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America and the New Global Economy

Discover how the world economy has changed in the last 50 years with this course that explains how the economies of each major region of the world have developed.
America and the New Global Economy is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 67.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from “Government has power to do… …but business depends on making something people will actually buy" [Lecture 11=L11)]. What Taylor proposes as a model for global economics in this 2008 course allows us to compare his ideas to today's reality. Overall, he is brilliantly accurate. GOVERNMENT HAS POWER: L7 In the Communist economic system "comrade committees" set prices and detailed how 24 million products should be produced (Gosplan). Its total failure ignored this review's opening sentence leading to the breakup of the Soviet Union (L8), hyperinflation over 1000% and deep recession. By the late 1990's, however, the breakups' new countries had an upper middle class per capita GDP - with oil as an economic bulwark. L15's "license raj" similarly (but less severely) hampered India until abandoned. An infrequently discussed problem occurs in the Middle East. With a population the size of the US, their per capita GDP is 1/6th ours. Though often unspoken, worldwide data shows "every 10% increase in a country’s share of Islamic population means, on average, a 4% fall in per capita GDP" due to Communalism and inflexible Islamic trusts. L8, L9: Japan's marvelous work ethic, high savings rate, and high R&D looked like it would challenge the U.S. lead - but derailed as bureaucracies directed subsides to low growth, highly protected areas and prevented consumers from investing in anything but savings. Frighteningly comparable to what has happened since 2010 in the US, the Bank of Japan (L10) held their equivalent of the Federal Funds rate close to zero and accumulated enormous public debt. In the late 80's, Japan's growth halted. MAKING SOMETHING: L1 states China in 2008 had only 4% of world GDP (vs U.S. 25%) and Taylor predicted it would rapidly increase. L3 said the U.S. was 20% of world GDP in 2008 but predicted 10% by 2050. Last year the U.S. was 15.7% and China was 18.4%. As an auto exec pointed out to me, much of the U.S. advantage has been handed to China when companies sent their most advanced auto production methods to China (to use Chinese cheap labor and transfer U.S. pollution). The Chinese hybrid totalitarian/competitive market simply stole the tech. From 1978 to 2008 using graduated economic reform (L13) " the average person in China has seen a more than 20-fold increase in the standard of living… and ownership of consumer goods has skyrocketed." That trend continues, though abortion depopulation and aging challenges remain. THE US: L2 discusses the Paul Volker Fed's successful control of severe inflation - with lessons for today's agonizing prolongation of moderate inflation. L3 is predictive: 1.) The reason unemployment is low (and deficits are high) is not Federal success, but retiring Boomers: 2.) "The US has not invested heavily in physical capital, in part because it hasn’t been a high-saving economy"; 3.) "The U.S. workforce will have close to zero growth between 2010 and 2030" due to Boomer retirement AND a birth rate below population reproduction as schools steer women to full time work, identify sex as entertainment over reproduction, and de-emphasize male primary provider roles. The low birth rate also contributes to an artificial sense of wealth…as occurred after the Black Death (see Great Course: Late Middle Ages by Daileader, L8). LEGISLATING GROWTH: Low U.S. savings rates are explained in L14. Taylor shows why social spending artificially increases consumption: "People feel less need to save because…government support is available." The dangers of mandated "Populism" and import substitution economics were well illustrated in L21 regarding Latin America: OPEC money was routed by US banks to Latin American populist projects with a loss of 1/6 of the investment. OBSERVATIONS: Although this review cannot cover 36 lectures, it might provide caution for today's government/business interactions. L19 and L20 on African economic failure are sobering. L29 argues that ethanol biofuel from corn doesn't reduce oil use nor greenhouse gas. L25 on the danger of "herd effects" and abrupt changes in currency markets is excellent. CONS: L23/L24 on globalization and the 70-page Guidebook are far too brief.
Date published: 2023-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An informative and fascinating course The subject of global economics does not lend itself to the most accessible or far-reaching courses, but for those willing to explore this series offers a wide-spanning overview of economics, market forces, history, etc that I did not know much about and was delighted to learn. The lecturer was knowledgeable and entertaining in his own unique way, plus he reminds me of John Candy and that makes me happy.
Date published: 2023-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent, 5 Stars Professor Taylor himself is a neverending well of knowledge, and it's knowledge presented in a way that is clear-minded and fair. I feel like I could see his words sketching the picture of the economic issue in fine detail, and each lecture was studded with those professor jokes that are totally uncool but still make you smile.
Date published: 2022-02-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disagreed with many ideas I have studied this wonderful field and heard many perspectives, especially in world comparative economics. This professor doesn't know how to teach. He gives one perspective and doesn't even defend his ideas.
Date published: 2021-05-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The “New” is Now a Bit Old Perhaps a bit unfair for a course with a copyright date of 2008, but unfortunately it was released as a recession in America was underway. Perhaps with some prescience, Professor Taylor makes it clear in his last two lectures that his (or anyone’s) predictions as to the future will likely be fraught with error as time passes and history becomes the judge. Still the timing of the release of the course could really not have been worse. Even so, there is much to like and praise about this course. While not as much fun as his course on “Unexpected Economics”, nor as rigorous as his one on “Great Economists”, 36 lectures provides ample time to investigate everything from the economy of the Soviet Union to the global food supply chain. And the topic spread is an integral part of the course: the first part of the course is a review of various economies (mostly by country, but sometimes by region) and the latter portion is by economic topic (e.g. world poverty). For me, the more interesting part of the course was the section devoted to individual economies. In particular I really found the two lectures on Japan to be fascinating (the rise of Japan’s post-war economy and the belief that they had the answer to a sound economic policy, followed by the burst of the “bubble economy”). Another enlightening topic in this section were the lectures on the transition of India’s “license Raj” to a market driven economy. Perhaps I preferred the section on individual economies, is because by nature the historical approach was generally not predictive and therefore not so prone to later criticism. This is not to say that the second portion of the course did not have some gems. For example the lecture on population growth, beginning with Malthus really gave me some insights that I had not had. Professor Taylor, as always delivers his course in an enthusiastic fashion, always speaking in an easily understood manner, frequently leavened with often self-depreciating humor. Overall an interesting and insightful course, highly recommended.
Date published: 2020-04-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Outdated If I had realized that the course book was printed in 2008, just as the great financial crises was about to begin, I would not have ordered this course.. One wonders how the many general statements that refer to trends into the latter years of the first decade of the 2000's would have changed had this course been done 2, 3, 4, or 5 years later. The latest statistics mentioned in the course only go to the early 2000's, just about 15 years ago now. Having said that, the elements that deal with the historical development over the centuries and decades are well done. These do constitute the bulk of the course. What this course really needs is an update to cover the last 15 years or so.
Date published: 2018-08-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Very dated material! The presenter is very knowledgeable and entertaining but these lectures are very dated (2008-2009).
Date published: 2018-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from just a wonderful course I'm a doctor, but I'm interested in history and finance. This course has just answered all the questions I thought I had and many more that I hadn't even thought about. It's yet another great course. Many thanks indeed.
Date published: 2018-01-21
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Join expert economist and award-winning Professor Timothy Taylor as he takes you through the last 50 years of world economic history. In the 36 lectures of America and the New Global Economy, travel beyond the economy of the United States and explore the recent history of economies in countries and regions such as China, India, the Middle East, and Latin America. Study international perspectives on the new global economy, focus on important economic issues ranging from international labor flows to population growth, and develop a deeper understanding of our increasingly interconnected economic world&;amp;-and America's role within it.


