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America and the New Global Economy

America and the New Global Economy

Course No.  5620
Course No.  5620
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Course Overview

About This Course

36 lectures  |  31 minutes per lecture

The global economy in 1950 was defined by a lack of interconnectedness and U.S. economic dominance. More than half a century later, stronger international economic ties and the rise of the Chinese and Indian economies are just two of the dramatic changes that are underway as globalization—the process of the world's diverse countries coming together and sharing experiences, events, and trade—continues to be a force in our economic climate.

The origins of this globalized economy, its effects on important contemporary concerns, and its future trends are just a few of the intriguing issues you explore in America and the New Global Economy

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The global economy in 1950 was defined by a lack of interconnectedness and U.S. economic dominance. More than half a century later, stronger international economic ties and the rise of the Chinese and Indian economies are just two of the dramatic changes that are underway as globalization—the process of the world's diverse countries coming together and sharing experiences, events, and trade—continues to be a force in our economic climate.

The origins of this globalized economy, its effects on important contemporary concerns, and its future trends are just a few of the intriguing issues you explore in America and the New Global Economy.

This riveting 36-lecture course takes you beyond the economy of the United States and reveals the recent history of economies in Asian countries, including Japan, India, and China, as well as in other regions. Journey with veteran Teaching Company Professor Timothy Taylor of Macalester College through the last 50 years of world economic history, explore international perspectives on the new global economy, and develop a richer understanding of our increasingly interconnected world.

Tour the World's Economies

America and the New Global Economy focuses on the idea that market forces of supply and demand cause faraway events to have an economic effect everywhere else. Therefore, to get a comprehensive picture of the new global economy, you must consider the individual economies.

  • China: According to a 2007 World Bank estimate, China's economy is the second largest in the world. With a growth rate of 9% per year, China may be the world's largest economy through much of the 21st century.
  • India: India's accelerated growth is based not on low-wage manufacturing but on service industries, which produce more than half of the country's GDP.
  • The Middle East: Oil exports have not led to the kind of booming economic prosperity one might expect. Most economies there are extremely small; for example, the economy of Saudi Arabia is equal in size to the economy of the Boston metro area.

Economic Issues—From a Global Perspective

In America and the Global Economy, you also focus on a range of economic issues that have important social, political, and cultural ramifications for everyone. In addition to looking at international flows of goods and services and financial capital, exchange rates, poverty, hunger and agriculture, urbanization, and the role of women, you consider the importance of these indicators:

  • International labor flows: The world has about 180 million migrants, and the gains to expanding international migration to people who have low incomes are potentially very large.
  • Population growth: With 6.5 billion people, the world follows a demographic pattern in which life expectancy rises, fertility rates drop, and aging populations increase. Some economists believe this scenario will help spur economic growth in Africa and the Middle East.
  • International economic agencies: Multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization play important roles in setting international ground rules and coordinating international cooperation. If these organizations evolve, they can continue to offer expertise on critical economic issues like development, monetary policy, and trade.

In-Depth, Expert Analysis

An expert economist, Professor Taylor is the managing editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the prominent journal widely read by academics and economists. His course gives you a comprehensive, detailed look at economic globalization you can't get from reading the business section of a newspaper. America and the New Global Economy gathers widely dispersed facts and data to offer an overview of the global economy, based on research Professor Taylor conducted specifically for this course.

This course is your opportunity to grasp the economic histories, issues, and trends that affect us. With the knowledge gained from these lectures, you'll be able to understand the latest developments in our global economy and better prepare for a future in which all our economies will be linked.

