# Economics 14 questions

1.1 View the video “What Is Opportunity Cost,” located in Topic Materials. In this video, a little girl interrupts her father who is reading and asks him to come out and play. The father is faced with a choice, which is a clear opportunity cost. Discuss the opportunity cost with which the father is presented? What is the opportunity cost for the little girl spending time with her father? Does she have an opportunity cost? Is there always an opportunity cost present in any given situation? Please explain.

1.2 One of your classmates, Madison, is a hardworking student, is serious about her classes,   and is conscientious about her grades. Madison is also involved, however, in volunteer activities and an extracurricular sport. If Madison’s goal is to get good grades, what is her opportunity cost when she is involved in other activities? If Madison’s goal is to be involved in volunteer activities and sports, what is her opportunity cost when she spends her time studying?

2.1 On January 9, 2015, President Obama announced a proposal to make community college free for all students. What would be the benefit to the economy as a whole resulting from this change? Of the four factors of production (land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship), which factor would be enhanced by such a program? What would happen to the supply of college-educated labor? Would the demand for college-educated workers change? If so, what changes might occur?

2.2 In 2012, the price of corn was \$8 a bushel. In 2014, a huge harvest caused the price to drop to about \$4 a bushel because quantity demanded for the corn was less than the quantity supplied. What is the law of supply and how does it explain why farmers increased their production of corn? If quantity demanded for corn is much less than quantity supplied, is that a shortage or a surplus? Would the price of corn be above the equilibrium price or below? Why is the price dropping?

3.1 Elasticity is related to a firm’s total revenue and changes as you move up and down the demand curve. Suppose you are a marketing manager charged with deciding whether to increase the price of goods. The company’s goal in considering that decision is to increase total revenue. If you were facing elastic demand, would a price increase be a good way to increase total revenue? If you were facing inelastic demand, would a price increase be a good way to increase total revenue? Since elasticity changes as you move up and down the demand curve, how can the marketing manager know whether demand for a product is elastic or inelastic?

3.2 Jane spends all her income on hot dogs and caviar. Her demand curve for caviar is inelastic at all prices for caviar. Unfortunately, the accident at Chernobyl has caused the supply of caviar to fall and the price to rise. What has happened to Jane’s consumption of hot dogs? Explain. (Note: You should assume that the accident at Chernobyl had no effect on the price of hot dogs or Jane’s preference for caviar.)

4.1 In February 2015, Wal-Mart announced that it would increase the pay rate for all its lowest paid workers. Is this wage increase a growth in fixed costs or variable costs? Would it be affected by output? If Wal-Mart’s sales drop off, how might the store adjust its labor costs?

4.2 In fall 2013, Apple loaned its sapphire glass supplier \$578 million to set up a manufacturing plant to produce the glass for the new iPhone 6. In November 2014, Apple’s glass supplier lost the contract and promptly filed for bankruptcy. What happened to cause bankruptcy? How did the loss of the Apple contract affect fixed cost for the glass supplier? How might this have affected Average Total Cost (ATC)? Compare this situation to economies of scale?

5.1 Today the United States has unemployed people who began as cyclically unemployed during the recession but have since become structurally unemployed because their skills have become obsolete. How important is the idea of remaining up-to-date on training and skills in the work force? Is there a certain industry that requires skills to be current?

5.2 According to the article “What Does GDP Really Tell Us About Economic Growth,” located in Topic Materials, Khan discusses the pitfalls of GDP. Describe how these pitfalls have affected the overall economic status of a country. Conduct research to find an example of a country that has been affected by the pitfalls of GDP and describe the circumstances surrounding the country’s position.

6.1 The role of a bank is to move funds from savers to spenders. What happens when savings rates are too high? An example would be people saving so much money that the banks cannot keep up? Would you agree that the United States is in that situation now? What could the Federal Reserve do to help solve that problem?

6.2 Explain how a bank’s ability to create transaction deposit accounts through loans creates money.

7.1 Discuss why countries create barriers to trade when economic theory shows trade as being beneficial to a nation. Who benefits from international trade? Who loses from international trade? How can the negative effects of the failures from international trade be reduced? Do you agree with the concept of trade barriers? Why or why not?

7.2 In January 2015, several large multinational corporations announced lower than expected earnings for the fourth quarter of 2014. Many blamed the monotonous profits on a strong dollar. How does this work? When the dollar gains value against foreign currencies, why does it hurt U.S. exports? How could this affect the demand for dollars and ultimately affect the exchange rate?

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