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Economic Education

High School Economics

Red Envelope  E-mail Alert for High School Lesson Plans, Activities and Resources


  • "Dewey Defeats Truman": Be Aware of Data Revisions (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    The famous "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline illustrates the importance of timely and accurate data. Agencies that compute economic indicators for the $14 trillion U.S. economy face a tough challenge: providing up-to-the minute results and ensuring the reliability of the data. This issue explains why there is often a trade-off between these two factors and discusses the importance of data revision.

  • Barbie® in the Labor Force

    Barbie in the Labor Force iconlesson (.pdf)
    whiteboard (SMART/.notebook)
    whiteboard (ActivInspire/.flipchart)
    PowerPoint

    Since 1920, women have more than doubled their share of the labor force. More women are working, but has the type of work they do advanced similarly? What were the top occupations for women 20, 60, and 100 years ago, and how do those occupations compare with women's choices today? In this lesson, students use primary documents to review historical trends in women's share of the labor force and chosen occupations. Using Barbie careers as a timeline, they speculate as to why Barbie represented certain careers for girls at different points in time since 1959. They choose which career Barbie might represent next year and explain that choice in a one-page essay. This lesson includes primary source documents obtained from FRASER®.

    "Barbie®" photographs © Mattel, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved. All "Barbie®" images appear courtesy of Mattel, Inc.

  • Cards, Cars, and Currency Curriculum Unit

    Cards, Cars and Currency:  Managing Credit Cards, Debit Cards and Buying a CarCurriculum Unit

    Cards, Cars and Currency is a curriculum unit that challenges students to become involved in three specific areas of personal finance: credit cards, debit cards and purchasing a car.

  • Choices Are Everywhere: Why Can't We Just Have It All? (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    As the Rolling Stones song says, "You can't always get what you want." So we make choices. Every day, governments and individuals choose how much money to spend and what to purchase. The January 2013 issue discusses opportunity costs and scarcity and how they effect our spending decisions. Graphs compliments of FRED®.

  • Comparative Advantage

    Comparative Advantage Superherowhiteboard (SMART/.notebook)

    This series of slides presents the production possibilities frontiers for Alphatown and Omegaville and illustrates their comparative advantage in the production of apples and potatoes, leading to specialization and trade.

  • Constitutionality of a Central Bank

    Lesson iconlesson (.pdf)

    Students learn about McCulloch v. Maryland, a case decided in 1819 over (1) whether the state of Maryland had the right to tax the Second Bank of the United States and (2) whether Congress had violated the Constitution in establishing the Bank. Students also review the expressed powers of Congress identified in the Constitution and analyze how Congress implements the necessary and proper (elastic) clause to enact its expressed powers. Finally, students use their knowledge of McCulloch v. Maryland and the necessary and proper clause to consider the constitutionality of the Federal Reserve System.

  • Crossing Borders: The Globalization Debate

    Lesson iconlesson (.pdf)

    Students will consider both sides of the globalization debate—the benefits and the costs—by reading and discussing the article "Crossing Borders: The Globalization Debate" from the Spring 2008 issue of Inside the Vault.

  • Crowding Out

    Lesson iconlesson (.pdf)
    whiteboard (SMART/.notebook)

    Students learn that the loanable funds market is a virtual clearing house matching borrowers and savers. They participate in an activity to demonstrate crowding out in the loanable funds market. They use demand and supply analysis to graphically represent the results of crowding out.

  • Currency and the Fed

    Moneylesson (.pdf)

    Students consider who is pictured on the different denominations of U.S. currency and why. They participate in an activity to identify functions of basic, everyday items and then identify and explain the functions of another basic, everyday item - money. Students learn some basic facts about money as well as some basics about the Federal Reserve System. In addition, they describe the Federal Reserve's role in the distribution of money by identifying features of the $5 note.

  • Deflation: Who Let the Air Out? (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Inflation, deflation, disinflation. They affect the prices of everything we buy. To find out how and what's happening in today's economy, see the February 2011 issue.

