Module 13: The Wealth of Nations
In The Wealth of Nations, students analyze the factors that affect the wealth of different countries and consider different ways to measure the health of an economy. They examine the consequences of depleting natural resources and learn how investments in resources affect a country’s productivity and the standard of living of its citizens. Students compare standards of living among countries and predict how current population trends may affect the workforce as well as the market for particular goods and services. Students also compare the way that resources are used in different countries and consider the potential economic, environmental, and social consequences of a declining natural resource base. In an ongoing project, students become familiar with CleanWater Tech, a fictional U.S. company that produces water filtration and disinfection technologies and is interested in opening a facility abroad. Students apply what they’ve learned about the country’s economic health in order to justify their decision about whether to expand CleanWater Tech into their chosen country.
In this module, students analyze and interpret data, such as real and nominal GDP (gross domestic product), inflation rates, and unemployment rates to better understand how economists measure the health of economies. Students further develop their research and analytic skills in this module, using them as economists do to analyze a country’s economic climate. Finally, students use their analyses of the various indicators they’ve learned about to develop their own economic indicators for analyzing the economic health of a country.