Sharpen your understanding of modern economics with Why Economies Rise or Fall. In these 24 lectures, Professor Peter Rodriguez guides you through a stimulating examination of what economists know about the elusive search for economic prosperity. You'll explore how countries as widely different as the United States and Vietnam have grown their economies, how China and India were able to recover from economic reverses, why the critical test of any economic policy is its ability to shape human behavior for everyone's benefit, and more. It's an illuminating learning experience that brings newfound clarity to a wealth of economic strategies and philosophies.
Why Economies Rise or Fall
Dr. Peter Rodriguez is Associate Dean for International Affairs and Associate Professor at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, where he teaches global macroeconomics and international business. The holder of a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University, Professor Rodriguez has also taught at both that university and at Texas A&M, as well as at universities around the world, including on the water as a faculty member of Semester at Sea. His broad experience as a teacher—which has produced awards for teaching excellence wherever he has taught—goes hand-in-hand with significant real-world experience in the realm of business, which has drawn on his skills as both an educator and a practitioner. Professor Rodriguez's private teaching engagements include work with the AES Corporation, Harris Corporation, Rolls Royce, and Visa, among other companies. He also worked for several years in the Global Energy Group at JPMorgan Chase, where his assignments centered on work for multinationals such as Royal Dutch Shell, Pennzoil, Apache Corporation, and Santa Fe Energy Resources. His current research interests include the interaction of globalization, economic development, and social institutions; the consequences of corruption for multinationals; and seed-stage finance in emerging markets.
01: From Free Markets to State Economies
In this introductory lecture, explore the variety of national approaches to managing economies and promoting better living standards. Also, begin to face the key central questions of why nations choose such approaches, the trade-offs between them, which ones work, and what lies ahead for each.
02: A Brief History of Economic Growth
Grasp long-standing patterns of world and national growth and learn to meaningfully compare success and failure across nations and time. You begin with a brief history of economic growth around the world, with a focus on the pioneering work of its greatest chronicler, Angus Maddison.
03: Economic Growth and Human Behavior
Here, you begin to focus on microeconomics, learning how strategies and policies can influence an individual's decisions about investment, production, and exchange to generate economic value.
04: The Birth of the Western Free Market
With the basics of growth now in hand, you're able to see how the Industrial Revolution ignited that process in the Western world, as well as how the writings of Adam Smith influenced for centuries after how we think about economics, the role of the state, and commerce.
05: American Economic Strategies
You learn that while the United States is seen as a hallmark of free markets, its approach is actually a complex mix of state- and market-led strategies. You examine in particular how policy choices made during the recent crises may affect our future.
06: America and Europe-Divergent Approaches
U.S. and western European economic strategies sharply diverged after World War II, particularly with regard to state involvement and social goals. Examine those diverging approaches, learning how their subsequent economic and social effects have informed economic theory and shaped current beliefs about which approach is better.
07: State-Led Theories of Economic Growth
Dive into the details of "state-led" miracles of growth in economies as different as Japan, Soviet Russia, and China. Conclude with an examination of the risks and downsides of state-led growth and the enduring lessons of the "Japanese miracle."
08: The Secrets of Rapid Growth in Tiger Economies
The remarkable rise of the "Asian Tigers"—South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan—in the 1960s and '70s offer great hope for developing nations. But you learn that their methods and "secrets" often differ from popular recollection and don't always apply.
09: Lessons and Limits of Japan's Economic Model
Why did the "Japanese miracle" come to such a crashing end, and what does it mean for the world? You delve deeply into the meaning of Japan's decade-plus recession, learning how state-led approaches to economic management—and their favor in emerging economies—were dramatically affected as a result.
10: From Closed to Open Economies
A small economy today is not necessarily a long-term sentence. Analyze the amazing growth of India and China at both the macro- and microeconomic levels and gain fresh insights into how both managed to initiate rapid growth.
11: How Can We Manage Global Growth?
Does global growth need to be managed? Get closer to an answer by examining how spectacular growth in China, India, and other regions of the world led to imbalances, catching the world's financial markets unprepared for just how "flat" the global economy had become.
12: China's Policies and the World Economy
The most important economic event for the history of the 21st century has almost certainly already taken place. This lecture lays out the ways in which China's astonishing growth from 1978 to the present has affected the rest of the world economy and what its future growth will mean for the global economic structure.
13: Merging the Theories of East and West
There was no greater surprise in the 1990s than the sudden turn to growth in countries like India and Vietnam. See how these nations have merged theories from the West and East with their own unique histories to turn Communist and state-dominated economies into rapidly growing economies.
14: Lessons about Economic Success
Take stock of what you've already learned by synthesizing five key lessons about the roots of economic success, examining issues like the pace of free trade and openness, investment, confidence, courage in reforming, and sustainability.
15: The Roots of Economic Failure
Economies that fail can provide lessons, too. Embark on a multilecture exploration of what those failures teach us by looking at the causes and effects of not saving or investing, as well as macroeconomic mismanagement, plutocratic strategies, local anticompetitive policies, and geographic hurdles.
16: Politics, Statecraft, and the Fate of Economies
Although economic theories tend to ignore problems of exploitation or the interests of hegemonic powers, their impact on economies can be profound. Gain a grasp of the role that "noneconomic theories" play in determining which nations win and which ones lose.
17: Corruption and Its Impact on Growth
Corruption exists everywhere, but its substance—and impact in stifling growth and economic development—can vary widely. Gain insight into how corruption differs across borders and why it matters, as well as the challenge of combating something so hard to define, observe, or measure.
18: Informal, Inefficient Markets
While open-air markets and small informal stores might be seen as cultural flavor, they often indicate an economy overburdened with regulations, business taxes, and other challenges to small business growth. Learn how they amount to a rejection of the state's "value proposition," lowering productivity and deterring growth.
19: Technology and the Instant Economy
Explore the profound effects of communications technologies on trade, labor markets, and the interconnectedness of financial markets, eradicating traditional barriers of time and distance across economies. Also, learn how a reality once only theorized brings with it not only opportunity but challenges and vulnerabilities, as well.
20: Possible Strains on Global Economic Growth
Has the pace of modern growth made the Malthusian nightmare more likely or less so? Examine the potential for exhausting our supplies of oil, drinking water, and arable land; the impact on nations; and whether globalization requires some nations to be left behind.
21: Latin America-Moving Away from Free Markets
Despite their many successes, including those in China and India, free-market approaches have weakened significantly in the past two decades, particular in Latin America. Examine the roots of this dissatisfaction and how the region's left-leaning strategies might affect regional growth.
22: Financial Crises and Economic Theory
What are the implications of the global economic crisis of 2008–2009? Look at the hard questions raised by that crisis and the financial market interconnectedness blamed by many, including whether current economic theory is up to the challenges of this new order.
23: The Multipolar Economic World
How will economic and financial power shift in the second decade of the 21st century? Analyze the emerging shift toward a multipolar global economy—with China's economic influence waxing, for example, while America's wanes—and its implications.
24: Driving Forces, Emerging Trends
Gathering the threads of the previous lectures, pull together all you have learned to arrive at a strengthened understanding of the driving forces in economic growth, the trade-offs that all economies have faced, and the future of the world's major economic theories.