Sunday, December 14, 2014

Articles useful for HL and SL IB Economics

Here are a couple of articles that seem useful for IB Economics students:

First one by Jeffrey Sachs titled 'The year of sustainable development'.  It can be found here.  

Some interesting points are quoted below:

  • Sustainable development implies inclusive and sustainable growth. This is growth that raises average living standards; benefits society across the income distribution, rather than just the rich; and protects, rather than wrecks, the natural environment.

  • The world economy is reasonably good at achieving economic growth, but it fails to ensure that prosperity is equitably shared and environmentally sustainable. The reason is simple: The world’s largest companies relentlessly – and rather successfully – pursue their own profits, all too often at the expense of economic fairness and the environment. Profit maximization does not guarantee a reasonable distribution of income or a safe planet. On the contrary, the global economy is leaving vast numbers of people behind, including in the richest countries, while planet Earth itself is under unprecedented threat, owing to human-caused climate change, pollution, water depletion, and the extinction of countless species.

  • Resources need to be channeled away from armed conflict, tax loopholes for the rich, and wasteful outlays on new oil, gas, and coal development toward priorities such as health, education, and low-carbon energy, as well as stronger efforts to combat corruption and capital flight.

  • 2014 is now likely to be the warmest year in recorded history, a year that has also brought devastating droughts, floods, high-impact storms, and heat waves.

  • Back in 2009 and 2010, the world’s governments agreed to keep the rise in global temperature to below 2° Celsius relative to the pre-industrial era. Yet warming is currently on course to reach 4-6 degrees by the end of the century – high enough to devastate global food production and dramatically increase the frequency of extreme weather events. To stay below the two-degree limit, the world’s governments must embrace a core concept: “deep decarbonization” of the world’s energy system. That means a decisive shift from carbon-emitting energy sources like coal, oil, and gas, toward wind, solar, nuclear, and hydroelectric power, as well as the adoption of carbon capture and storage technologies when fossil fuels continue to be used.

  • Goal: economic development that is technologically advanced, socially fair, and environmentally sustainable.

The second one is by Dani Rodrik on 'Good and Bad Inequality'.  
It can be found here.  Here are some points that may be useful to candidates:
  • The belief that boosting equality requires sacrificing economic efficiency is grounded in one of the most cherished ideas in economics: incentives. Firms and individuals need the prospect of higher incomes to save, invest, work hard, and innovate. If taxation of profitable firms and rich households blunts those prospects, the result is reduced effort and lower economic growth.
  • In recent years, however, neither economic theory nor empirical evidence has been kind to the presumed tradeoff. Economists have produced new arguments showing why good economic performance is not only compatible with distributive fairness, but may even demand it. For example, in high-inequality societies, where poor households are deprived of economic and educational opportunities, economic growth is depressed. Then there are the Scandinavian countries, where egalitarian policies evidently have not stood in the way of economic prosperity.
  • Economists at the International Monetary Fund found that greater equality is associated with faster subsequent medium-term growth, both across and within countries.
  • [Also] redistributive policies did not appear to have any detrimental effects on economic performance.

The first article can be used to produce examples on the concept of sustainability; on environmental issues; on issues pertaining to growth; on issues pertaining to income distribution and inclusiveness etc.

The second one is excellent on illustrating the learning outcome 'The relationship between
equity and efficiency'.

No comments: