AIM: To assess the understanding of an important contemporary economic issue and to apply basic economic concepts to the analysis of the issue. The central theme uniting these diverse topics is discussing whether self-regulation can provide equitable and efficient outcomes or if there is a need for sophisticated government intervention.
The first part of the essay will introduce the issue and then present the underlying economic theory or explanations (i.e. a theoretical framework to explain why).
The second part will present the actual evidence, preferably using graphs and tables to convey descriptive information (i.e. positive economics).
The conclusion is your evaluation of the evidence and what policies or changes should be recommended (i.e. normative economics)
Description There are a choice of four (4) topics to choose from:
1. How do the dominant supermarkets in Singapore differentiate themselves from each other? (This involves the application of economic principles studied in this course.)
Oligopoly structures like NTUC and Giant. Focus on the market behaviour of Oligopolies. You may bring in demand-supply, elasticity, product categorisation across major firms, pricing policies, etc
2. The economic advantages and disadvantages of the ‘share’ (or gig) economy. (This involves discussing the economic benefits and costs for both consumers and those who produce these services such as Uber drivers, as well implications of the ‘share economy’ for the broader community.). You may bring in concepts like the cost of production, productivity, economic profit, the flexibility of work,demand-supply, etc
3.Application of economic principles to address environmental issues. (This involves discussing how economic instruments can be used to address some of the main ecological challenges of our time such as climate change, plastic waste pollution, loss of biodiversity, wildlife extinction, etc.) efficiency concepts, efficiency concepts that arise due to taxing the polluting industries, demand-supply, cost, etc.
4. Regional economic change and challenges and opportunities for local businesses. (This involves the application of economic principles studied in this course). Again, bring in demand-supply, elasticity, efficiency, cost, market opportunities, etc. You may choose any country and any specific economic change and explain its impact on local businesses.