Task A and B (2000 word essay)
In 500 words or fewer, answer an original question of your choice which requires you to use a microeconomic principle, or principles, discussed in the module. You must create an original question. This question should involve a pattern of events or behaviour that you personally have observed. The issue you address need not be one traditionally analysed using economics, but your work should be an original application of economic logic and reasoning to something which interests you.
Examples of issues students elsewhere have addressed are:
Why do brides spend so much money on wedding dresses, whereas grooms often rent cheap tuxedos, even though grooms could potentially wear their tuxedos on many other occasions and brides will never wear their dresses again?
Why are child safety seats required in cars but not in airplanes?
Why are round-trip fares from Hawaii to the US mainland higher than the corresponding fares from the US mainland to Hawaii?
Why do airlines charge much more for tickets purchased at the last minute, yet theatres follow exactly the opposite practice?
Why do many people buy larger houses when they retire and their own children leave home?
Your question and the issue you address need not be important or worthy, but try to begin with an interesting question. You should check with your seminar tutor that the question you wish to address is suitable. The most successful answers begin with a really interesting question (one that makes the reader instantly curious to learn the answer) and then use an economic principle or principles to construct a plausible answer. You do not have to provide a complete solution to the question – the key is to apply economic principles to achieve an insight into the issue.
It should be written as if to a friend or relative who has never taken a course in economics. It must be clearly understood by such a person. It does not need diagrams or mathematics. It should not be heavily laden with economic jargon or terminology. You should not need to include references in this task since it is an original application of principles. However, if you draw upon sources these must be referenced. You are not expected to do extensive research in support of your argument, although a relevant fact or two might help convince yourself and others that you are on the right track.
Figure 2 below shows the World Bank spot prices (Links to an external site.) of Indonesian Coconut Oil (Singapore/Malaysia) between 01/2015 to 07/2019 in US$ per metric ton ($/mt). It can be seen from Figure 2 that the price of tea has fluctuated a great deal during this period. In an essay of 1500 words or fewer, use economic analysis to explain changes in the prices of Indonesian Coconut Oil over the period shown in Figure 2 and why the prices fluctuations have been so different.
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