Coursework with two tasks: 600 words to answer two short answer questions; 2400 word essay
Part one (2 question):
Answer two of the three questions below in 600 words or fewer using diagrams to illustrate your answers. Each question answered is worth 10% of your overall mark for the module.
1. A consumer splits their income equally between two goods. If the price of one good increases by 10% and their income increases by 5%, show that the consumer’s optimal consumption bundle will change despite them being able to afford their original bundle.
2. When estimating a demand function, explain why fitting a line of best fit through observed price and quantity combinations over time is not likely to yield good estimates.
3. If a firm uses only capital and labour, show why the cost minimising combination of inputs sets: MPk/MPl = Pk/Pl .
This task is intended to assess your knowledge of conventional microeconomic principles (part of LO1). The word count is deliberately tight in order to force you to prioritise the most important arguments/explanations in your answers. Providing clear and concise explanations of the most important aspects will lead to good marks. Your answers should be written in an academic style.
Diagrams are essential. It is impossible to produce a good answer to these questions without using a well-chosen, and well-drawn, diagram. Do not simply present a diagram without carefully explaining it in the text. Use diagrams to save words and explain them to illustrate your answer.
Part 2 (2400 essay):
Select a (domestic) public limited company of your choice which has some degree of market power. In an essay of 2400 words or fewer, evaluate the pricing strategies it employs for its core product/business in order to increase its market share and profitability within its industry (at the national level).
Task B must be written as an essay. You will need to build up a case study based on a company of your choice. You must first demonstrate that the company has some power to set its own price (that is, it has some degree of market power) – e.g. what is the structure of the industry it operates in? What is its market share for the product? How concentrated is the industry?
You must then use economic analysis to evaluate the pricing strategies your firm has adopted for its main product(s). Make clear comparisons between the predictions of the economic theories covered in the module and the empirical evidence for your firm. Are the strategies adopted by the firm optimal? If so, why? If not, why not? How might they be improved?