  • Diversification and Risk

    Easter Basketlesson (.pdf)
    whiteboard (SMART/.notebook)
    PowerPoint

    Students are given a portfolio of investments, and they assess the relative risk associated with the products in their portfolios. They later determine which savings and investment instruments might be most suitable for clients of different ages and economic status.

  • Economic Lowdown Podcast Series

    Econ Lowdown logo

    Episode 1 - Opportunity Cost Episode 8 - Market Equilibrium
    Episode 2 - Factors of Production Episode 9 - Functions of Money
    Episode 3 - Self-Interest Episode 10 - Labor Market
    Episode 4 - Inflation Episode 11 - Externalities
    Episode 5 - Unemployment Episode 12 - Price Signals
    Episode 6 - Demand Episode 13 - Gross Domestic Product
    Episode 7 - Supply

    The Economic Lowdown is a podcast series produced by the Economic Education department of the St. Louis Fed for high school students. The series covers topics in economics, banking and monetary policy. The brief videos use clear, simple language and graphic elements so that students can better visualize the economic concepts being presented. In the end, they will see how economic principles affect the choices they make in their everyday lives.

  • Eminent Domain

    Lesson iconlesson (.pdf)

    Students will examine three Supreme Court rulings and analyze possible positive and negative impacts of the Court's decision on eminent domain. From the Inside the Vault article, "Eminent Domain: Should Private Property Be Taken for Public Use?"

  • Financial Crises, Reform, and Central Banking: Establishing the Federal Reserve (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Financial crises and recessions have often led to significant financial reform. Perhaps the most noteworthy financial reform of the past century was the formation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. The January 2011 issue provides historical details of events leading up to the founding of the Federal Reserve.

  • Financial Regulation: A Primer on the Dodd-Frank Act (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Dodd-Frank ActClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Last July, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 brought the most sweeping financial regulatory reform since the Great Depression. The May 2011 issue outlines key provisions of the Act intended to prevent or lessen future financial crises and enhance consumer protection.

  • Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Times of Crisis (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    To find out more about fiscal and monetary policy—who conducts them, how they work, and their roles during economic downturns—read the March 2011 issue.

  • Fractile vs. Equal

    GEO FREDlesson (.pdf)

    Students work with data that represent the ages of 24 people to learn the difference between categorizing data in fractile intervals and equal intervals. Students discuss dividing bonus points among class members to understand what per capita means. Then students look at per capita personal income by state using the GeoFRED mapping tool. They compare per capita personal income displayed with data in equal intervals and with data in fractile intervals.

  • FRED in the Classroom: Debt and Deficit

    FRED Bar Graphlesson (pdf)

    A lesson on the U.S. deficit, debt and debt to GDP ratio to be used in conjunction with FRED® (Federal Reserve Economic Data), a database of 45,000 U.S. economic time series.

  • FRED in the Classroom: Employment and the Labor Force

    FRED Bar Graphlesson (pdf)

    A lesson on Employment and the Labor Force to be used in conjunction with FRED® (Federal Reserve Economic Data), a database of 45,000 U.S. economic time series.

  • FRED in the Classroom: Measures of Inflation

    FRED Bar Graphlesson (pdf)

    A lesson on measures of inflation to be used in conjunction with FRED® (Federal Reserve Economic Data), a database of 45,000 U.S. economic time series.

  • GDP: Does It Measure Up? (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    How is the total value of all the goods and services produced in a country's economy measured? Gross domestic product (GDP) is one common and fairly comprehensive measure. The May 2013 issue explains GDP components and how it is calculated. It also describes what GDP does—and does not—measure. Graphs compliments of FRED®.

  • Gini in a Bottle: Some Facts on Income Inequality (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Scales, MoneyClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Income inequality has been rising in the United States and other developed countries. The March 2012 issue discusses income inequality, its causes, and some possible policy solutions.

  • Government Spending and Taxes

    Government Spending and Taxes Iconlesson (.pdf)
    whiteboard (SMART/.notebook)
    whiteboard ActivInspire/.flipchart)
    PowerPoint

    Students engage in an activity that matches programs for low-income people with the type of economic inequity the program addresses and observe an activity simulating tax payments and transfers.

