Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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The Economics Classroom
About the Workshops

Workshop Descriptions

1. How Economists Think
2. Why Markets Work
3. The Government's Hand
4. Learning, Earning, Saving
5. Trading Globally
6. The Building Blocks of Macroeconomics
7. Monetary and Fiscal Policy
8. Growth and Entrepreneurship

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Workshop Eight: Growth and Entrepreneurship

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MAJOR CONCEPTS

what makes countries rich over time
young entrepreneurs
business and finance
patents and copyrights


Market-oriented economies continually reinvent themselves. New supplies create new demands, which in turn create even newer supplies as new inventions appear and eventually yield to even newer ones. This workshop explores through lectures, demonstrations and other exercises how innovation and entrepreneurship can flourish in and enliven a free market economy such as ours.

This workshop explores entrepreneurial activity, what it is, who does it and what conditions are necessary to make it flourish. Students explore what makes some countries rich and others less so and why it is not always necessary that a nation's natural resources determine whether that country will be rich or not. Finally, we explore the tradeoff of copyrights and patents, in which ideas are protected from competition in order to create incentives for innovation. We examine recent case histories such as Napster that test that tradeoff.

Jay Grenawalt, from George Washington High School in Denver, leads off the workshop with an activity that dramatically illustrates the keys to economic growth.

This segment is followed by practical lessons in entrepreneurship with Mark Melkonian, a teacher at the High School of Economics and Finance in New York City.

Ted Hartsoe, from Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, relates entrepreneurship to the broader economy.

Finally, from the High School of Economics and Finance in New York City, Ghandi Moussa discusses with his students the incentives for innovation created by patents and copyrights and uses the Napster case as an example.

Ted Hartsoe
Ted Hartsoe

Teachers' Thoughts
"I think it's important for the kids to realize that entrepreneurship is an essential ingredient in a capitalist system. But it's not necessarily the best career goal for everybody. Starting your own business can be very rewarding but there are also disadvantages that they should be aware of. But in a capitalist system like we have in the United States, economic growth has been stimulated by the entrepreneurial initiative of so many people. And that's something that they ought to consider.

They don't hear too much about that in their history classroom or in their English or math or whatever. They're hearing about other possible careers without necessarily thinking that much about starting their own business. So I just want to plant that seed … so when they come up with an idea for something they think, 'I can do this myself. And maybe these are some of the things that I can start thinking about in order to get that business going.'"




 

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