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Wealth of Nations

Lesson Objectives

  1. Analyze the reasons why some countries have high standards of living while others do not.
  2. Describe the role of the market system and rule of law in enhancing productivity and living standards.

Textbook reading

  • Chapter 1, 1-3a Principle 8: A Country’s Standard of Living Depends on its Ability to Produce Goods and Services

Non-textbook materials

  • A video (6:49) on the effect of incentives on building bridges and life in early Jamestown.
  • Here is an interview with Hernando de Soto on Bitcoin, Blockchain, and the Fight Against Poverty. “But De Soto is convinced that the key to tackling extreme poverty — and the desperate violence that can accompany it — is to focus on property rights.”
  • A story from Planet Money on corruption in China, Uganda, and other countries.


Video: Introduction to Wealth of Nations
Video Questions, Answers & Updates
Video: GDP per capita, Reliance on Markets, and Freedom from Corruption
Video Questions, Answers & Updates
Video: Wealth of Nations Examples
Video Questions, Answers & Updates

Study aids