Monday, November 19, 2012

Catastrophic consequences if average world temperatures rise more than 4 degrees Celsius...

An article on the dire effects of global warming caught my eye today.  It can be found here:
World Bank warns of ‘4 degree’ threshold

It comes with some amazing (and scary pictures) that are worth looking at.  Makes me feel how limited (albeit analytically correct) our analysis of negative production externalities is ('s just a matter of slapping a tax equal to the external cost or to determine the maximum acceptable level of pollution and hand out tradable permits - and presto, there goes global warming...yeah, sure). For the more ambitious of IB Economics students here is the executive summary of the World Bank research:
Turn down the heat: why a 4 degree warmer world must be avoided

You can always just look at the gallery of pictures here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shifts in demand and maximum price Prezi presentations by my students

Another student of mine in my HL year 1 class has prepared a presentation on the factors shifting a demand curve.  An improved version of the previous one on maximum price is also here to click (it works this time).

I am providing the links for whoever interested to enjoy.  Many thanks to Dimitris Th. and Alexis S.!

Prezi on why demand for a good or service shifts

Prezi on maximum price (price ceiling))

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Editorial from the New York Times on Greece

The NYT published the other day an editorial on the current situation Greece which I found very interesting, sad, true and useful for my IB year 2 IB economics sections.

Quoting (almost all) the article:

Greece’s Parliament did what it had to do on Thursday. Despite some defections from the ruling centrist coalition, lawmakers narrowly approved a $23 billion package of new austerity measures, including further spending cuts to social services, pensions and public salaries, as well as tax increases demanded by Greece’s European lenders. In return, the troika of official creditors — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — promise to consider, but not guarantee, reducing the punitive interest rates they charge Greece for bailout loans and unlocking a $40 billion aid payment Athens needs to avoid a default on its debts. No responsible Greek lawmaker could have ignored the terrible consequences of voting no. But no one can dismiss the threat to social stability from these cuts

The fact is, just about everything in this austerity package has been tried before and failed disastrously. These unpalatable steps will do nothing to make Greece’s debts more payable, bring its budgets closer to balance or help make the structural reforms Greece needs to revive its economy. Instead they will almost certainly further shrink an economy that has already shrunk by an astounding 25 percent over the past few years, making fiscal improvement nearly impossible. 

Greek lawmakers know this but feel compelled to do as their European creditors ask. And, we suspect, many of those creditors also know that more austerity is not the answer. But so far, they have been unwilling to challenge the leader of Europe’s biggest economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who continues to believe that only economic punishment will push Greeks to reform.

It may be a winning political formula in Germany, where Ms. Merkel stands for re-election next year. But it is a profound, and profoundly unnecessary, tragedy for Greece. 

The article can be found here...