Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Unit 1: The price of Australian wine

Watch this BBC clip

< http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_6390000/newsid_6394700?redirect=6394705.stm&news=1&bbwm=1&bbram=1&nbram=1&nbwm=1 >

a) Why is the price of Australian wine expected to rise?
b) Use a S&D diagram to explain why this will occur

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Unit 2: Demerit goods and government action: Junk food

Read the BBC article


a) Why can junk food be classed as a demerit good?
b) What action does the government propose?
c) Why has it taken this action?
d) What alternative courses of action could the government have taken?
e) What are the arguments against having this ban?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Unit 2: Problems with carbon trading permits

BASF believe the EU carbon trading system to be flawed according to this BBC articl


a) How does the system work?
b) What critisisms does BASF have?
c) Do you believe they have a case, or are they just winging?

Unit 2: Government action: Australia to ban incandescent lightbulbs

These articles from AP (document) and the BBC (clip) explains the Australian government's action


< http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_6380000/newsid_6383000?redirect=6383053.stm&news=1&nbwm=1&bbram=1&bbwm=1&nbram=1 >

a) What is the negative externality?
b) What type of action is the government taking to reduce the negative externality?
c) How significant an action is this by the government in terms of global warming?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Unit 3: Difficulties with supply side policies

This BBC article explains how the government is trying to improve the skills of the UK workforce; an example of supply side policies


a) What problems with this supply side policy are identified?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Unit 2: Inheritance Tax and equality

There has been an increasing campaign conducted by papers such as the Mail and Express to abolish Inheritance tax which they regard as a tax on the middle classes.

This articl by the Labour peer David Lipsey argues that this is not the case and is actually a progressive tax that counters the inequality which arises in the free market


a) What do you think? Should it stay or should it go? The key thing is to remember what the downside would be of abolishing the tax as well as the advantages

Unit 3: UK's worst ever trade figures!

The UK's trade in 2006 was the worst ever in monetary terms. The details are in this Guardian article


a) Why does the UK have such a deficit?
b) Why might this not be a major issue to the UK

Unit 1: Market structure; The package holiday market

The Guardian reports a proposed merger between the second and third largest package holiday firms in Europe


a) Why do the firms want this merger?
b) What is the implication for the market structure?
c) Why is it unlikely that the Competition Commission will investigate this propsed merger even though the combined group will have a third of the short haul holiday market?

Unit 2: Externalities arising from growing roses in Kenya

On Valentines day, The Guardian had this article on the impact of growing roses around Lake Naivasha in Kenya


a) The private costs and benefits to the producers and consumers of growing these flowers in Kenya
b) The external costs and benefits which arise from this activity

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Unit 1: The market for red roses

A brief BBC clip about the effect of Valentines day on the market for roses

< http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_6350000/newsid_6357900?redirect=6357959.stm&news=1&nbwm=1&bbram=1&nbram=1&bbwm=1 >

a) Draw a diagram to show the effect of Valentines day on the market for red roses
b) A bouquet of red roses appears not to be a homegenous product; why not?
c) What type of market structure best represents the rose market? Explain your answer

Unit 3: How good a measure of inflation are the official rates?

This clip from BBC Nesnight is quite long, but gives a good overview of the measures of inflation and the weaknesses of any measure

< http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_6350000/newsid_6355900?redirect=6355991.stm&news=1&bbram=1&bbwm=1&nbwm=1&nbram=1 >

Unit 3: Macroeconomic websites

From Geoff Riley comes this list of the best websites for gaining economic data for Unit 3. Note at the bottom the links to the tutor2u revision guides


Friday, February 09, 2007

Unit 3: The balance of trade: Worst ever figures

Today sees the release of the worst ever balance of trade figures

What reasons are given in the BBC article below?


Unit 2: The use of legislation

The EU is moving from a voluntary agreement with car makers to legislation to enforce maximumCO2 emission levels

a) Why do you think the EU has made this move?

b) Watch the clip and then argue a case against the use of legislation

< http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_6330000/newsid_6339800?redirect=6339833.stm&news=1&bbram=1&bbwm=1&nbwm=1&nbram=1 >

Monday, February 05, 2007

Unit 3: Macro data for the UK

Here is the link to Geoff Rileys latest look at the UK Economy via a powerpoint presentation

Look at it!!!


Unit 2: Market dominance: Wrigleys chewing gum

From the BBC comes this clip of Cadbury's attempt to break the dominant position Of Wrigleys in the British chewing gum market

< http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_6310000/newsid_6319000?redirect=6319075.stm&news=1&amp;nbram=1&nbwm=1&bbwm=1&bbram=1 >

It leads to many economic questions such as

· The monopoly power of Wrigleys in the UK – can it be broken?
· Is the market moving towards a duopoly / oligopoly – it is certainly becoming more contestable
· Barriers to entry – the costs and difficulties of breaking into a market and making a commercial return from new products
· The importance of product innovation when threatening the monopoly power of existing firms
· Cadbury’s marketing strategies when launching Trident in the UK
· Pricing issues – possibility of penetration pricing to take away some of Wrigley’s market share
· Externalities issues surrounding the waste created by increasing consumption of chewing gum
· Brand loyalty and consumer preferences
· The income elasticity of chewing gum – low but positive? Or perhaps an inferior good?

Unit 2: Labour Market failure: Rover

Almost 2 years after Rover went bust, 23% of the workforce is stiull unemployed says an article in todays Guardian


This is a case of market failure due to the OCCUPATIONAL immobility of labour. It is an example of STRUCTURAL unemployment

Unit 2: Market Failure: Light bulbs

This item says a Californian politician is trying to ban the sale of "normal" lightbulbs


a) Why? What sort of market failure is ther in the free market for lightbulbs?
b) What form of government intervention is he suggesting?
c) Suggest TWO other ways the government could intervene to overcome this market failure and EVALUATE the likely success of the 3 different approaches