Economics and Firms

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Micro Economic Essays
These are some suggested micro economic essays. The essays are from different exam boards. In practise they ask similar questions so they will be helpful whatever your exam board. There are different ways to answer questions. But, all these answers contain enough material to get the top grade. Whenever the question requires evaluation, the essay contains the necessary critical distance. On the last page, there are some general tips for evaluation. Note: These essays are for revision purposes giving suggestions for how to answer questions. Don’t try to pass them off as your own work. For more micro economic help. See also the Economics Revision Guide available at

Copyright © T.Pettinger 2011. All Rights Reserved (For single use license only)

Micro Economic Essays
1. Discuss how firms within an oligopolistic market compete. 2. Discuss whether monopoly is always an undesirable form of market structure. 3. Explain how interdependence and uncertainty affect the behaviour of firms in Oligopolistic markets 4. Evaluate the view that only producers, and not consumers, benefit when oligopolistic firms collude to try to reduce the uncertainty they experience. 5. Explain why contestable markets generally function more efficiently than noncontestable markets. 6. Explain various barriers to entry to a market and how these barriers might affect market structure. 7. In the past, utility industries such as the postal service, electricity and gas, have been heavily protected by entry barriers. Evaluate the possible effects on efficiency and resource allocation of removing these barriers. 8. Explain the meaning of price discrimination and the conditions necessary for price discrimination. 9. Evaluate the view that, because price discrimination enables firms to make more profit, firms, but not consumers, benefit from price discrimination. 10. Evaluate different ways in which governments could make markets more competitive. 11. Discuss the extent to which new technology, such as the internet, has increased or decreased the competitiveness of markets.  

1. Discuss the impact of deregulation on the local bus industry in Great Britain. 2. Evaluate the view that the government should give financial assistance to firms producing cars in the UK to increase their competitiveness. 3. Evaluate the view that government intervention can correct all the market failures caused by the effects of economic activity on the environment. 4. In some European countries, price controls are imposed upon pharmaceutical companies. Discuss the case for government intervention to control market prices. 5. Discuss whether the government should ever consider nationalising privatised industries?

1. Footballers receive high pay, while those in disagreeable occupations, such as road sweepers, are among the most lowly paid. How does economic theory explain such differences in pay? 2. Assess the case for and against the government intervening to raise the disposable income of workers on low pay. 3. Do you agree that if a trade union persuades employers to increase wages in a labour market, employment must inevitably fall in that labour market? Justify your answer? 4. Assess three labour market policies which might be used to increase the level of employment amongst incapacity claimants and lone parents on benefits.

5. Discuss the impact of net migration on UK labour markets 6. Discuss the relative merits of welfare benefits and taxes for reducing relative poverty in the UK.

 / Transport
1. Discuss whether Cost-benefit analysis is a practical way to decide whether projects, such as new roads, should go ahead. 2. Discuss the case for a toll on motorway travel. 3. Discuss whether giving increased subsidies to firms providing bus services would correct the market failure arising...
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