Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy (2002)

PBS

Watch Part Number: 1 | 2 | 3
3 ratings
Views: 33,902
Date Added: 9 years ago.

Documentary Description


Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy



The history and impact of the new global economy are made clear--and compelling--in Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy. This three-part, six-hour documentary does an astonishingly thorough job of dissecting and explaining macroeconomics and their current political and social importance without ever causing a loss of consciousness for the viewer. Part 1, The Battle of Ideas, chronicles the history of economic thought from the start of the 20th century and its socialist reforms right through the deregulation of the 1980s. Part 2, The Agony of Reform, explores the upheavals that such deregulation caused, focusing primarily on economic growth and gains and touching briefly on the wrenching consequences for the poor. Part 3, The New Rules of the Game, explores the consequences of globalization, including terrorism and the contagion of market collapse. The series makes good use of both large- and small-scale examples, and features interviews with several major world leaders. There is a slight teenybopper feel to The Battle for the World's Economy's admiration for today's celebrity economists, but the contagious enthusiasm is part of what makes the series so interesting. Big ideas are made extremely accessible to the average viewer (without condescension). Well worth watching. --Ali Davis



Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy
confronts head-on Americans' critical concerns about the new interconnected world. Based on the best-selling book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, this groundbreaking series explores our changing world—the great debate over globalization and the future of our society.



Commanding Heights reunites the team that created The Prize— award-winning producer William Cran (From Jesus to Christ) and Daniel Yergin—and is the first in-depth documentary to tell the inside story of our new global economy and what it means for individuals around the world. Filmed on five continents, the powerful narrative combines stunning film footage with dramatic stories and extraordinary interviews with world leaders and thinkers from twenty different countries, including: Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, Mexican President Vicente Fox, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, Rep. Richard Gephardt, and President George W. Bush's Economic Advisor Lawrence Lindsey.



Commanding Heights dramatically captures the issues that have defined the wealth and fate of nations and shows how the battle over the world economy will shape our lives in the twenty-first century.



Source: Amazon.com





Key Themes Articulated in the Series



The current global economy is the outgrowth of a century of trial-and-error experimentation with different political and economic ideologies.



The core battle of ideas is an argument about the best way to promote the economic welfare of society as a whole. For most of the last century the argument has centered on the role that central governments should or should not play in economic activity.



For much of the last century the argument appeared to swing in favor of central planning and government control. More recently, the pendulum has swung the other way, toward greater reliance on market forces to determine the allocation of resources. The transition away from central control has increased productivity and expanded wealth, but has also been societally wrenching for the peoples of many nations.



In recent decades, technology has also fundamentally changed the way economies behave and interrelate. We are just beginning to understand how to reap the benefits and manage the risks these changes have introduced.



While the growth of globally integrated markets has expanded wealth and raised living standards in many parts of the world, there have also been destructive effects. The Asian economic contagion of 1997-8 is one example.



Because the benefits of globalization have not been distributed equitably, the gulf between rich and poor continues to threaten the stability of the system as a whole. Equipping dispossessed populations to benefit from open global markets and entrepreneurial capitalism constitutes one of the major challenges of the 21st century.



Source: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/hi/educators/ed_th...



Guide to Commanding Heights Online for AP Instructors

From: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/hi/educators



This guide maps Commanding Heights Online resources to criteria from The College Board's "Advanced Placement Program Course Description: Economics."



Microeconomics




I. Basic Economic Concepts



C. Specialization and comparative advantage: the basis for international trade




AP Overview of Basic Economic Concepts



"The study of microeconomics requires students to understand that, in any economy, the existence of limited resources along with unlimited wants results in the need to make choices. An effective AP course, therefore, begins by exploring this need by studying the concepts of opportunity costs and trade-offs, which can be illustrated by the production possibilities curve or other analytical examples. The course can then proceed to a consideration of how different types of economies determine which goods and services to produce, how to produce them, and to whom to distribute them. It is also important that students understand why and how specialization and exchange increase the total output of goods and services. In this context students need to be able to differentiate between absolute and comparative advantage, to identify comparative advantage from differences in output levels and labor costs, and to determine the basis under which mutually advantageous trade can take place between countries. Specific examples from actual economic situations can be used to illustrate and reinforce the principles involved."



