Economic Systems


  • Arduous March | Wide Angle

    Communist North Korea employs a food rationing system, a foundation of its planned economy that imposes great hardship on its people. The system caused widespread famine from the mid- to late 1990s, a period commonly known as the Arduous March. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "A State of Mind," learn about the factors that led to the Arduous March and one family’s struggle to survive during this dark period in North Korean history.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Charlene Barshefsky Interview | Wide Angle

    China’s membership in the World Trade Organization received strong disapproval from those critical of its poor human rights record. However, China was still able to garner support, most notably from the United States. Charlene Barshefsky, U.S. Trade Representative in the Clinton administration, was the chief negotiator propelling China’s entry into the WTO. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "To Have and Have Not," Barshefsky discusses how the people of China may benefit from its inclusion in the WTO.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Coffee Crisis | Wide Angle

    This video segment from Wide Angle: "The Market Maker" follows the Ethiopian government's effort to mitigate the impact of the 2008 global economic collapse by calling upon Eleni Gabre-Madhins' fledgling Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) to start trading coffee-the nation's primary cash crop-before it is logistically prepared to do so.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Declining Profits | Wide Angle

    In 2002, the Indian government approved the sale of Bt cotton seeds, seeds that are genetically modified to resist pest infestation. In the region of Vidarbha, many farmers have abandoned using their own farm-grown seeds and have become accustomed to buying Bt cotton seeds. Unable to afford the expensive seeds, cotton farmers often take out loans for their purchases. This, along with declining cotton prices, can send farmers into a cycle of endless debt. In this segment from the Wide Angle film "The Dying Fields," cotton farmer Hanjari Chavan takes out a considerable loan and then uses nearly half of his funds to purchase Bt (genetically modified) cotton seeds.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Economic Boom | Wide Angle

    Since its entry into the European Union in 1973, the government of Ireland has reformed its policies in an effort to encourage both foreign investment and local entrepreneurship. The result was a transformation that pulled Ireland out of centuries of economic hardship and into a nation that is among one of the richest in the world. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Mixed Blessings," learn about Ireland’s economic rebirth from Jonathan Walsh, a general manager for Intel, an American company that has established its connection to Europe through its facilities in Shannon, Ireland.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Extreme Global Makeover | Wide Angle: Lesson Plan

    Modernization is an important issue in many places, including China and India. Modernization may impact such areas as society, politics, the economy, and the environment. This lesson is based on two PBS Wide Angle documentaries—"To Have and Have Not" (2002) and "1-800-INDIA" (2005)

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Farmers in Peril | Wide Angle: Window into Global History

    India boasts one of the world’s fastest growing economies, but good fortune has yet to visit India’s impoverished rural communities which make up two-thirds of the population. The global competitiveness of free trade has had a negative impact on rural areas and overwhelming debt has driven many farmers in the central Indian region of Vidarbha to suicide. In this segment from the Wide Angle film "The Dying Fields," meet Kishor Tawari of the Vidarbha Peoples’ Protest Forum, an organization that tracks the rate of suicide in the region and aims to relieve desperate farmers of debt.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Female Workforce | Wide Angle

    The increase of women entering the workforce in Ireland has greatly benefited the economy, but it has also had an effect on the structure of the traditional Irish family. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Mixed Blessings," learn about the traditional roles of women in Ireland and their status today.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The High Cost of Progress | Wide Angle

    India’s agricultural sector has yet to catch up with the rest of the country’s economic growth. In the rural region of Vidarbha, two factors contributing to farmers’ inability to produce a profit are global trade policies that benefit wealthier nations and the recent introduction of expensive genetically modified cotton seeds. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "The Dying Fields," meet Vandana Shiva, an activist who campaigns against unfair global trade practices and urges farmers to return to planting their own farm-grown seeds.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Moving Parts of a Market | Wide Angle

    This video from Wide Angle: "The Market Maker" looks at the efforts of Ethiopian market reformers led by Eleni Gabre-Madhins to create an Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX) in the capital city of Addis Ababa. It explains the basic role of an exchange, outlines its key elements, and describes the specific challenges faced by the reformers-the greatest of which is farmers' traditional attachment to archaic and inefficient modes of trade.