  • Great Depression Crossword

    Crosswordplay online
    print the puzzle (pdf)
    printable teacher's guide (pdf)

    Learn about the Great Depression using a crossword puzzle and word search. You can play online or print the activities. Also included are printable teacher's guides.

  • The Great Depression Curriculum Unit

     Curriculum Unit

    History holds many economic lessons. The Great Depression, in particular, is an event that provides the opportunity to teach and learn a great deal about economics—whether you're studying the economic reasons that the Depression took place, the factors that helped it come to an end or the impact on Americans who lived through it. This curriculum is designed to provide teachers with economic lessons that they can share with their students to help them understand this significant experience in U.S. history.

  • Great Depression Online Course

    Great Depression Icon: Man Holding SignInstructor Management Panel

    History holds many economic lessons. The Great Depression, in particular, is an event that provides the opportunity to teach and learn a great deal about economics—whether you're studying the economic reasons that the Depression took place, the factors that helped it come to an end or the impact on Americans who lived through it. This curriculum is designed to provide teachers with economic lessons that they can share with their students to help them understand this significant experience in U.S. history.

  • Great Depression Word Search

    Crosswordplay online
    print the puzzle (pdf)
    printable teacher's guide (pdf)

    Learn about the Great Depression using a crossword puzzle and word search. You can play online or print the activities. Also included are printable teacher's guides.

  • Higher Gasoline Prices: Temporary or Time to Buy a Hybrid? (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Drivers may wonder whether the most recent spike in gasoline prices is temporary or will be longer lasting. Will prices eventually decline—maybe even to below $3 per gallon? Or is it time for drivers to alter their driving habits, maybe by buying a hybrid car? Be sure to read the September 2012 issue for a discussion of factors that might influence that decision.

  • Income Inequality: It's Not So Bad

    Tax Formlesson (.pdf)

    The lead article in the Spring 2010 issue of Inside the Vault discusses redistributing wealth through taxation. In this lesson, students will examine the ability-to-pay principle of taxation. Students will compare a progressive tax system and a flat tax system by analyzing the same household scenarios using one system and then the other.

  • Investing in Yourself: An Economic Approach to Education Decisions (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    "Human capital" may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think about investments, but investing in education and training is an important economic decision. Learn about human capital and the return on such an investment in the February 2013 issue. Graphs compliments of FRED®.

  • Is a College Cap and Gown a Financial Ball and Chain? (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Cap and Gown, Ball and ChainClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    The cost of a college education continues to rise.The Project on Student Debt estimates that a typical 2009 college graduate accumulated $24,000 in student loan debt. Is a college degree worth the cost? Read the August 2011 issue for the latest data on college versus high school graduates' earnings and employment prospects.

  • It's Your Paycheck Curriculum Unit

    It's Your Paycheck!:  Earning and Managing Your MoneyCurriculum Unit

    It's Your Paycheck! is designed for use in high school personal finance classes. The curriculum contains three sections—"Know Your Dough," "KaChing!" and "All About Credit." The lessons in each of these sections employ various teaching strategies to engage students so that they have opportunities to apply the concepts being taught. Each lesson includes black-line masters of the handouts and visuals needed to teach the lesson.

  • Making Sense of the Ups and Downs of Prices (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Have you ever heard someone say "Back in my day, a gallon of gas cost a quarter!" Comparing today's prices with prices "back in the day" can be misleading. Both inflation and deflation between then and now have to be taken into account. Read the August 2013 issue to learn more about the effects of inflation on prices. Graphs compliments of FRED®.

  • Market Basket

    CPI Word Cloudlesson to accompany SMART/ActivInspire (.pdf)
    whiteboard (SMART/.notebook)
    whiteboard (ActivInspire/.flipchart)
    lesson to accompany PowerPoint (.pdf)
    PowerPoint (.pptx)

    Students will compare the price of goods from one time period to another and through discussion and role play interpret the effects of inflation on consumers. They will categorize goods and services according to the eight major groups of the consumer price index and be able to determine the difference between the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the core CPI.