Relevant Content Material from Commanding Heights Online



Commanding Heights Episode One tracks the parallel evolution of capitalist (market-based) and socialist (centrally-planned) economic regimes from the close of World War One through the 1970's. Its early chapters (Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6) contrast how each system determines which goods and services to produce, and what the actual outcomes of their policies are up through to the close of World War Two. Later chapters of Episode One track the post-war efforts of various western democracies (especially Britain) to incorporate a more socialist approach within a market-based system and the results of those experiments. In addition, these later chapters cover the efforts of newly independent nations to mix democracy with central economic planning. Episode Two then tracks the collapse of Soviet-style communism in the 1980's, the reforms that swept the planned economies of western democracies and developing nations alike during the same period, and the market oriented reforms undertaken by China. To gain a better sense of the structure of this content, view the Episode descriptions, Chapter Menus and Transcripts in Storyline.



To promote a deeper understanding of comparative advantage and its role in international trade and economic development, The Commanding Heights site contains an interactive atlas of economic history, the Time-Map (available on the rich-media, broadband version of the site only). The Time-Map tracks six kinds of economic regimes as practiced by 41 nations over 92 years. By launching the Time-Map and using its color key together with the time bar at the bottom of the map, students can scan through 92 years of world history, and spot changes in economy policy. Observing these changes, they can identify nations that have focused their development strategy on export-oriented comparative advantage trade (sky blue = outward development - export oriented, comparative advantage focus with global exposure and variable state ownership). By noting the points in time that such policies were introduced in various nations, they will become aware of global trends in economic policy formation over time. They will notice the vast expansion in the number of nations pursuing outward directed, comparative advantage policies since the 1970s, and in particular since the 1990s.



Students can also identify nations pursuing more tightly controlled, directed market policies that also seek to foster export oriented comparative advantage trade by means of highly regimented state control of industrial policy (green = directed market - industrial export focus and state regimenting private sector finance and trade).



From the Time-Map, students can launch more detailed, individual Country Reports for each of these nations, and study the periods in which these policies are in place. (Users of the low-bandwidth version of the site can also access low-bandwidth versions of these reports.) The reports include economic data and text information that can help students assess comparative outcomes and determine whether or not trade has expanded as a result of these policies, and what effects, over time, they have had on overall economic growth, per capita income, debt, and other outcomes. Students can also use the site's Search function to find interview segments and essays that bear on the countries and policies under consideration.



Worthwhile examples of outward directed, comparative advantage policy in action are found in the following country reports: Hong Kong (especially from '60s on), Chile (from 1974), Argentina (from 1976), Egypt (after 1977), Turkey (after 1980), Brazil and Bolivia (after 1985), Tanzania (from 1987), Mexico (from 1988), Peru (from 1990), Taiwan and India (from 1991), Russia (1992), South Africa (1995), Singapore and Pakistan (after 1997), Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand (after 1998), and Korea (after 1999).



Countries focused primarily on a directed market - industrial export approach include Japan (from 1952), Taiwan (from 1957), Singapore (from 1959), South Korea (1961-1998), Malaysia (from 1972), Thailand (1972-1997), Indonesia (1982-1997), and China (from 1993)



II. The Nature and Function of Product Markets




D. Product pricing and outputs within different market structures

   2. Imperfect Competition

       a. monopoly

       b. oligopoly

       c. monopolistic competition

E. Efficiency and government policy towards imperfect competition



from AP Overview of the Nature and Functions of Product Markets



"The study of the nature and functions of product markets falls into four broad areas:



"...The fourth area covers the behavior of firms in different types of market structures. In covering perfect competition, the course focuses on determining short-run and long-run equilibrium, both for the profit-maximizing firm and for the industry, and on the equilibrium relationships between price, marginal and average revenues, marginal and average costs, and profits. In considering the market behavior of a monopolist, students compare a monopolist's price, level of output, and profit with those of a firm operating in a perfectly competitive market. By paying particular attention to the concept of allocative efficiency, students learn how and why competitive firms achieve an efficient allocation of resources, whereas monopolists do not. The distinction between allocative and productive efficiency should be made. Students also learn why the government should in some cases encourage competition and in others allow a regulated monopoly to exist. Finally, students should have some familiarity with the characteristics and behaviors of firms in monopolistic competition and oligopoly, as well as their effects on efficiency. A discussion of basic game theory should be used to enhance a student's understanding of the interdependent behavior of firms in an oligopoly market."



