The Global Economics Game is designed to be a teaching tool for economics and other social studies courses such as history at high schools, colleges, and universities.  It engages students by compelling them to employ basic principles in an interactive format.  The game gives macro economics a global perspective and is an effective way to integrate computer technology into the economics curriculum.

Special Offer:  Purchase a 3-year site license for only $200!

SITE LICENSES:  The site license is an authorization for a school to allow students to access the game at the school computers.  It also permits demonstration and applications of the game in class rooms.  The purchase of a site license includes one compact disk and/or download which can be used to copy the game into the school's computer network(s).  The site license is an excellent option for academic institutions such as high schools and colleges.  It affords instructors and departments the flexibility to determine the degree to which they wish to use the game as a supplement to their course(s). The site license is especially useful for new adjunct instructors who are in the process of developing their courses.  More importantly, the site license provides all students at the institution access to the game at the site's computers without violation of copyright.  The  license gives the school permission to use the copyrighted software for instructional and recreational purposes.  The price of a 1-year license is $100.   The price of a 3-year site license is only $200!  (Note: To acquire a site license, simply complete our order form  (or contact us to arrange a site license for a pending purchase order).

The Global Economics Game is based on the macro model of Aggregate Demand - Aggregate Supply (AD-AS).  This model is presented in virtually every introductory economics text currently being used at colleges and universities.  It is now the dominant framework used to teach macroeconomics.  McGraw-Hill's best-selling McConnel-Brue-Flynn "Economics" (19th edition) text added the following: "During the recession of 2007-2009, the economic terms aggregate demand and aggregate supply moved from the obscurity of economics journals and textbooks to the spotlight of the national newspapers, Web sites, radio, and television."  The Economist magazine, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many other business and economics publications now routinely make reference to the AD-AS model in the titles and text of their articles.  A contemporary phrase used frequently to explain global economic recessions and slowdowns is, "It's the aggregate demand, stupid."

The diagram below shows the model of AD-AS superimposed on the playing field of The Global Economics Game.  Countries in the game move around the playing field because of changes in aggregate demand and/or aggregate supply that occur throughout the game.  The global economic indicator, current events, and macroeconomic policies cause these changes.


Model of AD-AS


Here are some examples of events and developments that are frequently explained using this model: 

1. The main cause of "The Great Recession" (2007 - 2009) was a deficiency and decline in aggregate demand causing the economy to move from E0 to E5 in the diagram.  The economy's  real GDP (Q in the diagram) declines and there is deflationary pressure on prices (P in the diagram).  Cyclical unemployment appears and increases with falling GDP.  Aggregate Demand is comprised of household consumption spending, business investment, government purchases, and net exports.  Most economists think that consumer spending and business investment declined in 2008 because of the housing crisis.  Households, especially many middle income familes, lost equity in their homes due to plummeting home prices.  This negative wealth effect caused consumers to cut spending and businesses to cut investment spending.

2. The $152 billion stimulus in 2008 and the $787 billion stimulus in 2009 were designed to move the United States economy from E5 to E0.  The latter is called the "Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act" and was a combination of tax cuts and government spending increases.  The tax cuts would induce an increase in consumer spending.  Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve System, has been applying an expansionary monetary policy to accommodate federal budget deficits and induce borrowing and spending.  Some economists warn that if Bernanke increases the money supply by too much, then the economy would eventualy get inflation and could move upward to E1, E7 or E8 on the diagram.

3. The economic slowdown in Europe, Japan and elsewhere is often explained as a deficiency in aggregated demand (A0 to A5).  Japan suffers from anemic stimulus effects with increases in government spending and banking reforms.  European economies suffer from high debt/GDP ratios which make them reluctant to increase government spending for stimulus that would create even larger deficits and debt.

4. The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty to reduce greenhous gas emissions.  The burden is placed on industrialized countries, and critics argue that it will slow down the global economy and cause prices to rise.  If implemented,  higher production costs would cause a decrease in aggregate supply and move the global economy from E5 to E6 or E0 to E7.  The debate is about whether the marginal benefits are greater than the marginal costs or the other way around.  The U.S. has not ratified the treaty, but President Barack Obama recently proposed a "new climate initiative" that would stiffen regulations on fossil fuel energy sources such as coal fueled electric power plants.  Those who support this initiative argue that the inflationary effects of this policy would probably be minimal and the decline in GDP would be small compared to the decline in aggregate demand that has been the principal cause of global economic slowdown. 

5. Hurricane Katrina (2005) and Storm Sandy (2012) caused decreases in aggregate supply and moved the economy, especially in the regions hit, from E5 to E6.  Storm Sandy occurred when aggregate demand was already weak.

