Case Studies

Case 1: Mexico

Answer the following questions using resource below.

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. What are Mexico’s leading industries? How do average wages per hour in Mexico compare to wages in other countries?

17. What does Mexico import and export? Who are its main trading partners? Do these countries trade according to their comparative advantages? Explain.

18. Find recent data on Mexico’s GDP per capita, GDP growth, inflation, and unemployment rate. Interpret the numbers – do they reflect stable economic environment or not?

19. If you are a manager or a US company (in an industry of your choice), what other economic indicators would you want to see in order to decide whether Mexico is or is not an attractive market for your product?

20. Find a recent news story about Mexico’s business or economy, comment.




Case 2: India

Answer the following questions using resources below.




1. What do we know about Indian living standards and growth rates and other development indicators since independence? Which period of time is referred to as toughest economic times and why?

2. What caused the decline of India between 18-19C?

3. What was the nature of economic reforms of the 1990s?

4. How is trade linked to poverty rates?

5. How would you characterize the role of agriculture in Indian economy? Why have advances in agricultural productivity been so slow?

6. Why is Indian economy experiencing problems with energy and power?

7. Foreign direct investment is currently a huge debate in India. What is the economic side of the debate?

8. Should or should not India allow competition from foreign retailers? Explain the economic argument behind this decision and point out the impact of corruption.

9. How is corruption related to economic growth? Are some forms of corruption ‘better’ than others?
10. Does labor market regulation really protect the interests of workers or can it backfire?

11. How can bad bankruptcy law hold back a developing economy like India?

12. What accounts for India’s relative macroeconomic stability and relatively minor exposure to crises over the last decades?

13. The law has really helped in the fight against Indian air pollution, but there has been less success with water. Why the difference?

14. What explains Kerala’s good social indicators?

15. Should we be pessimists or optimist about India’s economic growth in the next decade and why?

16. Which sectors of the Indian economy have shown the most recent success?

17. Describe some of the economic principles behind movie markets and exports using Bollywood as an example.

18. Amartya Sen is one of the most influential economists of Indian decent. What are his main ideas and arguments?

19. What does India import and export? Who are its main trading partners?

20. Find recent data on India’s income per capita, inflation, unemployment rate, trade or other indicators that you believe reflect India’s economic environment. Comment why you chose these indicators.



Case 3: European Union

Answer the following questions using resources below.

1.What kind of problems is the EU facing?

2. Why can we be optimistic about the future of the EU?

3. Why are some people pessimistic about the EU?

4. What is the role and importance of the European Central Bank in the crisis?

5. Which bailout funds have been in play and what is their role?

6. Why are high bond yields a problem?

7. Is banking and fiscal union a realistic possibility?

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

9. Why are the costs of leaving the Eurozone?

10. When before have currency unions collapsed and how did it go?

11. Is economic growth resuming the EU? What do numbers tell?

12. Why does the crisis drag on for so long without clear resolution?

13. Will austerity work?

14. What are the broader implications for international cooperation?

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

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

17. Discuss the highlights of Tyler Cowen’s  lecture in Italy.

18. What is going on in EU countries these days? Look for 2-3 news articles.

19. Using the ‘Doing Business In EU’ presentation, discuss the differences between the old and the new Europe.


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