advantage & specialization
Globalization is the watchword of our economic times. This workshop's
exercises and simulations explore the global economy, why and how
nations trade with one another, who some of the major players in the
international market are, how we gain from international trade, and
how protectionism can have unintended consequences.
Denver, Colorado, teacher Jay
Grenawalt shows his students at George Washington High School
a country-of-origin exercise that reveals the surprising array of
nations that make the products we use every day, and goes on to
demonstrate how global trade improves our standard of living.
Dr. Eric Gernant uses
the many ingredients in one candy bar to demonstrate the global
nature of trade and to discuss absolute and comparative advantage
with his class at the High School of Economics and Finance, in New
Finally, Elaine Schwartz
has her students, at the Kent Place School in Summit, New Jersey,
participate in a "banana wars" simulation that illustrates
the unintended consequences of protectionism.
"I think with globalization,
it's a subject that you've got to take on and be open
with the kids. They come in with some of the same preconceptions
that other people have - maybe their parents or perhaps
some members of the media - regarding globalization.
My own background has been strongly in favor of it,
but I want to make sure that I allow kids to feel comfortable
and to challenge me and challenge others in the room.
The goal was really to just
get them thinking that globalization, like so many other
things in economics, is not cost-free. There's no such
thing as a free lunch. But if you look at the history
of trade over the years, as one of my students said
earlier today, the benefits overall outweigh the costs.
But there are costs and I think it's important that
we become sensitive to what some of those costs are,
particularly in the less developed world."