The Idaho Economic Summit

By Yopp, Martha C.; Hoff, Jody | Journal of Private Enterprise, Fall 2000 | Go to article overview

The Idaho Economic Summit


Yopp, Martha C., Hoff, Jody, Journal of Private Enterprise


Background

The Idaho Economic Summit evolved from a program which originated at Borah High School in Boise, Idaho in the early 1990's. It proved to be very popular with students and faculty and grew to include students in other Boise schools. On April 25, 2000, Kali Kurdy, the teacher who developed the Economic Summit project, was named the First Grand Winner of the NASDAQ National Teaching Awards, and received a $25,000 cash award. Kali Kurdy, one of five previously announced Regional Winners, was chosen number one by a distinguished panel of judges.

Planning & preparation

Preparation of teams to participate in the Economic Summit is an eight to ten week activity. Participating students may be enrolled in an economics class, a business or marketing class, or they may be members of a student organization. Teams are made up of three to five students. Each team is assigned a country for which they become the economic advisors. As economic advisors, each team must assess the social, political, and economic conditions within the country and determine a course of action which will increase the standard of living of the population. They become an expert on that country, its people, its economic and political system, the standard-of-living, and economic base. They become familiar with what resources the country has and what products it produces and what products and services it imports and exports. Students also explore basic economic concepts related to international trade.

Economic summit planning grid

The Economic Summit Project includes 12 lessons. They are:

1. Introduction to the Summit Project.

2. Research country in relation to living standards and the country's classification as a 1st world, 2nd world, or 3rd world country.

3. Explore the relationship between factors of production, choice, and living standards.

4. Explore the concepts of comparative advantage and the benefits of specialization.

5. Barriers to Trade

6. Developing a Strategic Plan

7. Currency and Exchange Rates

8. Develop a Trade Issue suitable for discussion.

9. Explore the Balance of Payments issue.

10. Review Summit activities & Goals.

11. The Economic Summit Event

12. Summit Debrief- How did it go? What did they learn? What might they do differently?

Country classification

The 1st World Country category represents those countries that have the highest standards of living. First World Countries have the largest number of export coupons, cash endowments, and foreign aid obligations. The United States is represented at the Summit but not by a student team. The United States is a vital trading partner for virtually all the countries and the Economic Advisors are a team of adults. Their goal is to help facilitate trade and the awarding of foreign aid to all of the other countries.

The 2nd World Country category is made up of countries that have a fairly decent standard of living but are not as well developed as the 1st world countries. The 3rd World Country category is made up of poor countries with low standards of living.

The 3rd world countries have the fewest exports and the least amount of cash of the three but they do receive foreign aid coupons they can exchange for additional cash.

Export/import categories

Team members for each country are assigned export coupons based on actual export data. The type and quantity of exports assigned is based on 14 export/import categories. The quantity of exports range from a minimum of 15 coupons for a 3rd World County up to 60 coupons for a 1st World Country. Each team selects the number and type of imports they need to improve the living standards within their country. Their pre-summit research helps them make these decisions. Each team attempts to import coupons to meet their goals. To do this they must exchange export coupons with other countries. …

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