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Friday, 30 December 2011

Top 10 Posts This Year

Today is a very special day, not just because it is New Year's Eve eve, but because it is the blog's five month anniversary with my first post being on purchasing power parity! Below I have compiled a list of the top 10 posts so far. If these are popular, I am assuming they have been most helpful to you guys, so please have a look at all 10, and good luck with your revision.

10. Trade Unions posted on 16th November

9. Oligopoly Case Study  posted on 16th October. Although it was a few months ago, the case study can still be used as an example.

8. Word of the Day: Economic Growth on a PPF posted on 3rd August

7. Notes on Supply Side Economics and Crowding Out posted on 16th October

6. Word of the Day: Backward Bending Supply Curve  posted on 25th August

5. Negative Externalities posted on 16th September

4. Monopoly posted on 23rd August

3. Word of the Day: Elasticity posted on 13th August

2. Perfect Competition Long Run Equilibrium posted on 11th August

1. Perfect Competition Short Run Equilibrium posted on 10th August

It seems perfect competition is the most popular, not surprising because even I had difficulties with this one.

Keep looking out for more revision notes to come soon!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The World Tonight on Boxing Day!

Merry Christmas to everyone!!! Hope that you all got what you wished for, but also that you've have been busy revising for January exams!

The World Tonight had a special report on the global economy and the free market. Listen here from 7 minutes  30 seconds. Listen out for case studies and recent news to back up your arguments in the exam.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

LSE video - The Crisis in Greece

The LSE interviewed Dr Daphne Halikiopoulou - research at the LSE- regarding the crisis in the eurozone. Watch the video here, for an insight into Greece and their economy.

BBC Radio 4 - The World Tonight

'The World Tonight', a BBC Radio 4 programme, yesterday, touched on the UK economy, discussing the following:

  • Slowing growth and rising unemployment
  • The importance of moving the economy from services to manufacturing
  • Case Study: Starbucks: increasing training opportunities, education in management, job creation and career pathing 
  • Vicious circle: 
    • Manufacturing declines à Training and development of people to go into this sector declines à Manufacturing declines further
  • Euro sovereign debt crisis
  • The look into the future in 2012
Listen from 0:11:40 to 0:28:00 for the programme on 20/12/11 on this link: BBC R4 The World Tonight

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Recent inflation figures!

Once again, the new inflation figures have come out for November and the CPI has fallen 0.2% from the previous month. The RPI also fell from 5.4% to 5.2%.
Reasons for the slight fall in inflation include:

    • Supermarket food prices (bread and vegetables) - price war
    • Transport costs - fuel prices fell
However, the rate at which prices are rising is still twice that of the rate of increase of wages, making society worse off. Wage rises are not keeping up with inflation, thus in real terms, salaries are falling.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

What does the UK's economic growth tell us about the impact of cuts?

This blog was created to help you find resources for your exams, as well as providing specific exam revision notes, so below is the link to an article that talks about government cuts and their impacts on society.

Make notes about what you read, and notice that the view of Adam Lent conveys that government cuts have not yet stifled growth.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Phillips Curve

·     The Phillips curve shows the short run trade off between unemployment and the rate of inflation (see July's post).

·     As unemployment falls, inflation rises. Both demand-pull and cost-push inflation can rise due to low unemployment.

·     Demand pull: When more people are in employment, more people have more spending money. Thus consumption increases, leading a shift of the AD curve to the right and a rise in the price level.

·     Cost push: Low unemployment means there is a smaller pool of labour for employees to choose from. This increases trade union bargaining power for higher wages (see here) and thus increases wage inflation. Because it costs firms more to produce the same level of output, they raise the price of the goods they produce to pass on this extra cost to consumers, contributing to a higher rate of inflation.

·     The trade-off illustrates the difficulty faced by policy makers and the government are faced with choosing the most suitable combination of inflation and unemployment rather than completely eliminating/reducing one of them.

·     The Phillips curve is still debated among many economists as they feel it does not hold. One of the criticisms of the Phillips curve is that in the 1970s (use this as a case study in the exam!!), inflation and unemployment were rising at the same time and there was no trade off. This was called stagflation/slumpflation (see Word of the Day in August).

The Phillips Curve relates to the quantity theory of money, so, if you have forgotten why, refresh your memory by clicking here!

In the long run, there is NO trade off between inflation and unemployment, shown in the diagram below. 

NRU is the Non-accelerating inflation Rate of Unemployment. This means that it is the only rate of unemployment that the inflation rate does not change, the natural rate of unemployment. It is also known as the equilibrium level of unemployment.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Negative Externality

There is a great video for those of you who are unsure about negative externalities conducted by my favourite person when I was studying my A-Levels, Paj Holden! To watch the video, please click here.

Please also look at my post on negative externalities as this will also help you.


·     One of the factors that affect economic growth (see here), speculation is when the buying and selling activities of firms and individuals (known as speculators) affects the price of goods and commodities around the world.

·     Speculation can also influence the price of world currencies.

·     Before the crisis in 2007, the value of the pound rose significantly because interest rates were high prompting speculators to buy the pound because rewards for saving were greater.

·     Speculation can affect economic growth because of something known as the ‘speculative bubble’, relating to asset prices. Click on this link here for a more detailed analysis. Rapid growth of assets prices such as housing (e.g. 2007), commodities (gold, silver..) and shares/bonds can lead to a bubble because people speculate that the price will continue to rise so they buy more of these assets. When the price is above the real value of the asset, people will start to sell and the bubble bursts, leading to a collapses in business and consumer confidence and ultimately a recession.