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Instructional Resources

Series Info

Episodes: 8

Length: 60 min.

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12, Adult Learning

Social Studies

Videos and Materials


Economics U$A

Explore the fundamentals of economic history, theory and practice, including microeconomics and macroeconomics, through interviews with Nobel Prize-winning economists. The series features Milton Friedman, Paul Samuelson, John Kenneth Galbraith, Walter Heller and others. In each program, case studies of major economic events show how economic theory relates to the real world. Expanded interviews are available on 28 audiocassettes. This series is also valuable for teachers seeking to review the subject matter.

Episode Guide

1. How Economists Think — This session introduces the workshop with an economist’s perspective on everyday transactions. In this session, you will explore the four cornerstones of economic thought: everything has a cost, tradeoffs are necessary, incentives matter and voluntary trade creates value. View the workshop here.

2. Why Markets Work — This session employs market simulations and exercises to illustrate key concepts of the market — the foundation of economic activity. Special emphasis is given to the interplay of supply and demand. See how supply and demand affect prices, and how prices can work as incentives — positive and negative — for consumers and producers. View the workshop here.

3. The Government’s Hand — This session explores the intervention of the government in the free market, with price ceilings (such as rent control), price floors (minimum wage) or social welfare programs. When the government’s hand produces surprising or unintended outcomes, economists need to consider the incentives offered, how others will react and what the inevitable tradeoffs will be. View the workshop here. View the workshop here.

4. Learning, Earning and Saving — Learn basic personal finance and arm students with sound, practical advice to formulate and reach their own financial goals. This session reveals the truth about millionaires, the power of compound interest and how investment in education pays off. A stock market simulation illustrates investment concepts. View the workshop here.

5. Trading Globally — Explore the global economy — why and how nations trade with one another. Meet some of the major players in the international market and find out how protectionism can have unintended consequences. Topics include where goods come from, absolute and comparative advantage, economies of scale and international trade organizations and alliances. View the workshop here.

6. Building Blocks of Macroeconomics — Macroeconomics looks at the economy as a whole, including inflation, recession, unemployment, economic growth and gross domestic product (GDP). In this session, lectures, simulations and exercises help explain these great forces and show how they fluctuate. View the workshop here.

7. Monetary and Fiscal Policy — Learn how the government controls demand with fiscal policy – affecting tax and spending – and monetary policy – involving the Federal Reserve, interest rates and the banking system. See how these policy tools are developed and how they work in practice. View the workshop here.

8. Growth and Entrepreneurship — This session explores how innovation and entrepreneurship can flourish in and enliven a free-market economy. See why the good old days weren’t all that good, what entrepreneurs do, and what makes countries richer over time. Discover the tradeoff for innovation. View the workshop here.

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