# What's the best way to learn graphs for A-Level Economics?

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#1
Has anyone found a good way to learn all the graphs and diagrams for a level economics?
I figure most of them are common sense if you think about it enough, but there are a few that I'm just gonna have to learn and I don't know what the best way to go about doing that is?
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3 weeks ago
#2
Yes they are fairly obvious if you think about it. Economists make a habit of drawing their graphs in all four quadrants - i think to obfuscate the basically simple relationships. I was an engineering student when i took econ 1 & 2. Engineers generally draw everything in the first quadrant, and then include which others they have to to include the whole graph. Drawn only in the first quad, the relationships are even more obvious [IMHO]. Best of luck!!
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3 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by dimmock)
Has anyone found a good way to learn all the graphs and diagrams for a level economics?
I figure most of them are common sense if you think about it enough, but there are a few that I'm just gonna have to learn and I don't know what the best way to go about doing that is?
which ones are the ones you are struggling with. I found that as my understanding increased even the harder ones could be worked out using common sense and knowledge.
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#4
(Original post by stephsmhb)
which ones are the ones you are struggling with. I found that as my understanding increased even the harder ones could be worked out using common sense and knowledge.
a lot of the market failure ones with the welfare loss triangles have me confused
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2 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by dimmock)
a lot of the market failure ones with the welfare loss triangles have me confused
Ok so lets take the negative consumption externality diagram for example, the market for cigarettes. In the cigarette market the firm will overestimate the benefit of producing cigarettes because they don't consider the negative externalities and will only consider profit gained. Therefore MPB (marginal private benefit) will be greater than MSB (marginal social benefit). Therefore in your diagram you need to draw the MPB as greater than the MSB/ MPB curve is to the right of the MSB curve.

Does that help your understanding at all? Once you understand that then you can move on to welfare loss triangles.
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2 weeks ago
#6
The key to graphing is understanding the economic principals behind them.

Once you understand why demand is increasing or supply is shifting you should be ok.

Example,

More people are employed in the economy... Meaning an increase in demand.

Shift to the right....

You know where supply and demand go, that's step one. Then think about scenarios....

Than look up what those graphs look like. This creates a visual link between what your understanding (the principle and the drawn out representation).

Finally,

In economics you either have a contractionary scenario (all your shifts to the left).

Or an expansionary scenario (all your shifts to the right).

Some very specific graphs such as labour market, or forex you can deploy the same technique and the questions asked at A level are usually less invovled on these fronts.

Credentials: BSc Hons Management (Russell Group)
Teaching assistant for international relations monetary theory, also TA for organizational Behaviour.

Also MSc Change Management student (Netherlands) graduate in 8 weeks 😀😀🙌.
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1 week ago
#7
(Original post by dimmock)
a lot of the market failure ones with the welfare loss triangles have me confused
We were taught two very simple ways to remember the externality diagrams, specifically how to remember whether the graph has two downwards curves or two upwards curves. Then also how to always know where the new equilibrium and deadweight loss is.

Firstly, for the curves, if it's a consumption externality (positive or negative), it'll have two downwards curves and one upwards one. This is because consumption is about demand so it'll have two demand curves. Whereas if it's a production externality, producing things is about supply so it will have two supply curves and one demand curve.

To figure out what to label each curve, you really just need to understand basic supply and demand. Cost curves are always upwards sloping, benefit curves are always downwards sloping. Then whether it private or social just requires some understanding and logic. For example a positive consumption externality, the problem is clearly that not enough is consumed (e.g. education or vaccines). It's a consumption externality so will have two demand curves and one supply curve, the supply curve is easy to label as it's just both costs are equal (MPC=MSC). The benefit curves are harder because you have to get the write labels, as it's a positive externality, you want to increase its quantity so the social benefit will be the curve with the more gentle gradient and the MPB will be steeper. This is because when you look at the private costs and benefits the equilibrium quantity should be lower than where the MSB meets the cost curve.

To figure out the deadweight losses. You have to remember that the deadweight loss is always the triangle that is pointing to the socially optimal equilibrium. This trick works with any externality question regardless of whether is positive or negative, consumption or production.

Apologies for the long winded answer, felt like going through an example of how to think it through might be beneficial. Hope it helps.
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