Had a fantastic couple of days at the 10th Annual Tutor2u conference here at the National Library in London. A great lineup in speakers – Jim O’Neill – Goldman Sachs, Philip Coggan of The Economist, Jonathon Portes former Chief Economist at the Cabinet Office to name just a few.

Many thanks to Geoff and Jim Riley, Michelle and the Tutor2u team for such great hospitality – great evening yesterday on the London Eye (see photo) and good to meet so many new people. Will blog on some of the speakers over the next few days. If you haven’t been to their site here is the link:
Tutor2u

Tutor2u – great speakers for 10th Anniversary Economics Teacher National Conference!

Tutor2u have a great line-up of speakers for their 10th Anniversary Economics Teacher National Conference – Wednesday 27 June 2012 at the British Library Conference Auditorium at St Pancras in Central London. They are as follows:

Jim O’Neill, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and known throughout the world for his work on the rise of the BRIC nations will open the conference. Jim has a new book out – The Growth Map, economic opportunity in the BRICS and beyond – a great read for teachers and students

Ed Conway is the Economics Editor of Sky News. Ed joined Sky News in August 2011 after a year at the Kennedy School of Government Harvard University, where he was a Fulbright scholar. He was Economics Editor of The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, where he wrote a weekly op-ed column on the economy as well as covering the financial crisis. He was the first to reveal the Bank of England’s plans to create money through quantitative easing, and to warn of the funding gap in the banking system which later led to the collapse of Northern Rock, and he won a number of awards. Ed was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford.

Philip Coggan is the Buttonwood columnist of The Economist. Previously, he worked for the Financial Times for 20 years and in 2009, he was voted Senior Financial Journalist of the Year in the Wincott awards and best communicator in the business journalist of the year awards. His latest book, “Paper Promises: Money, Debt and the New World Order”, was published by Penguin in 2011 and has been widely acclaimed as one of the best new books on the global financial crisis.

Dambisa Moyo will be our key note speaker after lunch. She is tremendously well known from her books Dead Aid and How the West was Lost and she has built a fine reputation as an international economist who comments on the macroeconomy and global affairs. Her new book due for publication ahead of our June conference is Winner Take All – China’s Race For Resources and What It Means For Us, a book on an issue that will be right at the forefront of many of globalisation and environmental topics that we teach at AS and A2 level.

Click here if you wish to register. Sounds as if it will be a great conference.

2012 – Royal Economic Society Essay Competition for students

This year Tutor2u are once again running the Royal Economic Society Essay Competition for students. Although the entry deadline is Monday 30th April (which in the start of the second week of Term 2) I have found it useful for my A2 students to have a go. Although there is a bias to the UK in some of the titles, other questions cover material that is part of the CIE A2 syllabus. Also at 2,500 words maximum it is a manageable exercise and good practice for tertiary level assignments. There is some information below but here is the link to the Tutor2u site for further details: RES Competition
———————————————————————————————–
The RES judging panel has settled on six essay titles covering a range of macro and micro economic issues. They are listed below.

The first prize will once again be £1,000 together with an engraved trophy together with cash prizes for the other leading essays.

The deadline for submitting essays will be Monday 30th April at 2400 hours..

– The competition is open to all students who are currently studying A Level or IB Economics (or an equivalent course)
– All essays must be submitted online using the official online entry form which we will make available through the tutor2u Economics Blog.
– The maximum word count for entries is 2,500 words. The word count includes footnotes, but excludes references and bibliography.
– Only one entry per student is permitted.
– No revisions to entries are permitted once submitted.
– Please note that entries to the competition should be unique (i.e. not published elsewhere or submitted to other essay competitions.)

Essay questions for 2012

For the 2012 Royal Economic Society essay competition the judges have chosen the following titles

1. Africa is well-placed to achieve rapid and sustainable development in the decade ahead. Do you agree?

2. Over a million young people in the UK are unemployed. What should be done to address the problem?

3. A breakup of the euro provides the best hope for a durable recovery of the European economy. Discuss

4. To what extent can we use ideas drawn from behavioural economics to help address specific social and economic problems?

5. Manufacturing’s share of the UK economy shrank from 19% in 1998 to 12% by 2007. Does this matter and, if so, how could policy revitalise British manufacturing?

