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Transcript
A Tale of Two Countries
Business Management & Administration Project
Project Description
This project focuses on economic indicators and their use as measures of an economy’s strength. After
conducting research on two different assigned countries’ economies, student teams analyze their
findings, identify trends in each country’s economic indicators, and make predictions about the different
economies. Then, each team determines the strength of the economies and identifies the country that
would be most suitable for a local business owner who wants to expand her/his business operations.
Each team develops charts and tables that contain its research findings, writes a short report of its
recommendation, and gives an oral presentation for the local business owner in which the team explains
its recommendation. Students also work individually to gather and analyze news articles about each
assigned country.
Performance Indicators

Explain the types of economic systems (EC:007, LAP-EC-017) (CS)
a. Define the following terms: economic system, traditional economic system, command
economic system, communism, socialism, and market economic system.
b. Explain why economic systems are needed.
c. Describe the characteristics of traditional economic systems.
d. Describe the characteristics of communism.
e. Describe the characteristics of socialism.
f. Describe the characteristics of a market economic system.
g. Explain how each type of economic system addresses the three economic questions.
h. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of traditional economies.
i. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of communist command economies.
j. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of socialist command economies.
k. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of market economies.

Discuss the measure of consumer spending as an economic indicator (EC:081) (SP)
a. Define the term Consumer Confidence Index (CCI). [The Conference Board defines the
Consumer Confidence Survey as “a monthly report detailing consumer attitudes and
buying intentions, with data available by age, income and region.”]
b. Describe how consumer spending reacts to shifts in the well-being of the economy.
c. Explain how the Consumer Confidence Index functions.
d. Describe how businesses use and react to changes in the Consumer Confidence Index.
e. Discuss government's options when the Consumer Confidence Index indicates a
decreasing trend (e.g., issuing a tax rebate or taking other action to stimulate the
economy).
1
A Tale of Two Countries: Teacher Guide

Describe the economic impact of inflation on business (EC:083, LAP-EC-028) (SP)
a. Define the following terms: inflation, inflation rate, deflation, Consumer Price Index,
standard of living, targeted inflation rate, and price stability.
b. Describe causes of inflation.
c. Explain how inflation impacts the economy.
d. Describe the relationship between price stability and inflation.
e. Explain problems associated with deflation.
f. Discuss reasons why the inflation rate should be above zero.
g. Explain how businesses can use the Consumer Price Index.
h. Discuss the purpose of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
i. Describe how the Consumer Price Index is determined.
j. Identify the major kinds of consumer spending that make up the Consumer Price Index.
k. Explain how the Consumer Price Index is used to find the rate of inflation.
l. Describe limitations on the use of the Consumer Price Index.

Explain the concept of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (EC:017, LAP-EC-001) (SP)
a. Define the following terms: gross domestic product (GDP), personal consumption
expenditures, gross private domestic investment, government purchases of goods and
services, net exports of goods and services, trade deficit, trade surplus, uncounted
production, underground economy, and double counting.
b. Identify the categories of goods and services that make up GDP.
c. Describe problems encountered in calculating GDP.
d. Explain the importance of a country's GDP.
e. Describe ways to increase GDP.
f. Describe how the government responds to changes in GDP.
g. Describe ways that businesses respond to changes in GDP.

Discuss the impact of a nation's unemployment rates (EC:082, LAP-EC-029) (SP)
a. Define the following terms: unemployment rate, frictional unemployment, structural
unemployment, cyclical unemployment, seasonal unemployment, technological
unemployment, and full employment.
b. Discuss individual costs of unemployment.
c. Describe economic benefits of unemployment.
d. Explain theories of the causes of unemployment.
e. Explain why the unemployment rate understates employment conditions.
f. Describe the costs of unemployment for a nation.
2
A Tale of Two Countries: Teacher Guide
Driving Question

What growing economy is most promising for expanded business operations?
Timeframe