  • Money and Inflation: A Functional Relationship (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    They say that "money makes the world go round." Just imagine a world without money as our method of payment for everyday transactions. Without money, we would all need to barter for necessary goods and services. For example, suppose an accountant needs to have her car fixed. Under a barter system, she would have to find someone who needed some tax advice in exchange for car repairs. The search to find a barter partner is time consuming and wasteful. Money solves this problem and many others. Read more about the three main functions of money and the damaging effects of too much inflation on these functions. Graphs compliments of FRED®.

  • Monopolistic Competition

    Monopolistic Competitionwhiteboard (SMART/.notebook)
    PowerPoint

    Teaching market structures in a microeconomics class? These slides present graphs related to monopolistic competition, the market structure in which there are many firms that produce similar, but not identical, products and there are few barriers to entry. The slides illustrate firms’ short-run decisions.

  • Monopoly

    Monopolywhiteboard (SMART/.notebook)
    PowerPoint
    pdf

    Teaching market structures in a microeconomics class? These slides present graphs related to monopoly, the market structure in which there is only one producer of a good or service and there are high barriers to entry. The slides illustrate firms’ short-run decisions.

  • Natural Disasters: From Destruction to Recovery (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    TornadoClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Natural disasters often cause extensive loss and damage, yet post-disaster reconstruction may create opportunities that bring long-term economic benefits. Read the October 2011 issue for details.

  • Oil Prices: Demand and Supply

    Oil Welllesson (.pdf)

    Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to list the determinants of demand and supply, recognize which factors will cause demand curves or supply curves to shift, determine equilibrium using a demand/supply graph, and show the effects on price and quantity when equilibrium changes. From the Inside the Vault article, "What Is Driving Oil Prices?"

  • Perfect Competition

    Perfect Competitionwhiteboard (SMART/.notebook)
    PowerPoint

    Teaching market structures in a microeconomics class? These slides present graphs related to perfect competition, the market structure in which there are many buyers and sellers of an identical product and there are no barriers to enter or exit the market. The slides illustrate firms’ short-run decisions.

  • Prices: The Marketplace's Communication System (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Remember when airlines started charging for checked bags? What happened to the number of checked bags after this added charge? And what happened to the availability of in-cabin storage space on planes? This issue answers these questions and discusses the pivotal role price plays in a market economy.

  • Production Possibilities

    Circuit Boardlesson (.pdf)
    whiteboard (SMART/.notebook)
    lesson (.pdf)
    PowerPoint

    Students develop the production possibilities frontier model while discussing the value of models in general in explaining complex ideas. They see what movement along the production possibilities curve entails—on both the constant-cost curve and a bowed curve indicating increasing costs. They discuss ways a society can consume beyond the limits of its production possibilities through specialization and trade, as well as through an increase in resources, capital investment, and technological advance.

  • Quantitative Easing Explained (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Quantitative Easing IconClassroom Edition (pdf)

    "Quantitative easing" has been in the headlines a lot from 2009 to 2011. First there was QE and then QE2. What exactly is quantitative easing, who does it, and how does it affect the economy? This issue has the answers.

  • Shifting Curves: Demand and Supply Shifts in the Gasoline Market

    Lesson iconlesson (.pdf)

    Students create a graph of gasoline supply and demand and identify the market-clearing price, then graph a decrease in demand for gasoline and a decrease in supply of gasoline to understand how those factors affect prices. From the Inside the Vault article, "Why Do Gasoline Prices React to Things That Have Not Happened?"

  • Supply and Demand

    Eating Candy Barwhiteboard (SMART/.notebook)

    This series of slides aids students in reviewing the determinants of supply and demand, provides an exercise for them to choose which of the curves shift and why, and allows them to determine which curve will shift given a market event.

  • Tax Incidence

    Tax Incidence whiteboard (SMART/.notebook)

    Use these slides to demonstrate the shifting tax burden and changes in tax revenue and deadweight loss when taxes are applied. Students have the opportunity to identify tax burden, revenue, and deadweight loss when elasticity of supply and demand change.