6. In 2007-08 there were fears that the spike in international oil prices would cause the economy to move to E7 just like the stagflation experience in the mid-1970s.  However, the effects of the decrease in aggregate supply turned out to be modest compared to the 1970s because the amount of oil and gas used producing each dollar of U.S. GDP had declined significantly since the 1970s.

7. The prosperity of the1990s, often referred to as the "New Economy,"  was explained by long run increases in both aggregate demand and aggregate supply that kept the economy close to E0 at full employment.  Aggregate supply increased due to significant increases in productivity during that period.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's):

1. Does it make any difference which country I choose?   Ans: No.  The game was originally designed using the G-7 industrialized countries.  It was expanded by adding more countries so that players would have more choices.  All countries have an equal chance to win.  However, most economists would say that in the real world countries do differ in the degrees of sophistication regarding fiscal, trade and monetary policies.

2. Can students play the game against each other on the web?  Ans: No. The game can only be played on one computer at a time.

3. Does the game take into account or keep track of  government deficits and debt?  Ans: No.  The game applies the principal of "functional finance" where short-run macroeconomic goals such as economic recovery, full employment, and price stability are more important than deficit and debt issues.

4. Does the game take into account environmental concerns?  Ans: Yes!  In fact, it assumes that a country can grow too fast and diminish the quality of life to where the marginal benefit of economic growth is less than the marginal cost of detrimental effects on the environment such as pollution, endangering species, and resource depletion.

5. Why do I have only three options and some don't help for fiscal policy during a single turn?  Ans: Fiscal policy is political.  Modern democracies frequently experience policy gridlock regarding fiscal policy for various reasons.  The United States, for example, has had difficulty passing comprehensive annual budgets and has had to rely on continuing resolutions to authorize spending.

6. Why does a country's GDP increase with a tax cut without affecting the general price level?  Ans:  The game assumes that when taxes are cut it causes an equal  increase in both aggregate demand and aggregate supply. 
A more realistic game might have assumed that tax cuts affect aggregate demand in the short run and aggregate supply in the long run.  Economists are not in agreement regarding the effects of tax cuts on aggregate demand and aggregate supply, especially in the long run.

Special Offer:  Purchase a 3-year site license for only $200!

One of the main features of The Global Economics Game is that students can visualize the effects of economic events and really enjoy playing it while they are learning macroeconomics.  Students discover that economics can be interesting and engaging.  Students can learn how to play the game on their own by reading the abbreviated instructions.  If they want to learn more about the game and winning strategies, they can read the full version of the instructions.  While they are playing the game, students (1) acquire a macro economics vocabulary, (2) become increasingly more familiar with macro economic principles and policies, (3) begin to master the aggregate demand and aggregate supply model, and (4) gain keen insights into the institutions and forces that shape the global economy.  The game visually helps students understand what the teacher is telling them in class lectures and what they are reading in their textbooks.  From a pedagogical perspective, the game is versatile in its applications. Each instructor can determine the timing and degree to which the game is integrated into the curriculum.

The extent to which each instructor incorporates the game into his/her course will vary from teacher to teacher.  In this regard, the teacher has a great deal of discretion.  Some instructors will prefer to keep it simple and apply the game minimally by having the students do nothing more than play the game a few times over the course of the semester.  Others will use the game more extensively as a supplementary teaching device to enhance the students' study, research, and computer skills.  Here are some recommended applications of the game within the context of a one semester or one quarter course:

1. Just assign students to play the game. [Note: Students can print out the game scores at the end of a game.  The print out shows the date and time, the scores for each player, and performance ratings for each country].  The 20th/21st Century History version of the game is especially informative and fun to play.  2. Assign students to research economic events in one or more of the decades of the 20th/21st century game. 3. Assign students to look up terms in the game's text files and glossary.  4. Assign take-home quizzes on macro topics and give the students credit for playing the game in the same assignment.  5. Have a class contest.  Let the students determine the rules of the contest.  Keep in mind that it is probably better to have the students play against the computer than against each other. 6. Project the game on a big screen, play the game, and invite student participation.  When on the policy page, call on a student to choose which policy would be the most appropriate and ask them to explain why.  7. Assign students to read one or more of the informatve articles at the World Economics News page of this web site.

