Posted: August 8th, 2015
In this course, you will be working on economic analysis papers, all relating to a specific company of your choice. These papers are individual assignments. The purpose of these analysis papers is to provide an assessment that guides you in applying the course materials to real-world economic applications. These applications include collecting pertinent information, analyzing it, and making economic recommendations or decisions based on your analysis. The four papers you will be writing in this class are examples of ways business professionals use economic analysis to assess the performance of their companies and monitor and adjust to external influences.
The analysis contained in these papers will include information related to the demand, supply, and production of one to two products or services produced by the company you choose. Your analysis will consider the current market structure of the industry in which the company operates. Once you complete an analysis of the firm’s microeconomic characteristics and performance, you will assess the macroeconomic forces and policy decisions that are impacting it. In Module Two, your company selection will be due.The papers for this course will be due in Module Three, Module Five, Module Eight,and Module Ten.
1. Prepare the MBA or MS student to advance onto other required or elective upper-level economics courses
2. Introduce the MBA or MS student to the basic microeconomic principles and decision science tools used by managers at various levels in a business organization
3. Introduce the MBA or MS student to the important macroeconomic principles and economic policy decisions
All papers must include a cover page anda reference page with at least three resources, cited using APA citations.
Page length requirements for the Company Selection assignment: 1-2 pages, not including cover page and reference page.
Page length requirements for the Economic Analysis Papers: 2–3 pages, not including cover page and reference page.
You must not only answer the questions in the Main Elements section (see below), but also apply course vocabulary and economic decision making in your papers.
Format and Milestones
In Module Two, you will be selecting the company to prepare for your economic analysis papers. Consider a publicly held company, as information may be more readily available.
Here are some examples of companies:
• A company in the automotive industry (example: a type of passenger car in the Canadian market)
• A company that makes consumer products (example: Target stores in the United States)
• A particular company within the construction industry (example: W. L. Butler Construction, Inc.)
• A company in the tablet industry (example: Apple Computers)
• A particular gasoline company (example: Exxon)
• A particular hospital chain (example: Kaiser Permanente)
• A particular pharmaceutical company (example: Pfizer)
In addition to the company name, briefly describe the following:
• Description of the company you choose to evaluate
o Type of industry
o One or two products or services
o Geographical location of the market to be analyzed. For example, will the analysis be limited to the United States or to a particular state or region within the United States?
• Identify five potential sources to begin your research
For company research, use the SNHU Shapiro Library Company Information Guide (log in to MySNHU as needed) and watch this video on navigating the site. Notice that information on publicly owned/traded companies can be found on websites such as LexisNexis and Economic Research. Make sure you select a company for which you can find data and information needed to conduct your analysis. Conduct some research before you make your selection to ensure that you will be able to support your analysis with facts and data. Thisassignment is worth 40 points and will be graded using the company selection checklist below. Your company selection must be approved by your instructor.
Economic Analysis Paper One: Supply and Demand Analysis
Your first analysis paper is the supply and demand analysis. Using your company selection, complete the followingmain elements:
1. Identify two non-price variables such as customer income or demographics, advertising, prices charged for related goods or services, or interest rates that affect the demand for the products or services you identified in your selection.
2. How does each of the variables affect the quantity demanded?
3. Identify two non-price variables, such as wages paid to workers, energy cost, price of key inputs, or technology, that affect the supply of the products or services you identified in your selection.
4. How does each of the variables affect the quantity supplied?
5. Based on your analysis, describe the current market equilibrium for the industry.
6. Based on your analysis of the non-price demand and supply factors, what external conditions should managers be monitoring to predict future changes?
This analysis paper is due in Module Three and will be graded using the Economic Analysis Rubric.
Economic Analysis Paper Two: Market Analysis
Your second analysis paper is the market analysis. Using your company selection, complete the following main elements:
1. Identify the market structure (perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, or monopoly) that best characterizes the company you are evaluating.
2. Include information on the type of market structure you select, such as number of firms in the industry, product homogeneity, barriers to entry, use of advertising, and so forth.
