Generation Z Economics: Forward Looking Economics

Course description:

What are the smartest economic choices to make for your financial future?  How can we create and measure economic growth? What is the value of a dollar?  What is the value of an ocean?  What does economic justice look like?  Why did the housing market collapse in 2007, and what is the best way to respond to this problem?  To what extent can economic models help us predict the future.  This course introduces students to the economic tools and reasoning required to address these—and many other—sophisticated questions, and to help inform student choices as consumers, workers, and citizens.  In addition, this course is focused on redefining and framing economic ideas, issues and models for a new generation – Generation Z – a generation that will inherit and create a new economic world. Both national and international contexts will be engaged through economic models, books and journalism to examine economic issues now and in the future.

Required Texts:

“Man vs. Markets: Economics Explained (Plain and Simple) by Paddy Hirsch

“Naked Economics” (fully revised and updated in 2010) by Charles Wheelan 

Units of Study:  

1. Economics of Me
•    The economic perspective as a lens for solving problems and making choices
•    Opportunity cost (college, personal finance, investing)
•    Pricing and value
•    Investopedia strategy and simulation
•    Economic ideologies 
•    Inequality as a personal challenge
•    Investing in your future
•    Markets that work and don’t work for you

2. Economics of We
•    Economic measurements
•    The Great Recession: causes and solutions
•    Financial innovations and instability – derivatives, swaps, leverage
•    Fiscal and monetary policy tools

3. Economics of The Future
•    Economic Inequality as a defining issue
•    Globalization: opportunities and challenges
•    Investment vs. Entitlements – intergenerational spending differences
•    Your economic Future – the Economics of 2020 Final Paper

Fall Calendar 2014 (Tentative)