3 weeks
Entry Event
Arrange for a successful local business owner (or senior executive) to participate in this project's entry
event. To kick off the project, this business owner should introduce himself/herself and talk to the class
about his/her business: its products, history, production methods, etc. Then, the business owner should
explain to students that s/he would like to expand operations to another country sometime in the next
five years and needs the class’s assistance in identifying some viable options. The business owner should
explain that s/he is looking for a country with a growing economy (although it doesn’t necessarily have
to be a “big” economy). S/He should also explain that s/he wants students to look at past, present, and
future predictions of consumer spending, inflation, Gross Domestic Product, and unemployment rates in
several different nations to find at least one country that looks like a promising location for his/her new
business facilities. Finally, the business owner should tell students that s/he will be back in the
classroom at the end of the project to hear the students’ recommendations.
3
A Tale of Two Countries: Statement of Work (SoW)
Project
Title
A Tale of Two Countries
Driving
Question
What growing economy is most promising for expanded business operations?
Project
Description
This project focuses on economic indicators and their use as measures of an
economy’s strength. After conducting research on two different assigned
countries’ economies, student teams analyze their findings, identify trends in each
country’s economic indicators, and make predictions about the different
economies. Then, each team determines the strength of the economies and
identifies the country that would be most suitable for a local business owner who
wants to expand her/his business operations. Each team develops charts and
tables that contain its research findings, writes a short report of its
recommendation, and gives an oral presentation for the local business owner in
which the team explains its recommendation. Students also work individually to
gather and analyze news articles about each assigned country.
Timeframe
3 weeks

Explain the types of economic systems
Objectives of
the Project

Discuss the measure of consumer spending as an economic indicator
(what you will
learn to do)

Describe the economic impact of inflation on business

Explain the concept of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Discuss the impact of a nation's unemployment rates
4
A Tale of Two Countries: Statement of Work (SoW)
Binder of News Articles
Each student locates three recent news articles (written within the past year)
about each of his/her team’s assigned countries (six articles total). The student
saves these articles to a virtual or actual binder. S/He writes one paragraph about
each article (six paragraphs total). Each paragraph summarizes the article and
identifies how what is discussed in the article impacts the country’s economy or is
impacted by the country’s economy.
Economic Charts
Key
Deliverables
Each team develops a series of graphic organizers that show past and present
economic data (i.e., consumer spending, inflation, GDP, and unemployment rates)
for each of its assigned countries. Each team also creates additional charts to
compare the two countries’ economies. (Target audience: local business owner)
Written Report of Recommendation
Each team writes a two-page report containing its recommendation regarding
which of its countries is the most viable choice for business expansion. In the
report, the team explains its reasons for the recommendation and discusses why it
doesn’t recommend the other country. (Target audience: local business owner)
Oral Presentation
Each team develops and shares a three-to-five minute oral presentation that
reflects the contents of its written report. Graphic organizers are used during the
presentation, and every student participates. (Target audience: local business
owner)
5
A Tale of Two Countries: Written Report of Recommendations Rubric
Criteria
Content
The information contained
in and communicated by
the written report of
recommendations
Professional
Experienced
Recommendations are clearly
and concisely explained.
Recommendations are
explained relatively well, but
some clarification is required.
Recommendations are
difficult to follow and
understand.
Recommendations are
incomplete or missing
altogether.
Recommendations are logical
and fully supported.
Recommendations are
reasonable but lack some
support.
Recommendations are
inconsistent in their logic and
lack support.
Recommendations are highly
questionable and not
supported.
Reasons for not
recommending other country
are appropriate and concisely
explained.
Reasons for not
recommending other country
are appropriate and
somewhat explained, but
further detail is required.
Reasons for not
recommending other country
are appropriate, but no
explanation is provided.
Reasons for not
recommending other country
are inappropriate or missing.
Ideas are expressed clearly
and are easy to understand.
Ideas are expressed clearly
with only a few words being
difficult to understand.
Both ideas and words require
effort to understand.
Ideas are vague and elusive,
and language is difficult to
understand.
Report is neat, contains no
misspelled words, and is
grammatically correct.
Report is neat but contains
minor spelling and/or
grammatical errors that are
not distracting.
Report is neat but contains
spelling and/or grammatical
errors that are distracting.
Report is messy, with many
errors in spelling and
grammar.
Visual aids support, focus,
clarify, and reinforce
information given.
Visual aids add some support
to the information given.
Visual aids are related to the
information given but do not
clarify or reinforce it.
Visual aids detract from the
information given, raising
many questions.
60 points
Communication
Ability to express oneself
so as to be understood by
others
20 points
Developing
Novice
6
A Tale of Two Countries: Written Report of Recommendations Rubric
Criteria
Organization
How the information is put
together
Professional
Experienced
Sections are clearly identified
and titled, and material is
easily located.
Sections are clearly identified
and titled; only a few items
are difficult to locate.
Developing
Some sections are not
identified or titled, and
several items are difficult to
locate.
Novice
Sections run together or are
not identified or titled;
material is difficult to locate.
20 points
7
Closing the Project: Self & Peer Assessment
Economic Systems
Topic
Economic
Systems
Why Economic
Systems Are
Needed
Basic
Economic
Questions
Traditional
Economic
Systems
An economic system is the organized way in which a country handles its economic
decisions and solves its economic problems. Every country has a slightly different
economic system, but there are certain elements found in all economic systems:
resources, markets, participants, and a medium of exchange.
One reason why we need economic systems is because our wants are unlimited,
but our resources are not. No country has enough resources to supply everything
that its people need and want. One function of an economic system is to decide
what can be produced, how much can be produced, and who can obtain what is
produced.
Another reason why we need economic systems is because people in all
economic systems are interdependent. We depend on others to get the things
that we need. The economic system coordinates the activities of producers,
consumers, and the government.
Every economic system must answer three key questions. The way in which each
country answers these economic questions is affected by the government. These
three questions are:

What will be produced?

How will products be produced?

How will products be allocated?
Traditional economic systems, sometimes called subsistence systems, are based
on traditions passed down through the generations. Members of a traditional
economic system don’t make many economic decisions. When they make an
economic decision, it is based on habits, customs, and beliefs. People produce
the same things that their ancestors produced using the same methods of
production. Everything that they produce is consumed by the community, with no
thought of incomes, prices, or markets. The major disadvantage of traditional
economic systems is that there is little opportunity for growth or improvement.
Examples of traditional economic systems include rural areas in Africa and villages
in the Amazon Rainforest.
8
Closing the Project: Self & Peer Assessment
Command
Economic
Systems
In command economic systems, the government owns and operates most of the
means of production and distribution. The government makes economic
decisions on behalf of the country with little input from consumers. In addition,
there is little or no competition. Communism and socialism are two types of
command economic systems.
Communism
In a communist country, the government controls the entire economic system. It
owns and controls the means of production and distribution and does all of the
economic planning for the country. People are not allowed to invest in a
communist economy. Instead, capital for business investment is provided by the
government. The government determines where people should work, what they
should do at work, and how much they are to be paid. Major disadvantages of a
communist economy include an over-emphasis on the production of industrial
goods rather than consumer goods and workers’ inability to improve their
economic situation or help themselves. North Korea is one example of a
communist economy.
Socialism
In a socialist country, the government owns some means of production (used to
produce certain basic products), but there is private ownership of business as
well. Capital for business investment comes from business profits as well as the
government, and workers are free to choose where to work. In socialist command
economies (also known as welfare states), the government typically provides its
citizens with free medical care, education, and other benefits. However, there is a
tradeoff: In exchange for these free benefits, citizens must pay high taxes.
Businesses have difficulty competing with state-owned businesses, which can
result in inefficient production methods. A good example of a socialist economy is
Canada.
Market
Economic
System
Rather than the government owning the means of production and distribution,
individuals and businesses are in control of the economy—deciding what to
produce, how they will produce the products, and how the products will be
allocated. Individuals choose where they want to work, and businesses compete
for sales and profits. There are some disadvantages to a market economy,
though. Individuals and businesses run the risk of financial loss. Businesses
sometimes attempt to capture an entire market for a product so that they can
control the product’s price and output. Finally, individuals’ wages vary
dramatically, resulting in a significant gap between the wealthy and the poor.
Examples of market economies are the U.S. and Japan.
9