Timothy Taylor

My wife says that I am an evangelist, with economics as my religion. I'm not sure this is altogether a good thing! But maybe it explains my enthusiasm for prepping and giving these lectures.


Macalester College

Professor Timothy Taylor is Managing Editor of the prominent Journal of Economic Perspectives, published by the American Economic Association. He earned his Master's degree in Economics from Stanford University.

Professor Taylor has won student-voted teaching awards for his Introductory Economics classes at Stanford University. At the University of Minnesota, he was named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Department of Economics and voted Teacher of the Year by the Master's degree students at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

In 2007, Professor Taylor published the first Principles of Economics textbook, available as a free download from Freeload Press. He has also edited a wide range of books and reports and published articles on globalization, the new economy, and outsourcing. From 1989 to 1997, Professor Taylor wrote an economics opinion column for the San Jose Mercury-News.

By This Professor

Unexpected Economics
The World Economy since 1950

01: The World Economy since 1950

Explore the roots of globalization in the 1950s and the birth of modern globalization owing to three key factors: the development of new institutions, increased national commitments to globalization, and revolutions in transportation and communication technologies.

32 min
The U.S. in the World Economy-1960 to 1995

02: The U.S. in the World Economy-1960 to 1995

Revisit the golden years of U.S. economic growth in the 1960s, the dismal series of recessions that wracked the 1970s, and the budget deficits and fears of economic globalization that intensified in the 1980s.