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36 Lectures
  • 1
    The World Economy since 1950
    Explore the roots of globalization in the 1950s and the birth of modern globalization owing to three key factors: the development of new institutions, increased national commitments to globalization, and revolutions in transportation and communication technologies. x
  • 2
    The U.S. in the World Economy—1960 to 1995
    Revisit the golden years of U.S. economic growth in the 1960s, the dismal series of recessions that wracked the 1970s, and the budget deficits and fears of economic globalization that intensified in the 1980s. x
  • 3
    The U.S. Economy Resurgent?
    Around 1995, the U.S. economy witnessed a surge in productivity growth because of booms in the information technology industry. Take a macroeconomic look at the American economy in the second half of the 1990s and look ahead to see where our economy might be in the next few decades. x
  • 4
    Europe—From Catch-Up to Jobless Growth
    Follow the remarkable story of how European economies, fractured by the devastation of World War II, rebuilt in a few decades through two forms of growth: catch-up growth in the 1950s and 1960s, and jobless growth through investment from the early 1970s to the mid-1990s. x
  • 5
    The Single European Market
    Examine how modern Europe and the European Union have dealt with high productivity and unemployment rates, and trace economic integration through the "single market project" over the last two decades. x
  • 6
    The Rise of the Euro
    Perhaps the biggest symbol of an economically unified Europe is the euro. Professor Taylor explains the economic theory of the euro, reviews the euro's origins, and explores the possibility of the euro replacing the U.S. dollar as the main currency for international transactions and finance. x
  • 7
    The Economy of the Soviet Union
    Focus on the Soviet economic model from the 1930s until its dissolution in the early 1990s. Analyze how Soviet economic planning works, what made it seem to be an attractive economic model, and why it failed. x
  • 8
    Transitions from Communism to Markets
    In 1991, with the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union began moving from central economic planning toward a more market-oriented economy. Track the forces that made this transition so difficult and the possible trajectory for Russia's transition economy. x
  • 9
    Japan's Economic Miracle
    Investigate Japan's startling economic growth from the 1960s to the 1980s—not necessarily by a new economic model but by more important factors like education, investment, technology, and tough competitors in world markets. x
  • 10
    When Japan's Bubble Economy Burst
    After the boom of the 1980s, Japan's economic bubble burst, resulting in a stagnant economic performance that continues to this day. See the reasons for this stagnation and explore the various policies that could help Japan's economy move forward. x
  • 11
    Government versus Market in East Asia
    Focus on the near-miraculous economic performances between the 1970s and the 1990s of the newly industrializing economies of the East Asian "tigers": Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. x
  • 12
    East Asia's Tigers—Restore the Roar?
    What led to the economic crisis that shocked the "tigers" in 1997–1998? Follow the sequence of this economic implosion, look at how a repeat crash can be prevented, and ponder whether the East Asian economic model has reached its limits. x
  • 13
    China's Gradualist Economic Reforms
    In 1978, after a period of social chaos and economic stagnation, China began a series of market-oriented economic reforms that may have started China on a path to becoming the world's largest economy. x
  • 14
    China's Challenges for Continued Growth
    Can China's growth continue? Explore the effects of China's high rates of investment and national savings, the ways China can rebalance its growth, and how long it will be before China becomes the largest economy. x
  • 15
    India and the License Raj
    Chart the history of India's economy through its rather lackluster growth from independence in 1947 through the 1980s and its current status as an increasingly major player in the global economy x
  • 16
    India's Turn toward Market Economics
    India's economic reforms in 1991 opened the country up to international trade, limited public-sector monopolies, and allowed for more foreign investment. In addition to exploring India's agenda for continued reform, ponder whether India's economic inequality will allow for balanced growth. x
  • 17
    Inherited Institutions in the Middle East
    Almost 900 years ago, the Middle East was one of the highest-income areas of the world, yet it has a per-capita GDP of about one-sixth that of the United States. Discover how economic policies related to traditional Islamic law possibly contributed to the loss of the region's economic lead. x
  • 18
    The Curse of Oil Wealth in the Middle East
    The Middle East is the world's largest exporter of crude oil, but its economies and standards of living have not surged since the 1970s. Investigate some of the economic theories behind why oil resources have done less than expected to increase the region's prosperity. x
  • 19
    Africa's Geography and History
    Sub-Saharan Africa has been the slowest-growing and lowest-income part of the global economy since the Industrial Revolution, with a per-capita GDP one-twentieth that of high-income countries. Look at how the region's geography and climate affect its economic development. x
  • 20
    Time for Optimism on Africa?
    Explore Africa's economic situation and learn how Africa can overcome challenges like underdeveloped energy resources, a lack of transportation routes, and the need for tax and agricultural reform. x
  • 21
    Latin America and Import Substitution
    The economic potential of Latin America is quite substantial and deserves to attract American business and government attention. Focus on its import substitution industrialization policies from the 1950s to the 1970s, as well as the problems that arose with foreign debt and hyperinflation in the 1980s. x
  • 22
    Markets or Populism in Latin America?
    Explore a few key elements of the market-oriented reforms of the 1990s. Then, follow three perspectives on these reforms: the cases for additional reform effort, for slowing or reversing the reforms, and for the earlier reforms' irrelevance. x
  • 23
    Globalization in Goods and Services
    Explore the major themes in the globalization of goods and services, including how far globalization has progressed, how increased trade helps bring about prosperity, and the prospects for rising levels of trade in goods and services. x
  • 24
    Globalization of Capital Flows
    The globalization of finance can offer great benefits to the world economy. Demystify the mysterious subject of international capital flows by looking closely at the dangers and benefits of globalized financial markets. x
  • 25
    The Foreign Exchange Market
    Investigate the costs and benefits behind three broad sets of policies—floating exchange rates, fixed exchange rates, and soft-peg exchange rates—designed to counteract market volatility. x
  • 26
    Migration—Senders and Recipients
    Explore the effects of international migration on the economic gains and losses of the immigrants, the countries receiving the immigrants, and the countries sending the immigrants. Also, consider the economic ramifications of various immigration policies like border fences and temporary worker programs. x
  • 27
    Global Population Growth
    Fears of overpopulation have been with us since the 18th-century arguments of economist Thomas Malthus. Look closely at current and future patterns in world population growth, along with their consequences on social habits, food shortages, resource exhaustion, and pollution. x
  • 28
    World Poverty—Growth or Redistribution?
    By 2004, about one-fifth of the world population was considered poor. Analyze how global poverty levels are calculated and how poverty can be combated at macroeconomic and microeconomic levels. x
  • 29
    Global Food Markets—The Supply-Demand Race
    Learn the role that factors such as rising prices and soaring demand play in perpetuating world hunger, as well as the possible policy responses from both low-income and high-income countries. x
  • 30
    An Urbanizing World
    Explore the connection between economic growth and urbanization, patterns of urbanization in the world's megacities, the gains and costs of agglomeration (economic activity concentrated in a certain location), and urban issues facing new megacities in low-income countries. x
  • 31
    Women in the Global Economy
    Equality for women in health, education, the workplace, and politics leads to faster economic growth. Examine the recent statistics about women's roles in the global economy, focusing on low-income countries—where discrimination tends to be greatest. x
  • 32
    Improving Governance, Fighting Corruption
    Governments may make up to $1 trillion every year from corrupt business practices like embezzlement and unfair dealing. But do better governance and lower corruption help economic growth? x
  • 33
    Foreign Aid—Promises and Limits
    Reconcile aid's successes and failures, explore new avenues for maximizing its effectiveness, and consider whether, in the long run, fostering economic growth would better raise the standard of living. x
  • 34
    The Multilaterals—World Bank, IMF, WTO
    Focus on these international economic agencies and the effects of globalization on their missions: the World Bank (which provides loans to countries needing capital), the International Monetary Fund (which intervenes during international financial crises), and the World Trade Organization (which reduces barriers to trade). x
  • 35
    The Economics of Global Climate Change
    Follow the scientific argument for climate change, the problems of valuing the costs and benefits of addressing the issue, and the potential shape of effective climate change policy. x
  • 36
    Globalization and Convergence
    Conclude with a look at America's role as the central hub of globalization, the possibility of continued globalization leading to polarization or convergence, and the potential future of our global economy. x

