ECON7002 Assignment Markets in Action
Essay: Markets in Action
1,200 words - 35% of course grade
Due 4:00pm, 10th May
Choose a real-world market and a real-world company that operates in that market. Write a 1,200 word
essay using the tools of economic analysis describing and explaining how a recent or upcoming domestic and/or
international government policy could affffect the company, its consumers and, if applicable, broader social
welfare. Graphs and fifigures should be included if they support your analysis. You should summarise your
analysis in a single paragraph in your essay’s conclusion. Finally, you should brieflfly criticise your analysis,
emphasising its strengths and weaknesses for understanding and providing policy guidance in the real world.
Provide a properly formatted references section (not a bibliography) for all cited claims.
Your essay must be saved as a pdf document and submitted via the Turnitin link in the assignment folder
on the ECON7002 Blackboard website by the due date and time.
This is an exercise in which, among other outcomes, you need to demonstrate your independence in identifying
and conducting an economic analysis of a relevant company+market+policy scenario. All information you
need is contained in this instruction sheet.
1. Brieflfly describe the nature and characteristics of your chosen company.
2. Brieflfly describe the prevailing market structure including (as applicable) relevant demand-side and supply
side elasticities, externalities, public goods features, price controls, taxes, tariffffs, subsidies, trade quotas
and/or any other forces relevant to market effiffifficiency and the fifirm’s competitiveness.
3. Brieflfly describe the recently enacted or upcoming domestic and/or international government policy facing
4. Describe the announced reason and some other potentially plausible (possibly unannounced) reasons why
the government might want to enact the policy.
5. Using the tools of economic analysis, explain how the announced government intervention will achieve its
6. Note any unintended consequences of the policy, brieflfly describing how they might arise.
7. List and brieflfly describe any other reasonable means the government possesses for achieving its stated
aims. Include a short statement with each describing its likely market and welfare impacts. Explain why
the government chose to implement its announced policy instead of adopting another approach.
8. Find and brieflfly describe a real-life example of an essentially similar government intervention in an
essentially similar market at any time previously anywhere in the world. Did that intervention produce
its intended results? How can that example be used to inform your economic analysis in item 5, above?
9. Conclude your essay with a critical reflflection about how useful your economics approach is for under
standing and providing policy guidance in the analysed situation in the real world.
2Clarififications and Guidelines
• Items 5 and 6 are the centrepieces of your work. You should aim to do it well. About 50 to 60% of the
word count should be expended here.
• Market structure describes the conditions of the market, e.g., whether it is perfectly competitive, a
monopoly, monopolistic competition, or an oligopoly.
– You must clearly state the market structure on which you are basing your analysis.
– Justify your statement of the market structure model you use. You might want to consider factors
such as the number of fifirms operating in the market, the existence of externalities, whether economies
of scale exist etc.
• Except for monopsonies and oligopsonies, you can choose a fifirm operating in any market structure for
your essay. By the time we have discussed monopolies (lectures 5 and possibly 6), you should have a good
foundation for analysing perfect competition and monopoly market structures. Monopolistic competition
and collusive oligopolies (which are in difffferent respects both similar to monopolies) should also be quite
accessible, but you’ll need to read up on these market structures on your own.
• Use proper and consistent referencing style, including in your citations. Guidelines for correct referencing
techniques and presentation style is available in the Essay folder on the ECON7002 Blackboard site.
• Your essay’s word count should be reasonable close to 1,200 words. Penalties may apply otherwise. Your
word count excludes material included in tables, fifigures, graphs and your essay’s references list.
– Remember, good assignments are not characterized by their length, but by the conciseness and
thoughtfulness of the arguments made.
• You will benefifit by using diagrams similar to those presented in the course and textbook. These should
be fully and correctly labelled. Appropriate use of diagrams is essential for receiving high marks.
• The assignment is due before 4:00pm, 10th May. Essays submitted after the due date and time will be
penalised unless prior agreement for late submission has been formally provided by the Course Admin
istrator. See the ECP for late submission penalty. A description of the process required for obtaining
an Extension of Assessment Due Date can be found in section 6.1 of the ECON7002 Electronic Course
• Try to upload your assignment a few hours before the deadline since Blackboard and Turnitin system
overloads can occur close to the deadline time.
3Frequently Asked Questions
• What is a “recent or upcoming policy”?
A recent or upcoming policy is a policy that has been introduced in the last 12 months, or that
is planned for the near future. The abolition within the last 12 months or planned abolition of a
government policy also counts as a recent or upcoming policy.
• Does the market and company I choose have to be Australian?
No. However, all references must be in English (i.e., if you list a website, journal or newspaper article
as a reference that supports your description of a foreign market, it must be in English).
• I do not have the data to exactly plot the aggregate demand/supply curve in my market. What can I do?
In almost all cases, you will not have the time or resources to gather the data to exactly plot the aggregate
demand and supply curves for your market.
Therefore, your fifigures will be mostly qualitative rather than quantitative in nature.
The quantitative fifigure above exactly specififies where the demand and supply curves lie, whereas the
mostly qualitative fifigure only specififies that the equilibrium price is 2, but leaves open the exact slopes
of D and S, etc. The qualitative fifigure is nonetheless useful: e.g., by demonstrating that D and S still
satisfy the laws of demand and supply, depicting relative price elasticities of demand and supply, etc.
Despite the absence of detailed information, qualitative fifigures allow you to draw important conclusions.
E.g., you may be able to conclude from your qualitative fifigures that after the government intervention, the
market price will fall and consumer surplus will increase, or that the burden of a tax might fall unevenly
on suppliers or consumers, even though you will not be able to determine by exactly how many dollars
the price will fall, exactly how the tax burden will be split, or by exactly how many dollars consumer or
producer surplus will change.
• Do I have to format my essay in a particular way?
Yes. Please comply with the following instructions. Any violation (e.g., missing word count) may lead to
– Include a word count, your personal name, your family name and your student number on your
front page. Your word count should exclude material included in tables, fifigures, graphs and your
essay’s References section.
– Use1.5 line spacing or double line spacing.
– Fonts must be easily readable, including those used for fifigure captions.
Of course, if you can access such data, that is fantastic!
4• My essay is 1,300 words long. Do I have to cut it down to 1,200 words?
Not necessarily. However, you should try to stick as close as possible to 1,200 words. An excellent 1,300
word essay will receive a high mark, while a poor 1,200 word essay will not. However, if you exceed 1,200
words it can be a hint that your essay contains superflfluous information or is not focused enough, which
may attract a poor mark. Similarly, if your essay contains fewer than 1,200 words, it may indicate that
your essay is not deep or detailed enough.
• How do I submit my essay?
The essay must be submitted via the Turnitin link in the Essay folder (in the Assignment section of the
course Blackboard site). The submission must be electronic in pdf format only (no hardcopies or Word
• The Turnitin “similarity report” shows a similarity of x%. Is this still acceptable?
Short answer: I do not know. Long answer: The similarity report is a tool that assists essay graders in
recognising if a part of your essay has been plagiarised. In some cases, the report mistakenly picks up
passages that have been correctly cited. In other cases, the report fails to pick up plagiarised passages.
If your similarity score is 0% but you plagiarised and it is discovered by another method, I will refer
your case for investigation. If your essay contains a correct quote that the report picks up, this will be
ignored. What matters is not primarily the similarity score but that you do not plagiarise --- this is an
important responsibility that you have as an author.
Please refer to the following UQ Academic Integrity and Student Conduct page to understand what
constitutes plagiarism. (Select the Academic Misconduct tab.) https://my.uq.edu.au/information-and
Your submission will be graded on your performance in these areas:
• Content: relevance to the question, sound interpretation and understanding of economic theory.
• Clarity and robustness of argument: logical thinking, clarity, succinctness and coherence.
• Fit of the theoretical model and analysis to the presented policy situation.
• Use of clear, well-labelled, relevant diagrams that support your arguments.
• Evidence of reading outside of your main source article and textbook.
• Use of references: correct and consistent citation format in the body of your essay; correct and consistent
referencing format in the References section at the end of your essay. You should support your arguments
with at least three (3) references in addition to material from your textbook. Note that the References
section is just that. It is not a Bibliography (enter “references section vs bibliography” into your favourite
internet search engine to see the difffference).