Computer Lab Activity:  Ideally, the game is presented to a class of students in a computer lab setting. The instructor might demonstrate how the game is played at the beginning of a session.  This normally takes about 15 to 30 minutes.  Once students know how to play, they can begin to play against each other and/or computer managed countries.  Groups of 2, 3, or 4 students per station works best.  Some students can complete the game within one hour the first time they play.  After students become familiar with the game, it normally takes about 15 - 30 minutes to play a standard game to 100 points.  As they are playing, the instructor can be available to answer questions.  Questions generally pertain to how to play, terminology, and the cause-effect relationships between economic variables.  Working with a group of students who are playing The Global Economics Game in a computer lab setting can be one of the most rewarding activities that an instructor can experience.

Class Room Presentations:  Project the game onto a screen in a class room.  Divide the class into groups.  Each group is a country and designates someone to be the president and congress responsible for fiscal policy, another to be the trade representative, and another to be the central bank director in charge of monetary policy.  The instructor describes and comments on the events as they unfold.  Every game is different.  The students enjoy picking their countries and participating in this international competition in the class room.  Generally, this approach works best for relatively small classes.

ON-LINE COURSES:  The game is an ideal supplement for distance learning courses.  Those students already have their own computers and can purchase a copy of the game directly from this web site.  The game is designed to go with virtually all of the leading principles texts, because it is based on the model of aggregate demand and aggregate supply.  The purchase of a site license would permit the school to place the game on school computers where distant learning  students would have access to the game without violation of copyright.

Special Offer:  Purchase a 3-year site license for only $200!

SITE LICENSES:  The site license is an authorization to allow students to access the game at  your school computers.  It also permits demonstration and applications of the game in the class room.  It includes one compact disk or download which can be used to copy the game into the school's computer network(s).  The site license is an excellent option for academic institutions.   It gives instructors and departments flexibility to determine the degree to which they wish to use the game as a supplement to their course(s). The site license is especially useful for new adjunct instructors who are in the process of developing their courses.  More importantly, it provides all students at the institution access to the game without violating copyright laws.  The price of a 1-year license is $100.  The price of a 3-year site license is only $200.  To acquire a site license, simply complete our order form  (or contact us to arrange a site license for a pending purchase order).

BOOKSTORE ORDERS:  Many students prefer to purchase their own CD's for personal use at home. They can place their own order directly from our web site, and/or the college bookstore can place an order through our order form.  If you wish to have the CD packaged with the assigned text, please have your publisher contact us via e-mail.

QUESTIONS AND INQUIRIES:  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the game and the best way to integrate it into your economics curriculum.   Submit inquiries via e-mail:  Send E-mail to: econgame.  You may also contact us by mail at the following address: Economics Education Products, 6421 Timber Springs Ct, Santa Rosa, CA 95409.

Special Offer:  Purchase a 3-year site license for only $200!

A Series of Lessons:  Some instructors prefer a structured approach to integrating the game into their course.  For your convenience, we have prepared a series of lessons that go well with the gameThis makes it very easy for instructors to formally incorporate the game into their economics curriculum.  Each instructor can determine which lessons are the most appropriate for his/her course and style.  These are relatively high quality lessons that focus on the main topics of macro economics. Teachers and their students are welcome to download these lessons directly from this web site and modify them to suit the teacher's style:

Lesson 1:  Focus on Opportunity Costs, Conflicting Goals, and Marginal Analysis
Lesson 2:  Focus on Measuring the Economy's Performance
Lesson 3:  Focus on Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply
Lesson 4:  Focus on Macroeconomic Policy
Lesson 5:  Focus on International Trade and Finance
Lesson 6:  Focus on Fiscal Policy
Lesson 7:  Focus on Monetary Policy
Lesson 8:  Focus on Market Failure and Externalities
Lesson 9:  Focus on Economic Analysis and Writing Reports
Lesson 10:  Focus on Research and Writing a Country Report
Lesson 11:  Focus on Comparative Advantage and Free Trade Areas (FTAs)
Lesson 12:  Focus on Game Theory and International Policy Coordination

Writing Assignments:  Some instructors prefer to require writing assignments and more in-depth analysis than the above exercises entail.  In this regard, We have prepared a list of Suggested Essay Questions that go well with the game.  They progress from short-answer questions to those requiring more extensive research and analysis.  Many of these questions are thought provoking, and some require extensive historical research.

QUESTIONS AND INQUIRIES:  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the game and the best way to integrate it into your economics curriculum.   Submit inquiries via e-mail:  Send E-mail to: econgame.  You may also contact us by mail at the following address: Economics Education Products, 6421 Timber Springs Ct, Santa Rosa, CA 95409.

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The World Game of Economics   (C) 1999 Ronald W. Schuelke   All Rights Reserved
The Global Economics Game    (C) 2000-2004-2012  Ronald W. Schuelke     All Rights Reserved