Relevant Content Material from Commanding Heights Online



All three episodes of the program, as described in the Storyline section of the site, are concerned with the nature and functions of product markets and the relative efficiency of markets and competition under different economic systems and policies. The 41 Country Reports support and expand the program's historical survey of these differences with detailed information and specific economic data Two chapters, in particular, are relevant to the study of both imperfect competition and monopoly: Episode One, Chapter 10 (India's Way), and Episode Two, Chapter 4 (India's Permit Raj). Together, these chapters detail how India's idealistically planned, protectionist economy produced a noncompetitive, monopolistic auto industry that stifled innovation. The chapters are supported by extensive interviews about the Indian economy, best located by searching on the term "India."



A search on the term "monopoly" will also yield a number of essays and other site resources that deal with the general subject from a variety of viewpoints.



For the study of imperfect competition and oligopoly, the many chapters in Episode Two devoted to post-communist Russian privatization and the rise of the Oligarchs will be helpful. Chapters 2, 3, 8, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20 all deal with the economic collapse of the Soviet Union, beginning in the early 1980s. Chapters 18,19, and 20 are specifically concerned with privatization and seizure of control of the commanding heights of the Russian economy by the Oligarchs. Related content for these chapters includes links to extensive interviews, including one with the Russian Oligarch Vladimir Potanin. On the rich-media version of the site, these links appear as synchronous "enhancements" that become available as the video chapter plays. On the low-bandwidth version of the site, these same links to related content can be accessed for each chapter from the Storyline menu of Episode Two.



With regard to efficiency and government policy toward imperfect competition, Episode One contains an account of U.S. efforts to regulate the airline industry from the 1930s to late 1970s. Chapter 5 covers the regulatory policies implemented in the 1930's and Chapter 14 covers the deregulatory effort more than forty years later. Also of note is Episode One, Chapter 12, which features Nixon's attempts to manage U.S. markets through price controls in the 1970s. Related content/enhancements links are also available for these chapters. Finally, students will find much useful material by searching on the terms "regulation" and "deregulation."



III. Efficiency, Equity and the Role of Government




A. Externalities

B. Public goods

C. Distribution of income



AP Overview on Efficiency, Equity and the Role of Government




"It is important for students to understand the arguments for and against government intervention in an otherwise competitive market. Students examine the conditions for economic efficiency and the ways in which public goods and externalities generate market failures even in perfectly competitive economies. In addition, students are expected to study the effectiveness of government policies such as subsidies, taxes, quantity controls, and public provision of goods and services, which are designed to correct market failures. Although there is not a generally accepted standard for judging the equity of an economy¹s income distribution, a well designed course will examine the impact of government tax policies and transfer programs on both the distribution of income and economic efficiency."



Relevant Content Material from Commanding Heights Online



In Episode Two, the fall of Soviet-style communism illustrates the difficulties that are created when governments attempt to centrally enforce more equitable distribution of scarce resources.



Episode Two's video chapters and interviews about Poland's economy are also helpful in this regard. Students can search on the terms "Russia," "Soviet Union," "Poland," and "communism" to access the video chapters and interview content related to the problems of central economic control.



Many Episode One chapters on Britain's economic development from the end of World War II through the reforms of Margaret Thatcher also show how government attempts to correct perceived market deficiencies often produce unintended results. Of particular note are Chapters 7, 13, 15, 17, 18, and 19, which deal with the consequences of establishing state-owned monopolies to create "fair shares" and the eventual re-privatization of these same industries. Extensive related content links/enhancements include economic data, essays, debates, and in-depth interviews from participants who shaped and reshaped these policies.



In addition, chapters within all three episodes of the program trace the evolution of the Indian economy from independence through the reforms of the 1990s. This narrative is extremely relevant to the subject of market efficiency and the actual effects of government policy. Educators and students can locate all the relevant video chapters by searching on the term "India" and then looking under the heading Storyline. Other types of content related to the Indian economy will also be displayed in the search returns.