    Grades: 9-12
  • New Confidence | Wide Angle: Window into Global History

    In India’s changing workplace, workers—especially female ones—have had to confront new situations that are sometimes surprising or unsettling to their families. In this segment from the Wide Angle film "1-800-INDIA," the parents of Santosh Kohli, an employee in the BPO industry, discuss their initial apprehension in allowing their daughter to work at night. Also explored is the confidence Santosh gained through her pursuit of a career and role as breadwinner of the family.

    Grades: 9-12
  • New Worker Class | Wide Angle

    The economic boom in China has created a class of “gold-collar” workers, business professionals who are high-income earners and live in the country’s developing cities. Take a tour of the upscale apartment of Dwanzhi, one of China’s privileged gold-collar workers, in this video segment from the Wide Angle film film "To Have and Have Not."

    Grades: 9-12
  • Next Steps | Wide Angle

    In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "The Market Maker," Eleni Gabre-Madhin and other Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) market reformers celebrate the opening of a new sesame market while acknowledging the massive challenges they still face in bringing the ECX to millions of Ethiopia’s poor subsistence farmers. Series host Aaron Brown concludes the segment by reviewing these challenges, which include convincing millions of largely illiterate small scale farmers that their future depends in trusting the relatively sophisticated economic model which the ECX represents.

    Grades: 9-12
  • One Nation: Two Futures? | Wide Angle: Lesson Plan

    Showcasing the differing viewpoints of "haves" and "have-nots," this lesson covers economic and political shifts in China.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Private Money Lenders | Wide Angle: Window into Global History

    India’s entry into the global market has made its economy one of the fastest growing in the world, but its prosperity has not been far reaching. India’s agricultural industry has had a difficult time competing with more formidable rivals in the world market and many farmers have been forced to seek financial support by any means possible. Farmers will sometimes resort to the high-risk practice of obtaining a loan from an illegal private money lender which involves putting up their farmland as collateral. In this video from the  Wide Angle film "The Dying Fields," a former private money lender explains why he has stopped the practice of providing illegal loans to farmers.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Shopping Culture | Wide Angle: Window into Global History

    The outsourcing industry in India has helped further the country's economic development. This prosperity has brought about a new generation and lifestyle that is transforming various aspects of Indian life. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "1-800-INDIA," view the effects of the outsourcing boom on India’s economic, social, and geographical landscapes.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Small Business | Wide Angle: Window into Global History

    The genocide in Rwanda left its people in many harsh predicaments. The main source of income for Rwandan families was the male head of the household; however, many men did not survive the genocide, forcing women, many inexperienced in producing a household income, to take their place. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "Ladies First," meet Epiphanie Mukashyaka, a woman widowed by the genocide, as she establishes herself in Rwanda’s new economic landscape.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Trading Up: Bringing Ethiopia’s Economy into the 21st Century | Wide Angle: Lesson Plan

    In this lesson, students learn about the efforts of Ethiopian reformers to create a modern agricultural commodities exchange in an economic environment historically dominated by inefficient tradition and government corruption.  They will be able to describe the limitations of traditional “face-to-face” commerce and the transformative potential of open and reliable trading markets. Also they will learn the key elements of a successful commodities exchange. Students will also learn about  the underlying causes of the 1984 Ethiopian famine and be able to describe the impact of the 2008 global economic crisis on the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange.

     

     

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Transformed Workplaces | Wide Angle

    The offshore outsourcing of business to firms in India has greatly benefited and transformed India's economic institutions. One of the more noticeable changes is the demographic of the Indian workplace. Women are finding more opportunities at BPO (business process outsourcing) businesses and make up about half of the workforce. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "1-800-INDIA," two women from different economic backgrounds share their experiences working at a BPO firm.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Value of a Girl | Wide Angle: 1-800-INDIA

    In all societies, women face obstacles of varying degrees. The role of women in India has, in many ways, been defined by India’s patriarchal society. Recent economic growth in India, however, has given women more opportunities for independence. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "1-800-INDIA," learn about Santosh Kohli, a young woman from a traditional Indian family of modest means, as she gains self sufficiency and determination.

    Grades: 9-12

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