6. Is there a better way out of the debt crisis than austerity?

All entries will be judged by a panel of 15-20 experienced Economics teachers drawn from a range of schools and colleges across the UK. The Teacher Panel meet together in mid June for two days and produce a Final Shortlist of entries (typically 5-10) from the expected entry of over 500 essays. In addition to the Final Shortlist, the Teacher Panel will produce a list of Highly Commended entries.

The judging panel for the Final Shortlist will be Professor Richard Blundell (RES), Charles Bean (Bank of England) and Stephanie Flanders (BBC). The result of the competition is normally announced in late July/early August.

Geoff Riley FRSA
On behalf of the RES

Bernanke needs to follow Volcker

US Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke could really take a leaf out of former US Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s book. In the 1970‘s the US economy was going through a period of stagflation – high unemployment and high inflation (both over 10%). Volcker believed that inflation was one of the worst of all economic evils and that it hinged on the growth of the money supply. He therefore began to target inflation which in turn would break people’s inflationary expectations. With this in mind he tightened the money supply and the prime interest rate reached 21.5% – the economy went into a nosedive. However the policy worked and inflation fell from 11% in 1979 to 3% in 1983 and subsequently with this lower inflation rate unemployment fell to 5.3% by 1989.

Today the US economy has 2.6% inflation and 9.6% unemployment and the current Fed policy, like that used in the pre-Volcker era, doesn’t seem to be working. According to Professor Christina Romer in the New York Times, Bernanke needs to be like Volcker and set a new policy framework which, this time, targets nominal gross domestic product which in turn would favour job creation. In the US normal output growth is around 2.5% and the inflation around the 2% so a target of 4.5% GDP would seem appropriate. How Professor Romer would see it operate would be like this:

The Fed would start from some normal year — like 2007 — and say that nominal G.D.P. should have grown at 4 1/2 percent annually since then, and should keep growing at that pace. Because of the recession and the unusually low inflation in 2009 and 2010, nominal G.D.P. today is about 10 percent below that path. Adopting nominal G.D.P. targeting commits the Fed to eliminating this gap.

How would this help to heal the economy? Like the Volcker money target, it would be a powerful communication tool. By pledging to do whatever it takes to return nominal G.D.P. to its pre-crisis trajectory, the Fed could improve confidence and expectations of future growth.

The expected increase in inflation would effect inflationary expectations but a small increase in inflation would be beneficial as it would lower borrowing costs and encourage spending a large budgetary items.

Even if we went through a time of slightly elevated inflation, the Fed shouldn’t lose credibility as a guardian of price stability. That’s because once the economy returned to the target path, Fed policy — a commitment to ensuring nominal G.D.P. growth of 4 1/2 percent — would restrain inflation. Assuming normal real growth, the implied inflation target would be 2 percent — just what it is today.

Other policies within the framework include:

Quantitative Easing – printing more money
Lower the US$ – makes exports more competitive

Would this work today to reduce unemployment? I suppose the US Fed are currently running out of policy options and like Volcker in the 1980’s there needs to be a quiet revolution in the Fed’s thinking. I don’t mean the shock therapy used in Latin American countries but a realigning of the objectives of ecoomic policy. It seems that the bold measures of Volcker in 1980’s and Roosevelt in the 1930’s actaully brought the US economy out of its depressed state but in both periods of time the process involved a lot hardship and protest. I just wonder if the US Fed is prepared to go through this pain again? As President Reagan said about the recession the US economy was about to go through in the 1980’s –

“If not now, when? If not us, who?”

However The Economist has a different point of view with regard to targeting nominal gross domestic product – NGDP.

Asking central banks to ditch inflation targeting and to pursue another goal could do more harm than good particularly if it left people less certain about the central bank’s ultimate commitment to prudence and stability. That is why a switch to NGDP targeting, whatever its virtues, should not be undertaken lightly.

Big Screen Education

Well done to Ben Cahill of Senior College for putting together these revision courses for CIE and NCEA Economics and Business Studies. Yesterday I presented at the AS course and it was a great environoment for students with the big screen. Go to the website below for other courses that are running especially as the NCEA and CIE exams draw ever closer.

Big Screen Education