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ECO 561 Week 1 Individual Assignment Economic Choice & Economic Decision Making
Consider your last vehicle purchase and the decision making process you engaged in while deciding what vehicle to purchase or if a new vehicle was the right decision. While analyzing your decision, keep in mind that everything from the interest rates to the price of gasoline is driven by the economy in one way or another.
Develop a 1,400-word analysis of your decision-making process in which you include the following:
Discuss the role of the interest rate and the cost of financing on your purchase decision. Interest rates are derived from the supply and demand for money and the actions of the Federal Reserve System. What was the rate of interest you paid on your vehicle loan? Were interest rates rising or falling at the time of your decision?
Examine the influence of gasoline prices on the choice of vehicle you selected. Gasoline prices rise and fall dramatically based on economic supply of and demand for crude oil. When gasoline prices are low, Americans buy larger, heavier autos, SUV's and pick-up trucks. When gas prices are high, Americans purchase more compact and fuel efficient vehicles. When you purchased your last vehicle, were crude oil and gasoline prices rising or falling?
Discuss the following in regard to your household at the time of your purchase:
Were you employed?
Was the economy growing or contracting (recession)?
If you were employed, did you take into consideration the risk that you might lose your job if a recession occurred during the period of your loan pay-back?
A basic assumption of consumers making purchases of large items requiring financing is that their household cash flow will be adequate to cover the monthly loan payments. For most Americans, this also means assuming continuation of their present wages. But many jobs are sensitive to rises and falls in the business cycle, as witnessed by the 10% unemployment rate of the past "Great Recession."
Evaluate the financial trade-offs made when making your purchase. This includes lower maintenance costs for a newer vehicle versus a car payment and higher insurance among other factors.
Discuss the influence of any of these Federal or state level programs on your decision to purchase a vehicle; or if these did not factor into your decision, explain why or why not:
Buying fuel efficient vehicles such as Flex fuel, hybrids and electrics
Converting existing vehicles to use alternative fuels (Flex fuel)
Removing old, fuel inefficient, and high polluting vehicles from the highways
Explain the influence of environmental factors such as emissions and health concerns on your decision.
Discuss the ways in which your purchase illustrates one piece of the circular flow model of economic activity.  What are the other parts?
Develop conclusions about the economy's influence on personal and business decision making such as purchases, investments, and so forth.
Cite a minimum of three peer reviewed sources.
Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.
Click the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment.
ECO 561 Week 2 Individual Assignment Government Interventions vs. Market Based Solutions
The theory of market economies emphasizes freedom of choice and limited government intervention. The classic argument for government intervention is market failure - the inability of the market economy to correct itself from a dysfunctional state (such as the Great Depression).
Examine one case of significant government intervention as it relates to your current industry of employment or an industry in which you are interested in working.  Examples of intervention programs include, but are not limited to:
US agriculture support programs
Low income support programs (Food Stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families)
Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program, Obamacare
Low income rent controls and housing vouchers
Government promoting renewable energy sources, discouraging fossil fuel sources
Develop a 16-slide presentation including detailed speaker notes or voiceover including the following:
Describe the intervention and detail its history.
Analyze the arguments for government intervention as opposed to arguments for market-based solutions.
Examine who may be helped and who may be hurt by the selected government intervention.
Examine externalities and/or unintended consequences of such intervention.
Determine the cost trend of the intervention program since its implementation.
Evaluate the success or failure of the intervention in achieving its objectives and develop conclusions.
Defend the use of or discontinuation of the selected intervention.
Note: The use of tables and/or charts to display economic data over the time period discussed is highly encouraged.
Cite a minimum of three scholarly references.
Format the assignment consistent with APA guidelines.
Click the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment.
ECO 561 Week 3 Individual Assignment Market Structure and Pricing Power
Select a new, realistic good or service for an existing industry, preferably an industry you current work in or one in which you are interested in working.
Develop a 1,400-word evaluation of pricing strategies available producers of your selected product. This will include statements about the market structure and the elasticity of demand for the product, based on text book principles and real world products under development.
Identify the market structure of the industry (monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition, pure competition).
Determine elasticity of demand for various quality ranges of the product based on textbook theory and judgments about the degree of luxury vs. necessity represented by various brands (e.g. a luxury car vs an economy car).
Determine how pricing relates to elasticity of demand for competing models.
Explain how changes in the quantity supplied as a result of pricing decisions might affect the company's marginal cost, marginal revenue, and market share as production volume rises.  What reaction might be expected by other producers if one producer changes its pricing strategy?