Macroeconomics



I. Basic Economic Concepts



C. Specialization and comparative advantage: the basis for international trade



AP Overview of Basic Economic Concepts




"A macroeconomics course introduces students to fundamental economic concepts such as scarcity and opportunity costs. Students will study comparative advantage to determine the basis on which mutually advantageous trade can take place between countries and to identify comparative advantage from differences in output levels and labor costs. Other basic concepts that are explored include the functions performed by an economic system and the way the tools of supply and demand can be used to analyze a market economy. Coverage of these concepts provides students with the foundation for a thorough understanding of macroeconomics and puts the macroeconomic material of the course in proper perspective."



Relevant Content Material from Commanding Heights Online




Students can identify nations that have implemented specialization and comparative advantage economies by launching the Time-Map (rich-media/broadband only) and scrolling through the years using the color key (sky blue = outward directed, comparative advantage economies). They can identify the points in time that such policies were put in place, becoming aware of the global trends in economic policy formation over time. They will notice the vast expansion in the number of nations pursuing outward directed, comparative advantage policies since the 1970s, and in particular since the 1990s due, in many cases, to pressure from the IMF and World Bank. Students can examine comparative outcomes for nations pursuing more tightly controlled directed market policies, which are externally focused but with more highly regimented state control over industrial policy.



From the Time-Map, students can launch the individual, more detailed Country Reports for these nations during the periods in which these policies were in place. The reports include economic data to determine whether trade expanded as a result of these policies and what effects, if any, the policies had over time on overall economic growth, per capita income, debt, and other outcomes. For several of these nations, students can use the search function to find related interviews that bear on the events and policies under consideration.



Worthwhile examples of outward directed, comparative advantage policy in action are found in the following country reports: Hong Kong (especially from '60s on), Chile (from 1974), Argentina (from 1976), Egypt (after 1977), Turkey (after 1980), Brazil and Bolivia (after 1985), Tanzania (from 1987), Mexico (from 1988), Peru (from 1990), Taiwan and India (from 1991), Russia (1992), South Africa (1995), Singapore and Pakistan (after 1997), Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand (after 1998), and Korea (after 1999).



Countries focused primarily on a directed market approach include Japan (from 1952), Taiwan (from 1957), Singapore (from 1959), South Korea (1961-1998), Malaysia (from 1972), Thailand (1972-1997), Indonesia (1982-1997), and China (from 1993).



II. Measurement of Economic Performance




A. Gross national product, gross domestic product, and national income concepts

B. Inflation and price indices

C. Unemployment



from AP Overview of Measurement of Economic Performance




Since the performance of the economy as a whole is usually measured by trends in gross national product, gross domestic product, inflation, and unemployment, an effective AP course is structured with the importance of these concepts in mind. The course covers the components of gross income measures and the costs of inflation and unemployment. . .



As the course moves from mere static descriptions to dynamic models, it considers the actual levels of U.S. inflation, unemployment, gross national product, and gross domestic product, as well as the ways that changes in one may affect the others.



Relevant Content Material from Commanding Heights Online




The Country Reports allow rapid comparison through graphs of key economic indicators for 41 nations (see Countries to view the complete list of nations). These indicators include GDP growth year by year, per capita income (adjusted for inflation), inflation, and unemployment for all years that data was available from the IMF and World Bank. Economic indicators are tracked in the context of a country's political history, economic policies, social issues, rule of law, monetary policy, environmental issues, and more. Students can use the color-coded Time-Map (available on the rich-media/broadband version of the site only) in conjunction with the Country Reports to quickly compare the economic policies in force for the nations under study.



In addition, Unit One: Introducing Economic Growth, in the Activities provided with the Educators' Guide, concentrates on interpretation of measures for growth, income and distribution.



III. National Income and Price Determination




D. Fiscal-monetary mix

1. Interaction of fiscal and monetary policy

2. Government budget policies




From AP Overview National Income and Price Determination



"Students should also examine the economic effects of government budget deficits, including crowding out, consider the issues involved in determining the burden of the national debt, and explore the relationships between deficits, interest rates, and inflation.