3. Answer the following questions with respect to the industry:
o How does the industry structure affect the strategies used by the company you are evaluating?
o To what extent does market structure explain the financial performance of your company? For example, is it able to earn higher-than-average profits because of barriers to entry? Is it able to use advertising or product differentiation to maintain its profits above those of competitors?
4. Collect data for the past three to five years on two company-specific variables, such as profits, sales, or earnings per share, that are indicative of company performance. Present the data in a table or graph you create yourself. Do not copy and paste data from other websites, but use the available data to create your own table or graph.
This analysis paper is due in Module Five and will be graded using the Economic Analysis Rubric.
Economic Analysis Paper Three: Macroeconomic Variables
Your third analysis paper is about the macroeconomic variables affecting firm or industry performance. Using your company selection, complete the following main elements:
1. Identify three to five macroeconomic variables that affect the demand for and/or supply of the products or services produced by your company or industry. For example, if you are analyzing a consumer product, such as television sets or computers, you might include consumer income, energy prices, wage rates, and interest rates.
2. Find historical data (three to five years) for these variables for one of the countries in which your company or industry has a major presence.Develop your own graphs and/or tables showing the data, and discuss how the variables have changed over the period you are examining.Do not copy and paste data from other websites, but use the available data to create your own table or graph.
3. Compare changes in the macroeconomic variables to changes in the company data you collected in analysis papers one and two. What observations can you make about the effects of movements in macroeconomic variables on the company’s performance?
This analysis paper is due in Module Eight and will be graded using the Economic Analysis Rubric.
Economic Analysis Paper Four: Short-Term Company Outlook
Your fourth analysis paper is the short-term company outlook. Using your company selection, complete the followingmain elements:
1. Using the relationships between macro variables and company/industry performance and the short-term outlook for macro variables from analysis paper three, develop a short-term (about one year) outlook for your company that is shown as an extension to the historical data tables or graphs you developed in previous papers.
2. Answer the following questions on the outlook:
o Is the macro economy helping to promote growth in your industry?
o Are current government policies likely to result in slower or negative growth in demand?
o Will costs be adversely affected or helped by government policies?
3. Conclude with an assessment of how current macro policies are affecting your industry or company and any steps companies within the industry can take to benefit from or mitigate the effects of the policies.
This analysis paper is due in Module Ten and will be graded using the Economic Analysis Rubric.
Critical Elements Evident
Value Instructor Feedback
Company Description Describes company chosen, including type of industry, products/services sold, and the geographical location
(75) Does not accurately describe company chosen, missing key pieces of criteria:type of industry, products/services sold, and/or the geographical location
Research Identifiesfivesources that can be used effectively to assist research in the economic analysis papers
(25) Does not identifyfivesources that can be used effectively to assist research in the economic analysis papers
Economic Analysis Rubric
Critical Elements Exemplary Proficient Needs Improvement Not Evident Value
Main Elements Includes almost all of the main elements and requirements and cites multiple examples to illustrate each element
(36–40) Includes most of the main elements and requirements and cites many examples to illustrate each element
(32–35) Includes some of the main elements and requirements
(28–31) Does not include any of the main elements and requirements
Economic Decision Making
Decisions are based on thorough economic analysis and research is evident through vocabulary and references
(18–20) Decisions are supported by analysis of economic concepts
(16–17) Makes decisions, but they are not supported by analysis of economic concepts
(14–15) Economic decisionmaking is not evident in paper
Course Vocabulary Meets Proficient and integrates the course vocabulary into the decision making for the company
(18–20) Applies vocabulary for the microeconomic or macroeconomic topic throughout the paper
(16–17) Lists some vocabulary or phrases for the microeconomic or macroeconomic topic, but it is not connected to the company
(14–15) Does not include microeconomic or macroeconomic topic
Research Incorporates at least threescholarly resources effectively that reflect depth and breadth of research
(9–10) Incorporates at least twoscholarly resources effectively that reflect depth and breadth of research
(8) Incorporates very few scholarly resources that reflect depth and breadth of research
(7) Does not incorporate scholarly resources that reflect depth and breadth of research
(Mechanics/Citations) No errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations
(9–10) Minor errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations
(8) Some errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations
(7) Major errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations
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