Case Studies

Case 1: Mexico

Your first assignment is a case study of Mexico. Using video resources below, answer any 12 questions numbered 1-15 (one paragraph, or 4-6 sentences each), PLUS answer the last question marked in bold. The questions are based entirely on the resources below. You are not expected to use any other sources for this assignment.

1. What are some of the achievements of Mexico’s economy? What kind of obstacles and challenges is the government facing?

2. What is the maquiladora sector and why is it important for Mexico’s economy?

3. Explain Pemex, it’s performance recently, and its relationship with the government. What are Pemex’s problems and challenges?

4. What are the ramifications of lower fertility rates for Mexico’s economy? How can we explain the height premium?

5. What effect does immigration have on wages in the US?

6. Why are remittances important? What kind of effect do they have on the home country?

7. Does it matter if Mexico is fighting a monopoly drug gang or several competitive gangs?

8. Finance runs on trust but trust is scarce. Given Mexico’s security law and recent reforms, how can law help to generate trust?

9. Outline some concerns about the quality of education in Mexico, as well as its potential and actual impact on inequality. What can be done about it?

10. Using watermelons as an example, explain why large scale agriculture is cheaper than small scale.

11. Explain what is NAFTA and how NAFTA affects Mexico’s economy overall and on agriculture in particular.

12. Explain the link between FDI and NAFTA. What makes Mexico attractive or unattractive to foreign investors? Compare to BRIC countries.

13. Is Mexico the new China? What are the reasons to be optimistic?

14. Is Mexico an open economy compared to other countries?

15. To what extent was Mexico was affected by the global financial crisis of 2008, and how did the government mitigate the impact?

16. Use GlobalEdge global insights to look up Mexico’s main export and import products. How can you explain this trade pattern using theories of trade discussed in chapters 2-5? More than one theory may apply. 



Case 2: European Union

Answer the following questions using resources below.

1.What kind of problems was the EU facing? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the EU?

2. What was the role and importance of the European Central Bank in the crisis? What type of bailout funds were used and how?

3. Why are high bond yields a problem?

4. Is banking and fiscal union a realistic possibility?

5. What were the causes of a crisis in Italy in 2013? How does it compare to other countries?

6. What are the costs of leaving the Eurozone?

7. What are some of the lessons from history that might be useful today?

8. Why did the crisis drag on for so long without clear resolution? Is economic growth resuming the EU?

9. Does the policy of austerity work?

10. What are the broader implications for international cooperation?

11. Outline basic theory of optimum currency areas. How does it apply to the EU?

12. What are the main causes and consequences of the crisis in Iceland?

13. (1-2 pages) Research and describe 3 economic issues, choices or policies the EU overall or one of its members is currently facing.  Explain with references to your sources. 



Final project

The purpose of this term project is to develop expertise in a narrow topic within IPE. Your topic may be inspired by current events and their economic implications.  In evaluating your paper, I will be considering: Is it well organized? Well researched, including both sides or a possibly controversial issue? Does it have a clear theme or thesis? Are sources adequate and cited properly? Are the arguments developed coherently?  Current news provides lots of inspiration for debatable topics.  Examples of research questions:

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