Kristin J. Forbes

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15.018| 15.014 |15.012 | 15.227


15.218: Global Economic Challenges and Opportunities (Extended Version)

This course provides in-depth analyses of major economic challenges facing the world. It focuses on the major global economic forces that will shape the business environment in the next decade and for which every organization should prepare. The goal of the course is to not only discuss the major global economic risks and opportunities, but also for students to develop the tools to understand and interpret events so that they can adapt to the surprises that will inevitably arise in the future.

The course is divided into four sections. The first section examines the causes of crises and how to predict them in the future. This section also develops the models and tools that will be used throughout the course. The second section focuses in more detail on the most recent crises in the United States and Europe. It also analyzes various policy options for avoiding and handling crises in the future, including a number of new proposals currently being debated. The third section of the course explores other major global economic challenges, including topics such as: debt and unsustainable fiscal policies, inequality, poverty, exchange rates and currency wars, and the rise of the BRICs and "frontier" economies". The class will have the opportunity to vote on two additional topics and /or current events to be covered at the end of this section, including topics such as: aging populations, global warming, immigration, oil and commodity markets, unemployment, global imbalances, foreign investment and sovereign wealth funds, natural disasters. The final section of the course reviews the major insights and discusses the outlook for the global economy.

 

Syllabus
(Spring 2014)


Study Questions
(Spring 2014)

 

15.018: Global Economic Challenges: Short Version

The 21st century started with record global growth and a substantial reduction in global poverty. Confident analysts wrote of the "Great Moderation" and predicted the end of sharp recessions due partly to better economic policy. Then a global financial crisis erupted-starting in the U.S. housing market and quickly spreading around the world. Policymakers were forced to take unprecedented actions to avoid a repeat of the Great Depression. Even as the immediate risks from a global financial meltdown ebbed and many emerging markets recovered quickly, the crisis took new forms as one European country after another was forced to implement painful austerity measures. Policymakers continue to be so preoccupied with handling each new phase of the crisis and ensuring that the global economy recovers that many longer-term challenges have not only been ignored, but aggravated, potentially planting the seeds for the next crisis.

This course provides in-depth analyses of major economic challenges facing the global economy. It is divided into two sections. The first section examines the causes, lessons, and responses to financial crises, building a framework to understand recent events in the global economy. The second section explores other major global economic challenges, including topics such as: unsustainable fiscal policies, global imbalances, the future of the euro area and the implications of the rise of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and "frontier" economies" (such as Vietnam, Kenya, Ukraine, Kuwait, Nigeria, and the UAE) for the global economy. The class will vote on an additional topics-such as inequality and poverty, currency wars, aging populations, commodity prices, or the economics of climate change.

 

Syllabus
(Spring 2011)


Study Questions
(Spring 2011)

 

15.014 : Applied Macro and International Economics: Extended Version

This course uses case studies to investigate the macroeconomic and international environment in which firms operate. Most classes will focus on a key economic concept in the context of a different country. Therefore, each class will provide an opportunity to explore why different governments adopt certain economic policies, as well as how these policies affect the ability of companies to do business. The course will also provide an opportunity to learn about the major economies around the world, how they differ, and what their prospects are for the future.
 
The course is divided into four sections. The first develops the basic tools of macroeconomic management (monetary and fiscal policy) focusing on the U.S. economy. The second section evaluates different strategies of economic development and why some countries grow faster than others, with topics covering issues such as technological progress, natural resource dependency, exchange rate management, trade, and foreign aid. The third section discusses several recent crises in emerging markets, evaluating the causes of these crises, how to avoid them, and how to predict what countries will experience crises and contagion in the future. The final (and longest) section of the course evaluates several challenges facing developed countries in the 21st century, such as the U.S. trade deficit, high unemployment in Europe, aging populations and insolvent entitlement programs, high oil prices, and the emergence of China and India as major economic powers, including concerns about outsourcing, globalization, and job losses.

 

Syllabus
(Spring 2007)


Study Questions
(Spring 2007)

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15.012 Applied Macro and International Economics

This course uses case studies to investigate the macroeconomic and international environment in which firms operate. The first section of the course develops the basic tools of macroeconomic management (monetary and fiscal policy) in the context of three historic cases. The second section evaluates different strategies of economic development, with topics ranging from technological progress and natural resources to exchange rates. Section three examines several recent crises in emerging markets, evaluating the causes of these crises as well as how to avoid them from reoccurring in the future. The final section of the course evaluates several major challenges facing developed countries in the 21st century, such as European Union, slow growth in Japan, and the "new economy" of the United States, and disputes over trade and globalization.

Syllabus
(from 2003)

Study Questions
(from 2003)

Course Website
(from 2003)


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15.227 H1: Macroeconomic Issues in International Management

This course develops several basic tools in macro and international economics and then uses these tools to evaluate a variety of challenges facing countries around the world. The first section of the course briefly reviews the basic tools of macroeconomic management that were introduced over the summer. The second section evaluates different development strategies, with topics ranging from trade and industrial policy to debt management and political freedom. The third section discusses four crises in emerging markets in the 1990s and examines the causes of these crises as well as how to avoid them from reoccurring in the future. The final section of the course evaluates several major challenges facing developed countries in the 21st century.

Syllabus

 

 

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