Determine strategies that a company might use to develop product differentiation and market segmentation.  What alternative non-pricing strategies are available? What alternative non-pricing strategies can be used to increase barriers to entry?
Discuss how producers might alter the mix of fixed and variable costs to support their pricing strategy.
Format the assignment consistent with APA guidelines.
Click the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment.
WEEK 4       
ECO 561 Week 4 Learning Team Business Cycles, Economic Shocks, and Restoring Equilibrium
As a manager, it is important to understand how the business cycle affects supply and demand, prices, and how economic shocks will impact your company's markets, supply chain, and financing. The recent collapse of the housing market, the near failure of our financial system, the wild swings in commodity and stock prices, and the deep recession of 2007-2009 provide a virtual laboratory for the study of the economic shocks and stabilization measures taken to restore equilibrium.
Create a 1,400-word analysis based on the team's assigned market in which you include the following:
Analyze the economic and sociological forces that drove the market equilibrium to unsustainable heights and the shocks that brought the markets back down. What might be done to moderate the effects of these economic swings?
Discuss specific changes in supply and demand.
Examine prior government policies and legislation that exacerbated the impact of the shocks.
Evaluate the actions of the federal government and the Federal Reserve to restore equilibrium. How effective were these counter-cyclical policies?
Cite a minimum of three peer reviewed sources not including the text.
Format the assignment consistent with APA guidelines.
Click the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment
ECO 561 Week 5  Learning Team Assignment Comparative and Absolute Advantage
Develop a 1,750-word analysis of the international economy in which you do the following:
Analyze measures of economic growth, and comparative and absolute advantage in international trade for the following countries:
Saudi Arabia
Democratic Republic of Congo
Research each country, using such resources as the CIA World Fact Book, World Bank data, and World Trade Organization. Research its economic, political, and cultural development.
Compare the following using tables or graphs, for most recent year available and for 2009 (the trough of the last economic cycle):
Country GDP per Capita
Country GDP as a % of World GDP
Country exports per capita
Country exports as a % of GDP
Country exports as a % of World exports.
Country imports per capita
Country imports as a % of GDP
Country imports as a % of World imports (world imports = world exports)
Discuss reasons why the economic growth of the four countries varies so markedly. How does trade influence the strength of the economy worldwide?
Determine the stage in the lifecycle for each country's economy.
Discuss the following for each country:
At least two products that have provided the country an absolute advantage in trade (if any)
At least two products that have provided the country a comparative advantage in trade
Factors that have prevented a country from achieving either
Cite a minimum of three peer reviewed sources.
Format the assignment consistent with APA guidelines.
Click the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment.
ECO 561 Week 6 Individual Assignment Challenges of Expansion to a Foreign Location
Revise your Week 3 economic analysis using the feedback provided by your facilitator to evaluate the challenges of expanding your company's production to a foreign market. This will require you to revise previously recommended pricing and non-pricing strategies for your company's product based on the selected country's economy's stage in the business cycle and the projected economic conditions. Discuss the evidence that supports your recommendations.
Select a foreign market in which to expand your chosen product.
Write a 1,750-word paper (including any material you include from your Week 3 assignment) detailing your findings. The use of tables and/or charts to display economic data over the time period discussed is highly encouraged.
Describe current global economic conditions and their effect on local macroeconomic indicators in your selected country. Consider forecasts for population growth, GDP growth, GDP per capita growth, export growth, and sales growth.
Evaluate the competitors' existing production in the chosen country.
Evaluate forecast sales in the selected country.
Determine the type of economy that exists in your selected country - closed, mixed, or market.  What is the difference between these types of economies and how might this affect your expansion?
Describe how your chosen country's current credit market conditions affect demand for your product or service and your planning or operating decision for your production in that country.
Analyze the role of the selected country's central bank on that country's economy.
Evaluate the availability, education, and job skills of the work force in the selected country. Discuss the additional challenges of international production, such as political stability, availability of government financing or other incentives, threat of capital controls, and exchange rate risks.
Discuss any additional supply chain challenges you anticipate if attempting to sell your product made in your chosen country to countries outside of that market.
Discuss any comparative advantages your company will have over competitors in that country.
Recommend either for or against expanding your company's production into your chosen country based on your research.
Cite a minimum of three peer reviewed sources not including the textbook.
Format your assignment consistent with APA guidelines.
Click the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment

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