Economics and decision making

Question 1

A successful advertising campaign has a slogan, which is adopted by teenagers across Australia. Illustrate with a graph what will happen to the demand curve for the product being advertised, and the impact on equilibrium price and quantity.

Question 2

(a) Go to the internet auction site eBay at www.ebay.com.au and select the category ‘Jewellery & watches’, followed by ‘Loose gemstones’, and then choose ‘Opal’ with ‘Natural’ selected as the product type. How many natural opals are for sale at the moment? Note the wide array of sizes and prices of the opals. In what sense is there competition among the sellers and buyers in this market? How does that competition influence prices?

(b) If incomes were falling in Australia, what do you expect to happen to the demand for Opals? Use a diagram to explain your answer.

Question 3

Choose one industry that you think best represents each of the four market models:
i. Perfect competition
ii. Monopolistic competition
iii. Monopoly
iv. Oligopoly

(a) Provide at least three (3) reasons (in dot point form) to support your answers for each market model.

(b) Explain the profit maximising condition for each market structure.

Section D: Case study (600 words for both questions)

The article below is taken from The West Australian, 12 March 2008

Debate rages over deregulation

The Premier of Western Australia (WA), Alan Carpenter, has pledged to deregulate WA’s retail trading industry if re-elected at the next State election, which has sparked intense community debate. The issue of seven-day trading looks set to become a political football after Mr Carpenter told ABC Radio that the issue would be a key Labor Party platform and that WA residents would decide the issue on polling day. Mr Carpenter said the party would go to the next election with a policy of deregulating trading hours to bring WA into the 21st century. Deregulation also has the personal backing of Opposition leader Troy Buswell; however, the opposition Liberal Party is yet to formalise official policy on the controversial issue. One online reader of The West Australian newspaper said that people working nine to five jobs were forced to pay $15 for a carton of milk and a loaf of bread at a service station because Perth went into ‘lockdown’ after 5pm. Another reader said the public should decide when they want to shop. Others described the trading hours as ‘third world’. However, there was also concern about the impact on family time of employees having to work on Sundays.
Wesfarmers’ (which owns Bunnings, Coles, Liquorland, Target, Kmart, and Office Works) chief executive Richard Goyder told a business breakfast that there would be no let up in Wesfarmers’ push for deregulated trading hours in WA, saying deregulation would ‘take’ (Perth) into the 21st century and make it a really vibrant place’.
But there remains opposition and division in the business community with WA Independent Grocers
Association opposed to deregulation. The Retail Traders Association of WA has long advocated for shopping hours to be deregulated despite a referendum held in conjunctions with the last State election which saw 60 per cent of voters reject the idea. The association’s executive director Wayne Spencer said that the issue had gone past the debate stage and freedom of choice was what consumers and retailers should have.
The WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry has produced a detailed policy paper supporting extended trading hours.

Question 4
(a) Do you think markets should decide when shops should open rather than governments? Cite an example of a market where market mechanism is better than government intervention. Support your argument with at least two journal articles.

(b) If markets are generally the most efficient way of allocating resources why are there so many restrictions on doing business in Australia? Are they all cases of market failure and/or government failure? Support your argument with at least two journal articles.

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