In this activity, students first watch a video to learn about the structure and roles of the Federal Reserve. They then read a blog post that imparts valuable historical context by tracing how the makeup of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors has shifted from members with banking, finance, and government experience to primarily academic economists. Working in small groups, students then participate in a card-sorting activity. Their task is to evaluate 22 fictional candidates and select seven to recommend to the president of the United States to fill vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The candidates’ biographies include information about their current position, background, experience, and which Federal Reserve District they live in. As directed by Congress, the seven chosen must fairly represent the “financial, agricultural, industrial, and commercial interests, and geographical divisions of the country.” Students will be challenged to negotiate with their group members while winnowing the possibilities to pick a team to (i) make good monetary policy and (ii) satisfy the requirements of the Federal Reserve Act.
This lesson received the 2017 Curriculum Gold Award from the National Association of Economic Educators.
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