Shorty1992
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I wrote the below on how to tackle the last 18-mark question on the OCR AS Economics (new spec.) papers a while back to help out someone and since the summer exam session is here, I thought I'd repost it in its own thread.

It was specifically written for the Markets in Action module, but could help with structuring the last 18-mark question on the National & International Economy paper too... or structuring any long 'comment' answer really.

Please bare in mind that I am just a student so there may well be errors - as I said when I posted it before, if there is something you don't think is right pleeease just let me know!

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! I'll be sitting the N&IE paper on June 3rd... although I haven't started my revision yet as I've been too busy with other subjects and been too ill & stuff. I got full marks on the MIA module in January so although I don't have to get a very high mark on this paper, I feel under quite a bit of pressure to do well. Eek. :p:

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In the 18-mark questions, here's what I generally do (with examples using a question like 'Discuss whether using subsidies is an effective solution to the market failure arising from positive externalities', which is the specification paper's last question, but with subsidies instead of taxation and then obviously positive externalities rather than negative):-

1. Definitions of relevant words: here it would be the definition of a subsidy, market failure and positive externalities.

2. General analysis: what is the aim of a subsidy? - i.e. something like 'encourages the production of a good which a market underproduces through lowering a firm's costs of production, hence correcting the market failure caused by the underproduction of a good producing positive externalities.' In order to get 11+ marks, you NEED to draw a diagram showing the supply curve shifting to the right with the associated impacts on price and quantity (i.e. price falls, quantity rises).

3. Pros/cons: I'd now do about 3 (maybe 4) paragraphs, with the first 3 beginning with positives about how subsidies correct market failure, e.g. 1st paragraph: just re-itterate that they encourage the production of a good which a market underproduces. 2nd paragraph: they provide financial incentives to producers to produce. 3rd paragraph: alternative products producing less negative externalities can be subsidised.

In each of those 3 paragraphs, I'd then say 'However...' in order to include evaluative points. Evaluative points include:
- Financial cost & opportunity cost of subsidy to the government.
- Difficult to set it at the right level.
- If demand is price inelastic, the subsidy has little effect on the consumption.
- Time lag between introduction and consumers switching consumption habits.
- The subsidy may not be passed onto consumers in the form of lower prices; the firm may keep it in order to increase profits.

As you can see, there's quite a few evaluative points, and more I'd say than for those 3 paragraphs, so I'd normally do a 4th paragraph saying 'Furthermore...'

4. Conclusion: my general conclusion for practically anything that requires an opinion ('Discuss'/ 'Comment on') is 'In conclusion, I believe that _____, however various factors mentioned above would have to be considered, especially _____'.

So for the subsidy question, I'd say 'In conclusion, I believe that subsidies are potentially an effective solution to market failure, however, various factors mentioned above would have to be considered, especially the size of the subsidy which, set at the wrong level, could lead to the subsidy being very ineffective'.

I hope this helps you out a bit! Obviously there's various ways you can approach these 18-mark questions; this is just the way I do it. Some people do all the points about it being effective first, then reasons for it being ineffective, for example.

Any questions, or anything you don't understand that I've written then do just give me a shout as it's very difficult to convey what I'm trying to say at times :p: Plus, it's been a while since I've done Markets in Action stuff! If you haven't already, looking at the specification paper's mark scheme would be useful - it's on the OCR website x

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(http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...4#post17883354)
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hebe001
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That seems to be a very good and very well structured answer; just as they'd expect to see in an exam. good luck for the actual one! x
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Shorty1992
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Thanks for the rep whoever.
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Shorty1992
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Bump!

Good Luck to everyone doing F581 and/or F582 tomorrow.
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Simondo
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Hii guys was wondering if some one could help me answer or at least plan the following question. Furthermore tell me wich diagrams would be apropirate. ( new to student room so if this is in the wrong forum do not slate me )

Desrcibe the likely affects of an increase in AD on inflation, unemployment and the balance of payments deficeit?
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sam6666
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shorty 1992 you're a legend thank you
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L'Etudiant
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Bumping because this is amazing
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chelseafan
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Thanks
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SpicyDuck
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Shorty1992 Thanks for this summary.
Asked my teacher for something like this and he could not produce one at all.

Thanks
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Makashima
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I agree with you and I don't think there are errors, my structure is similar to yours!
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