It is important for students to understand why many economists believe that the aggregate supply curve may be upward-sloping in the short run but vertical in the long run. With this understanding, students can distinguish between the short-run and long-run impacts of monetary and fiscal policies and trace the short-run and long-run effects of supply shocks...



A well-rounded course also includes an examination of the significance of inflationary expectations."



Relevant Content Material from Commanding Heights Online




Episode One as a whole focuses on the contrasting economic philosophies of John Maynard Keynes and the Keynesians, on the one hand, on the one hand, and Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman and the Chicago school, on the other. The outcome of both philosophies in action is tracked throughout Episodes One and Two. While a detailed study of the tools of monetary policy is not included in the program, these two episodes can give students a sound historical understanding of the primary debate over government use of fiscal vs. monetary measures to manage economic activity.



Educators and students can orient themselves to the structure of this material by going directly to the main page of the Storyline section of the site, there reading the descriptions of Episodes One and Two, and then scanning the chapter menus and transcripts for each episode.



Students will find much material on the site related to monetary and fiscal economic policies by searching the terms "Keynes," "Hayek," "Friedman," "Harberger," "Keynesianism," "monetary policy," "monetarism," and "fiscal policy."



Other useful material includes extensive interviews with Milton Friedman and Al Harberger, both Nobel Prize winning monetarists, John Galbraith, a leading Keynesian economist, and Lord Robert Skidelsky, an economic historian and Keynes' biographer.



IV. Economic Growth



AP Overview of Economic Growth



"Students should understand the contributions of economic growth to job creation and economic well-being. The determinants of economic growth should be emphasized. Furthermore, the impacts of monetary and fiscal policies on the growth of a nation's economy should be studied."



Relevant Content Material from Commanding Heights Online




Students can explore the Country Reports of 41 nations and also search on the term "growth" to study factors influencing economic growth in many parts of the world over the last 92 years. They can also read numerous interviews on the topic in the People section. The activities of Unit One: Introducing Economic Growth included in this Educator's Guide focus on the relationship between economic growth, per capita income and income distribution.



V. International Finance, Exchange Rates and Balance of Payments



A. International trade and policy

B. International finance, exchange rates, and balance of payments



AP Overview on International Finance, Exchange Rates, and Balance of Payments




"The formulation of macroeconomic policy has important ramifications for international economics. Students need to understand that the combination of monetary and fiscal policies used in addressing problems of inflation and unemployment has an effect on international factors such as exchange rates and the balance of payments. Students also need to understand the reverse: that international forces, often beyond a country's control, affect a country's exchange rates, which, in turn, affect a country's price level, unemployment, and level of output. It is important to examine what the effects of trade restrictions are, how the international payments system hinders or facilitates trade, how domestic policy actions affect international finance and trade, and how international exchange rates affect domestic policy goals."



Relevant Content Material from Commanding Heights Online




The Time-Map (rich-media/broadband version of the site only) and the 41 Country Reports ( available in both versions) enable students to examine and compare debt and trade outcomes under different economic regimes over the last 92 years.



Episode Three is primarily concerned with the forces mentioned in the AP Overview above. Its chapters dramatize and clarify the interrelationship of trade policy, international capital flows, and exchange rates and their influence in the spread of globalization in the 1990s, the advent of the Mexican debt crisis of 1994, and the Asian economic crisis of 1997-8.



Especially relevant chapters include those on the NAFTA trade agreement (Episode Three, Chapters 3,4, and 21); those on the expansion of global financial markets (Episode Three, Chapters 5 and 6), the Mexico¹s debt crisis in 1994 (Episode Three, Chapter 7), and the sections of the Asian economic crisis of 1997, (Episode Three, Chapters 11, 12, 13 and 14)



Students can also explore NAFTA and other topics in much greater detail by searching on the relevant terms and exploring the returns.

Comments

There are no comments. Be the first to post one.
  Post comment as a guest user.
Click to login or register:
Your name:
Your email:
(will not appear)
Your comment:
(max. 1000 characters)
Are you human? (Sorry)
 
All external videos in CosmoLearning are merely links to outside video hosts that make available embed codes to be used by external websites or blogs. CosmoLearning will never be responsible for any kind of hosting of external productions. To contact the original host company or uploader, please click on the video displayed to be forwarded to the original video.