先生のための夏休み経済教室:Summertime Economic Seminar for Teachers [Report]

"Summertime Economic Seminar for Teachers" @Tokyo (Day1: 8/11)
場所:東京証券取引所・東証ホール; Place: Tokyo Stock Exchange, Tosho Hall
参加者:中高校の教員100名以上; Participants: More than 100 teachers
プログラム: Program:
10:20-10:30 東証からの挨拶と新井明氏(司会): Greetings & Moderator (Akira Arai)
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セッション1:医療・年金と経済:Economics of Medical Care & Public Pension
10:30-12:30 西村周三氏(Shuzo Nishimura)と質疑の様子(Participants)
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セッション2:政治経済と財政問題:Political Economy of Fiscal Problems
13:20-15:20 中川雅之氏(Masayuki Nakagawa)と質疑の様子(Participants)
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セッション3:日本経済シミュレーションゲーム(Simulation Game of Japan's Economy)
15:30-17:00 シミュレーションゲームの実践(Game Exercise for Participants)
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NHKテレビインタビューと1日目閉会:NHK TV Interview & Closing Remarks for Day 1
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Summertime Economic Seminar for Teachers (Day 1) Summary:
The Network for Economic Education, in cooperation with Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), held a two-day seminar in economics for middle/high school teachers at TSE's Tosho Hall in Tokyo on August 11-12. On the first day of the seminar, opening remarks were given by a representative of the TSE group and also by Mr. Akira Arai (Toritsu Nishi High) as the moderator.
In Session 1 (10:30-12:30), Mr. Shuzo Nishimura (Kyoto University) gave a talk on "Economics of Medical Care and Public Pension," where he emphasized the distribution side of medical expenditures that are received in large part by doctors, nurses and other personnel in the medical sector, implying that excessively suppressed medical costs would have negative consequences on the number and quality of medical personnel. Regarding Japan's public pension system, our choice between the pay-as-you-go system (fuka-hoshiki) and the reserve fund system (tsumitate-hoshiki) should depend on various factors, especially on the rates of population decline and economics growth, giving a lesson that we cannot often find unambiguous answers in economics.
In Session 2 (13:20-15:20), Mr. Masayuki Nakagawa (Nihon University) made a presentation on "Political Economy of Fiscal Problems," where the definition and meaning of the concept of "primary balance," which should be restored to maintain public confidence in the government's fiscal management in the long run. Also examined was the multiplier effect of fiscal spending, which will depend on whether consumers are myopic or anticipating future tax increases.
In Session 3 (15:30-17:00), a simulation game of the Japanese economy was conducted by the Tokyo Stock Exchange group, involving all the participants, where the game itself is intended mainly for high school students and possibly third-year middle school students to understand the money flow and public financing.
Finally, closing remarks were given by Mr. Soichi Shinohara (Doshisha University).
General impressions and comments for the first day are that (1) the presentations were appropriate for teaching at the high school level, but not necessarily at the middle school level, (2) more basic micro and macro economics subjects should be covered before applied topics such as social security and fiscal policy issues are taken up, and (3) the simulation game should be made a little simpler and less time-consuming with more fun as a game.
For the 2-day program of the Summertime Economic Seminar in Tokyo, see the following: