IB Diploma Economics Class Learns about the Phillips Curve

This week in Mr. Anagnost’s DP1 Economics class, we learned about the Phillips curve. The Phillips curve is a concept that states that there is an inverse relationship between the rate of inflation and the rate of unemployment. We evaluated the concept of the Phillips curve and whether there was indeed a relationship between inflation and unemployment. Students looked through the different lenses of Neo-classical and Keynesian, and assessed different concepts such as demand-pull and cost-push while drawing some real life examples of stagflation to further evaluate the concept.

Erica and Yuki evaluating the relationship between the rate of inflation and rate of unemployment.

Students split into three different groups to discuss ideas, analysis, and evaluation of the Phillips curve and whether the relationship was coincidental, correlational, or causal. The majority of our class agreed that there was a correlational relationship that is also conditional.

Rosan and Navya drawing the long-run Phillips curve and using a Keynesian approach to evaluate the relationship between the rate of inflation and rate of unemployment.

Students used a variety of graphs to help explain their reasoning behind their decisions and delved deeper into the issue by looking at real life situations supporting and going against the Phillips curve.

Jinha, Thao and Thu An researching on Phillips Curve

Before work on the poster began, the groups planned which graphs they would include in order to tell their story. Some looked from the monetarist perspective, others looked through the Neo-Keynesian lens.

Suhyun, Minju, and Stella designing the layout of their poster.

This project enabled students to consider the short-run, medium-run, and long-run effects on the stakeholders involved: the government, suppliers, and consumers. They were also able to look at the relationship between inflation and unemployment through multiple economic schools of thought. A lot of the stories they were telling involved other fundamental concepts from our unit, such as economic growth, income inequality, and the business cycle.

Outside of class time, we also had individual meetings to discuss our Microeconomics IA, as well as our recent policy paper. These meetings allowed us as students to have more insight into our progress in class, and be able to recognize fundamental takeaways that we can use to improve. These meetings will still be continuing throughout the next few weeks giving enough time for students to really evaluate their skills and hopefully apply them in future projects. 

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