Lecture Titles

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Timothy Taylor
M.Econ. Timothy Taylor
Macalester College

Professor Timothy Taylor is Managing Editor of the prominent Journal of Economic Perspectives, published by the American Economic Association. He earned his Master's degree in Economics from Stanford University.

Professor Taylor has won student-voted teaching awards for his Introductory Economics classes at Stanford University. At the University of Minnesota, he was named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Department of Economics and voted Teacher of the Year by the Master's degree students at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

In 2007, Professor Taylor published the first Principles of Economics textbook, available as a free download from Freeload Press. He has also edited a wide range of books and reports and published articles on globalization, the new economy, and outsourcing. From 1989 to 1997, Professor Taylor wrote an economics opinion column for the San Jose Mercury-News.

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Reviews

Rated 4.4 out of 5 by 49 reviewers.
Rated 1 out of 5 by What can I believe? Please re-do course! Where did this man get his "facts" about the length of holidays that workers in Europe enjoy? He stated, with strong emphasis, even making a joke about it, that in Europe workers receive TEN WEEKS holiday a year. That is UTTER NONSENSE. According to the leading UK newspaper, Daily Telegraph, writing in March 2013: "Across Europe, the average leave and public holiday entitlement is 33 days, according to data collected from 12 European countries". I have seen comments by a few workers on the continent of Europe that they enjoy up to 6 weeks off a year, including paid vacation time and public holidays; these are longer-term, older workers. I am English; we Britons get some of the fewest paid and public holidays in Europe, research has shown, with workers having a minimum of only 28 DAYS off each year... that's paid vacation AND public holidays together. After hearing the error made by Mr Taylor in an early lecture, I am having major trouble continuing with this course. Given Mr Taylor's egregious error that I have noted, what other mistakes has he made that I need to check up on? Unemployment benefits? Growth in GDPs?? Facts & figures??? And so on? I naturally expect material in Great Courses lectures to be FAULTLESSLY ACCURATE. This course should be updated and re-issued. NB: I note that several reviews here state that the lecturer's firm prognostications, made in 2008, when this course was recorded, proved absolutely WRONG! Interesting. September 5, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by What a Great Course Should Be Professor Taylor sets the standard for the Great Courses, in my humble opinion. He takes a topic that could be as dismal as the stereotype has suggested for years, and he turns it into a feast for the mind. I have the older audio cassette version of this, and I still listen to it. It is a treat to listen to Prof. Taylor expound on capital flows and GDP. And that's a high compliment indeed! Thoroughly enjoyed this course, and I still do. Highly recommended. December 26, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Does it Again The lecturer does in this lecture what he has done in all of his others - takes a topic with so much information it can overwhelming and puts it into a very easy to understand and digestible format. The information is very timely given the current Euro crisis, rise of the Asian Tigers, etc.. He is an absolutely fantastic lecturer. He is engaging, entertaining, clear, concise, and intuitive - he seems to "know" which concepts are somewhat difficult to grasp and he presents them in several different ways to be sure his point is clear. I have absolutely no background in econ, I'm a scientist - this course is a must as are his others. August 23, 2012
Rated 3 out of 5 by Wish it was current Absolutely loved this course, but could only give it a 3 star rating because it is dated. The course that I received was make in 2008, and while there are great insights, I feel that the course should be updated since so much has happened to the world economy since 2008 that does nor fit into any of the neat models and ideas of the Professor. He is a wonderful teacher, and back in 2008 or 2009 I probably would have rated this a 5*. My rating is lower merely because the course needs to be redone to reflect all the changes since 2008. May 20, 2012
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