  • The Economics of Immigration: A Story of Substitutes and Complements (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    America is a nation of immigrants, who currently make up about 13 percent of the overall population. The May 2014 issue shows how immigration affects the average American. The essay weighs the costs and benefits of immigration and discusses the concept of immigrant workers as substitutes for and complements to native-born workers.

  • The Fed's Toolbox

    The Fed's Toolboxlesson (.pdf)
    PowerPoint

    In this lesson, students learn that the Federal Reserve System uses its monetary policy tools to influence the level of reserves in the banking system. Students participate in a simulation to demonstrate how the Fed uses open market operations to achieve its dual mandate of price stability and maximum employment. Students also learn about other monetary tools: the discount rate, reserve requirements, and interest on reserves—a recent monetary policy tool. Finally, students apply their knowledge of monetary policy to suggest possible Federal Reserve policy responses to proposed economic conditions.

  • The Free Silver Movement and Inflation

    Vintage Cartoon lesson (.pdf)

    Students learn that money is a medium of exchange that facilitates economic activity. Next, students learn the relationship between the money supply and inflation by participating in an inflation auction using gold and silver notes to better understand the historic debate of the Free Silver Movement. Students then read William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech to relate the historical context. The students use historical data to calculate income, fixed expenses, and variable expenses of a farmer to further understand the historical argument presented by the Free Silver Movement. Finally, students analyze two political cartoons against the Free Silver Movement. This lesson includes primary source documents obtained from FRASER®.

  • The Global Economy: It's a Small World After All (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    To understand why people trade, suppose you were limited to consuming only items you could find within walking distance of your house. Or, perhaps even worse, only items you could produce yourself. For most of us, this restriction would severely diminish the variety of goods and services we enjoy on a daily basis. Therefore, the simplest answer to the question is that people (or entire countries) trade because they will enjoy a wider variety of goods. Graphs compliments of FRED®.

  • The Great Depression

    History holds many economic lessons. The Great Depression, in particular, is an event that provides the opportunity to teach and learn a great deal about economics—whether you're studying the economic reasons that the Depression took place, the factors that helped it come to an end or the impact on Americans who lived through it. Learn more about our teaching materials and other resources focused on The Great Depression.

  • The Great Inflation: A Historical Overview and Lessons Learned (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    All inflation isn't bad—a moderate amount can signal a healthy economy. But high inflation, such as that during the Great Inflation, can lead to a vicious cycle where expectations of higher inflation lead to further increases in the price level. Read the October 2012 issue to find out what caused the Great Inflation, how tough (and painful) policy brought it to an end, and two key lessons learned.

  • The Illustrated Consumer and Producer Surplus

    Man Writing on Glasswhiteboard (SMART/.notebook)

    This series of slides aids students in defining and calculating consumer surplus, producer surplus, and total economic surplus.

  • The Legacy of the Olympics: Economic Burden or Boom? (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Competition, sportsmanship, and national pride are the foundations of the Olympics, but how much do the Olympics cost the host city and country? What are some of the economic benefits and deficits? Is the investment in the Olympics worth it in the end? Read about previous host experiences with the economic side of the Olympics in the August 2012 issue.

  • The Output Gap: A "Potentially" Unreliable Measure of Economic Health? (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    The output gap is one (of many) economic indicators used by economists to measure the strength of the economy. What exactly is the output gap, and how accurately does it predict the state of the economy? Read the November 2012 issue for an explanation of the output gap and answers to these questions. Graphs compliments of FRED®.

  • The Rising Cost of College: Tuition, Financial Aid, and Price Discrimination (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    The cost of a college education seems to be skyrocketing—but is it really? Learn about the concept of price discrimination and how it affects college costs.

  • Then and Now: Fed Policy Actions During the Great Depression and Great Recession (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Although the recent Great Recession was severe, its financial impact never paralleled that of the Great Depression. The November 2011 issue compares these two economic downturns and shows how lessons learned in the Great Depression helped current Federal Reserve policymakers stabilize the economy during the recent economic crisis.

