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经济学原理课后答案 英文2012版本 曼昆

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Activity 1—Getting Dressed in the Global Economy

Type:                        In-class assignment
Topics:        Specialization, interdependence, self-interest, consumer choice, international trade
Materials needed:        None
Time:        20 minutes
Class limitations:        Works in any class size

The advantages of specialization and division of labor are very clear in this example.  The worldwide links of the modern economy are also illustrated.  We depend on thousands of people we don’t know, won’t see, and don’t think of in order to get dressed each morning.  Self-interest follows naturally from interdependence.  Wages, profits, and rents give people the incentive to perform these varied tasks.  We depend on them to clothe us and they depend on our purchases for their incomes.

Ask the class to answer the following questions. Give them time to write an answer to each question, then discuss their answers before moving on to the next question. The first question can be answered with a brief phrase. The second question is the core of the assignment and takes several minutes. Ask them to list as many categories of workers as possible. The third question introduces demand concepts; most of the determinants of demand can be introduced during this discussion. For the fourth question, ask the class to look at the country-of-origin tags sewn in their garments.

1.        Where did your clothes come from?
2.        Who worked to produce your clothes?
3.        What things do you consider when buying a garment?
4.        Where were your clothes produced (what countries)?

Common Answers and Points for Discussion
1.        Where did your clothes come from?

There are many possible ways to answer, but many students will say “the mall” or another retail outlet. Some may say “a factory,” “a sweatshop,” or “a foreign country.”

Mention the importance of markets here (this can be emphasized by asking, “Is anyone wearing something made by themselves, a friend, or a relative?”) and discuss distribution versus production.

2.        Who worked to produce your clothes?

There are many possible answers; garment and textile workers are obvious but most students will also list workers dealing with raw materials, transportation, management, design, or machinery. Some may think more broadly to investors, road crews, bankers, engineers, or accountants.

3.        What things do you consider when buying a garment?

Most answers focus on preferences (fit, style, quality, color). Price is cited less frequently. Ask about the importance of price until someone volunteers that income is important. Prices of substitute goods should also be discussed. Expectations of price changes may also be mentioned.

4.        Where were your clothes produced (what countries)?

A large number of countries will be represented, even in small classes. Asia is always well represented. Latin American and European goods appear in smaller numbers. African products are conspicuously absent.

B.        Principle #6: Markets Are Usually a Good Way to Organize Economic Activity

1.        Many countries that once had centrally planned economies have abandoned this system and are trying to develop market economies.

2.        Definition of market economy: an economy that allocates resources through the decentralized decisions of many firms and households as they interact in markets for goods and services.

3.        Market prices reflect both the value of a product to consumers and the cost of the resources used to produce it.  

Explain to students that when households and firms do what is best for themselves, they often end up doing what is best for society, as if guided by market forces—or an invisible hand. Spend some time and emphasize the magic of the market. Use numerous examples to show students that the market most often allocates resources to their highest valued use.

4.        When a government interferes in a market and prevents price from adjusting, household and firm decisions become distorted.

5.        Centrally planned economies failed because they did not allow the market to work.

6.        FYI:  Adam Smith and the Invisible Hand

a.        Adam Smith’s 1776 work suggested that although individuals are motivated by self-interest, an invisible hand guides this self-interest into promoting society’s economic well-being.

b.        Smith’s insights are at the center of modern economics and will be analyzed more fully in the chapters to come.

C.        Principle #7: Governments Can Sometimes Improve Market Outcomes

1.        The invisible hand will only work if the government enforces property rights.

a.        Definition of property rights: the ability of an individual to own and exercise control over scarce resources.

2.        There are two broad reasons for the government to interfere with the economy: the promotion of efficiency and equality.

3.        Government policy can improve efficiency when there is market failure.

a.        Definition of market failure: a situation in which a market left on its own fails to allocate resources efficiently.
4.        Examples of Market Failure

a.        Definition of externality: the impact of one person’s actions on the well-being of a bystander.

b.        Definition of market power: the ability of a single economic actor (or small group of actors) to have a substantial influence on market prices.

c.        Because a market economy rewards people for their ability to produce things that other people are willing to pay for, there will be an unequal distribution of economic well-being.

5.        Note that the principle states that the government can improve market outcomes. This is not saying that the government always does improve market outcomes.

IV.        How the Economy as a Whole Works

A.        Principle #8: A Country’s Standard of Living Depends on Its Ability to Produce Goods and Services

1.        Differences in living standards from one country to another are quite large.

2.        Changes in living standards over time are also great.

3.        The explanation for differences in living standards lies in differences in productivity.

4.        Definition of productivity: the quantity of goods and services produced by each unit of labor input.

5.        High productivity implies a high standard of living.

6.        Thus, policymakers must understand the impact of any policy on our ability to produce goods and services.

7.        In the News: Why You Should Study Economics

a.        Training in economics helps us to understand fallacies and to anticipate unintended consequences.

b.        This is an excerpt from a commencement address by Robert D. McTeer, Jr., the former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and describes why students should study economics.

B.        Principle #9: Prices Rise When the Government Prints Too Much Money

1.        Definition of inflation: an increase in the overall level of prices in the economy.

2.        When the government creates a large amount of money, the value of money falls, leading to price increases.

3.        Examples: Germany after World War I (in the early 1920s) and the United States in the 1970s.

C.        Principle #10: Society Faces a Short-Run Trade-off between Inflation and Unemployment

1.        Most economists believe that the short-run effect of a monetary injection is lower unemployment and higher prices.

a.        An increase in the amount of money in the economy stimulates spending and increases the quantity of goods and services sold in the economy. The increase in the quantity of goods and services sold will cause firms to hire additional workers.

b.        An increase in the demand for goods and services leads to higher prices over time.

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