32 min
The U.S. Economy Resurgent?

03: The U.S. Economy Resurgent?

Around 1995, the U.S. economy witnessed a surge in productivity growth because of booms in the information technology industry. Take a macroeconomic look at the American economy in the second half of the 1990s and look ahead to see where our economy might be in the next few decades.

30 min
Europe-From Catch-Up to Jobless Growth

04: Europe-From Catch-Up to Jobless Growth

Follow the remarkable story of how European economies, fractured by the devastation of World War II, rebuilt in a few decades through two forms of growth: catch-up growth in the 1950s and 1960s, and jobless growth through investment from the early 1970s to the mid-1990s.

30 min
The Single European Market

05: The Single European Market

Examine how modern Europe and the European Union have dealt with high productivity and unemployment rates, and trace economic integration through the "single market project" over the last two decades.

30 min
The Rise of the Euro

06: The Rise of the Euro

Perhaps the biggest symbol of an economically unified Europe is the euro. Professor Taylor explains the economic theory of the euro, reviews the euro's origins, and explores the possibility of the euro replacing the U.S. dollar as the main currency for international transactions and finance.

30 min
The Economy of the Soviet Union

07: The Economy of the Soviet Union

Focus on the Soviet economic model from the 1930s until its dissolution in the early 1990s. Analyze how Soviet economic planning works, what made it seem to be an attractive economic model, and why it failed.

29 min
Transitions from Communism to Markets

08: Transitions from Communism to Markets

In 1991, with the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union began moving from central economic planning toward a more market-oriented economy. Track the forces that made this transition so difficult and the possible trajectory for Russia's transition economy.

31 min
Japan's Economic Miracle

09: Japan's Economic Miracle

Investigate Japan's startling economic growth from the 1960s to the 1980s-not necessarily by a new economic model but by more important factors like education, investment, technology, and tough competitors in world markets.

31 min
When Japan's Bubble Economy Burst

10: When Japan's Bubble Economy Burst

After the boom of the 1980s, Japan's economic bubble burst, resulting in a stagnant economic performance that continues to this day. See the reasons for this stagnation and explore the various policies that could help Japan's economy move forward.

32 min
Government versus Market in East Asia

11: Government versus Market in East Asia

Focus on the near-miraculous economic performances between the 1970s and the 1990s of the newly industrializing economies of the East Asian "tigers": Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

32 min
East Asia's Tigers-Restore the Roar?

12: East Asia's Tigers-Restore the Roar?

What led to the economic crisis that shocked the "tigers" in 1997-1998? Follow the sequence of this economic implosion, look at how a repeat crash can be prevented, and ponder whether the East Asian economic model has reached its limits.

32 min
China's Gradualist Economic Reforms

13: China's Gradualist Economic Reforms

In 1978, after a period of social chaos and economic stagnation, China began a series of market-oriented economic reforms that may have started China on a path to becoming the world's largest economy.

31 min
China's Challenges for Continued Growth

14: China's Challenges for Continued Growth

Can China's growth continue? Explore the effects of China's high rates of investment and national savings, the ways China can rebalance its growth, and how long it will be before China becomes the largest economy.

32 min
India and the License Raj

15: India and the License Raj

Chart the history of India's economy through its rather lackluster growth from independence in 1947 through the 1980s and its current status as an increasingly major player in the global economy

31 min
India's Turn toward Market Economics

16: India's Turn toward Market Economics

India's economic reforms in 1991 opened the country up to international trade, limited public-sector monopolies, and allowed for more foreign investment. In addition to exploring India's agenda for continued reform, ponder whether India's economic inequality will allow for balanced growth.

32 min
Inherited Institutions in the Middle East

17: Inherited Institutions in the Middle East

Almost 900 years ago, the Middle East was one of the highest-income areas of the world, yet it has a per-capita GDP of about one-sixth that of the United States. Discover how economic policies related to traditional Islamic law possibly contributed to the loss of the region's economic lead.

33 min
The Curse of Oil Wealth in the Middle East

18: The Curse of Oil Wealth in the Middle East

The Middle East is the world's largest exporter of crude oil, but its economies and standards of living have not surged since the 1970s. Investigate some of the economic theories behind why oil resources have done less than expected to increase the region's prosperity.

29 min
Africa's Geography and History

19: Africa's Geography and History

Sub-Saharan Africa has been the slowest-growing and lowest-income part of the global economy since the Industrial Revolution, with a per-capita GDP one-twentieth that of high-income countries. Look at how the region's geography and climate affect its economic development.