  • Time Inconsistency: Today's Actions, Tomorrow's Regrets (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Have you ever bought something you really couldn't afford? You simply swipe your credit card and leave the store with something shiny and new. That instant gratification overpowers any thought of the regret you'll have when you must start paying off your accumulated debt. Economists call this phenomenon time inconsistency. Read the September 2011 issue for some ideas on how to prevent time inconsistency for yourself and your government. Graphs compliments of FRED®.

  • Tools for Teaching the Arkansas Economics and Personal Finance Course

    Tools for Teaching the Arkansas Economics and Personal Finance Course

    The Tools for Teaching the Arkansas Economics and Personal Finance Course includes lessons, links to resources, and lecture PowerPoint Presentations aligned to the National Economics Standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Arkansas Social Studies Frameworks.
    view more about the course »

  • Tools for Teaching the Missouri Personal Finance Competencies

    Tools for Teaching the Missouri Personal Finance Competencies

    The Tools for Teaching the Missouri Personal Finance Competencies course includes lessons, links to resources, and is aligned with the National Financial Literacy Standards and the Common Core Standards.
    view more about the course »

  • Traditional Versus Shadow Banking (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Shadow Banking ImageClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Modern economies rely heavily on financial intermediaries to channel funds between borrowers and lenders. In this issue, the role of traditional banking is outlined and a parallel system—shadow banking—is explored.

  • Unintended Consequences

    Unintended Consequences Iconlesson (.pdf)
    whiteboard (SMART/.notebook)
    whiteboard ActivInspire/.flipchart)
    PowerPoint

    Students will determine the costs, benefits, and unintended consequences of policies, beginning with analysis of a policy that would allow them to take two years off of school between grades 10 and 11. They will then analyze the costs, benefits, and unintended consequences of various government policies.

  • Wait, Is Saving Good or Bad? The Paradox of Thrift (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Jar of MoneyClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    The average saving rate for the typical American household before the recession started in 2007 was 2.9 percent; since then it has risen to 5 percent. Uncertainty about the future was the primary driver for the increase. More saving is a good thing, right? Well, some economists argue it might be detrimental to the overall economy. Given the benefits to individuals, how could this be? This month's issue explores this "paradox of thrift."

  • What Are the "Ingredients" for Economic Growth? (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    Is there a recipe for economic growth? Perhaps some Miracle-Gro for the economy? If only it were that easy. While the exact recipe is a mystery, economists have identified some of the key ingredients. The September 2013 issue discusses the role that economic institutions play in fostering long-term economic growth. Graphs compliments of FRED®.

  • What Do Financial Market Indicators Tell Us? (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics: Market Indicators IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    To those unfamiliar with financial and economic lingo, the terms bandied about in the news can sometimes make no sense. The January 2012 issue offers some help with explanations of common terms. The essay is accompanied by a table of terms, definitions, and the significance of each to the broader economy. Graphs compliments of FRED®.

  • What is Unemployment, How is it Measured, and Why Does the Fed Care?

    Beige Booklesson (.pdf)

    In this lesson, students read and interpret choropleth maps, which contain unemployment data. They compare verbal descriptions of the labor market from the Federal Reserve's Beige Book with the mapped data. In addition, students compare unemployment data for different years. Students access or observe how to access this data online.

  • Which Came First—Democracy or Growth?

    Lesson iconlesson (.pdf)

    Students will compute real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and GDP per capita for three fictional countries. The Index of Economic Freedom will be used to compare and contrast the relationship between the degree of a country's economic freedom and the total output of that country and its standard of living. From the Inside the Vault article, "Which Came First—Democracy or Growth?"

  • Why Scarce Resources Are Sometimes Unemployed (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    The unemployment rate always seems to be in the news, but did you know there are different kinds of unemployment? There is the natural rate of unemployment; cyclical, frictional, and structural unemployment; plus underemployment. Read the October 2013 issue to learn the differences. Graphs compliments of FRED®.

  • Would Increasing the Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty? (Page One Economics Classroom Edition)

    Page One Economics IconClassroom Edition (.pdf)

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office tackles that question in a new report and highlights the trade-off presented by increasing the minimum wage. The March 2014 issue explains the debate and discusses whether other approaches may be more effective in helping alleviate poverty.