30 min
Time for Optimism on Africa?

20: Time for Optimism on Africa?

Explore Africa's economic situation and learn how Africa can overcome challenges like underdeveloped energy resources, a lack of transportation routes, and the need for tax and agricultural reform.

33 min
Latin America and Import Substitution

21: Latin America and Import Substitution

The economic potential of Latin America is quite substantial and deserves to attract American business and government attention. Focus on its import substitution industrialization policies from the 1950s to the 1970s, as well as the problems that arose with foreign debt and hyperinflation in the 1980s.

31 min
Markets or Populism in Latin America?

22: Markets or Populism in Latin America?

Explore a few key elements of the market-oriented reforms of the 1990s. Then, follow three perspectives on these reforms: the cases for additional reform effort, for slowing or reversing the reforms, and for the earlier reforms' irrelevance.

32 min
Globalization in Goods and Services

23: Globalization in Goods and Services

Explore the major themes in the globalization of goods and services, including how far globalization has progressed, how increased trade helps bring about prosperity, and the prospects for rising levels of trade in goods and services.

32 min
Globalization of Capital Flows

24: Globalization of Capital Flows

The globalization of finance can offer great benefits to the world economy. Demystify the mysterious subject of international capital flows by looking closely at the dangers and benefits of globalized financial markets.

32 min
The Foreign Exchange Market

25: The Foreign Exchange Market

Investigate the costs and benefits behind three broad sets of policies-floating exchange rates, fixed exchange rates, and soft-peg exchange rates-designed to counteract market volatility.

30 min
Migration-Senders and Recipients

26: Migration-Senders and Recipients

Explore the effects of international migration on the economic gains and losses of the immigrants, the countries receiving the immigrants, and the countries sending the immigrants. Also, consider the economic ramifications of various immigration policies like border fences and temporary worker programs.

31 min
Global Population Growth

27: Global Population Growth

Fears of overpopulation have been with us since the 18th-century arguments of economist Thomas Malthus. Look closely at current and future patterns in world population growth, along with their consequences on social habits, food shortages, resource exhaustion, and pollution.

31 min
World Poverty-Growth or Redistribution?

28: World Poverty-Growth or Redistribution?

By 2004, about one-fifth of the world population was considered poor. Analyze how global poverty levels are calculated and how poverty can be combated at macroeconomic and microeconomic levels.

31 min
Global Food Markets-The Supply-Demand Race

29: Global Food Markets-The Supply-Demand Race

Learn the role that factors such as rising prices and soaring demand play in perpetuating world hunger, as well as the possible policy responses from both low-income and high-income countries.

30 min
An Urbanizing World

30: An Urbanizing World

Explore the connection between economic growth and urbanization, patterns of urbanization in the world's megacities, the gains and costs of agglomeration (economic activity concentrated in a certain location), and urban issues facing new megacities in low-income countries.

31 min
Women in the Global Economy

31: Women in the Global Economy

Equality for women in health, education, the workplace, and politics leads to faster economic growth. Examine the recent statistics about women's roles in the global economy, focusing on low-income countries-where discrimination tends to be greatest.

30 min
Improving Governance, Fighting Corruption

32: Improving Governance, Fighting Corruption

Governments may make up to $1 trillion every year from corrupt business practices like embezzlement and unfair dealing. But do better governance and lower corruption help economic growth?

31 min
Foreign Aid-Promises and Limits

33: Foreign Aid-Promises and Limits

Reconcile aid's successes and failures, explore new avenues for maximizing its effectiveness, and consider whether, in the long run, fostering economic growth would better raise the standard of living.

31 min
The Multilaterals-World Bank, IMF, WTO

34: The Multilaterals-World Bank, IMF, WTO

Focus on these international economic agencies and the effects of globalization on their missions: the World Bank (which provides loans to countries needing capital), the International Monetary Fund (which intervenes during international financial crises), and the World Trade Organization (which reduces barriers to trade).

31 min
The Economics of Global Climate Change

35: The Economics of Global Climate Change

Follow the scientific argument for climate change, the problems of valuing the costs and benefits of addressing the issue, and the potential shape of effective climate change policy.

32 min
Globalization and Convergence

36: Globalization and Convergence

Conclude with a look at America's role as the central hub of globalization, the possibility of continued globalization leading to polarization or convergence, and the potential future of our global economy.

33 min