A2 Microeconomics: Business
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Technology isn’t working

Technology isn’t working | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
IF THERE IS a technological revolution in progress, rich economies could be forgiven for wishing it would go away. Workers in America, Europe and Japan have been...
Marist Economics's insight:
Excellent article on jobs that may be replaced by technology as the world economies fight to improve productivity. Middle income and mid skills sectors are most vulnerable to technological unemployment.
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Tweet from @MirrorPolitics

Tweet from @MirrorPolitics | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
#BritainNeedsAPayrise & we think Cameron should be giving hardworking people one: http://bit.ly/1CuHPTu #18Oct pic.twitter.com/xLrYfmLnlY
Marist Economics's insight:

Labour Market is a 'Micro' topic that has macro implications for inflation, growth and unemployment.

This graphic is a simple illustration of the issue of erosion in real earnings- a stiffler of future growth and arguably an equity (fairness) issue as it particularly has effect on the lowest paid workers in society- those in relative poverty.

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Apple gets "intimate" with Apple Watch, Apple Pay and bigger iPhone 6 models

Apple gets "intimate" with Apple Watch, Apple Pay and bigger iPhone 6 models | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Apple has unveiled a smart watch, an easy mobile payments system and two iPhone 6 models in a bid to get even closer to consumers.
Marist Economics's insight:

Extending the product life cycle of the eponymous iphone, innovating with Apple Watch and creating an "eco system" with Apple Pay. All ultimately aimed at Profit Maximization.

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Car hire prices 'unfairly vary'

Car hire prices 'unfairly vary' | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Drivers are being charged different prices online for the same car rental based on where they live in Europe, the European Commission says.
Marist Economics's insight:
Great example of Price Discrimination in a European context. EU have declared this unlawful or at least not on interests of consumers but PD is a key way for firms to maximise revenues and ensure resources are allocated efficiently (in case of lower prices to fill unused capacity)
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Uber in fare war with NYC taxis

Uber in fare war with NYC taxis | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Mobile car hire service Uber temporarily cuts the price of its cheapest service, UberX, to match that of New York City's yellow taxis, following similar moves in San Francisco and Boston.
Marist Economics's insight:
Competition benefits the consumers of Big apple but threatens iconic yellow can drivers monopoly control of market.
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Lidl launches £220m UK store expansion programme

Lidl launches £220m UK store expansion programme | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it

Lidl plans to open 20 more outlets creating 2,500 jobs extending its portfolio of stores to 620 across the UK. The threat to the big four supermarkets from discount chains stepped up a notch on Fridayas Germany's Lidl unveiled plans for a £220m...

Marist Economics's insight:

The march of the discounters through UK since recession has been marked. Shoppers are now less loyal, more value conscious and shopping more frequently using 'top up' convenience stores. Sainsburys has partnered with Netto whilst here Lidl are expanding their store base. Morrisons and Tesco are losing market share in this oligopoly market.

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Ofgem plans competition inquiry ‘to break up the Big Six’

Ofgem plans competition inquiry ‘to break up the Big Six’ | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
The big six energy suppliers face the prospect of being broken up when the regulator announces a shake-up of the industry today.
Marist Economics's insight:
Heavier regulation to break up a market failure. Risks of government failure?
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Demand and Supply Goldust: Growth of the global tablet market -

Demand and Supply Goldust: Growth of the global tablet market - | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Back in the summer of 2010, Apple launched the iPad. It was launched to great excitement and it seems the more »
Marist Economics's insight:

Technological change and Economies of scale bringing down production costs  Supply++ Demand + --> Price- (see diagram)

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Unit 3 Micro: Energy firms face competition inquiry

Unit 3 Micro: Energy firms face competition inquiry | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
The big six energy firms in the UK - who account for more than ninety per cent of suppliers to UK household, commercial and industrial consumers - will be subject to another investigation by the competition authorities.  A report by regulator Ofgem has called for an investigation by the Competition and Markets.

Via Geoff Riley
Marist Economics's insight:

Notice how the 6 Firm Concentration Ratio of 85% is being diluted (at last!) by consumers switching to new smaller suppliers.

I, for one, have moved my household to 'OVO' (one such smaller supplier) with a market leading fixed tariff- so competition is improving. However the oligopoly power is still too much for Ofgem who has initiated a full Competition investigation.

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World's largest banana firm created

World's largest banana firm created | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it

Via Debbie Gordon
Marist Economics's insight:

Merger creating Economies of Scale?

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Debbie Gordon's curator insight, March 10, 2014 9:45 AM

Great example for Ec3 Economies of scale & reasons for mergers

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Crossrail tunnels 'benefit UK economy'

Crossrail, the high-frequency railway for London and the South East, is Europe's biggest construction project.

Simon Jack meets its chairman Terry Morgan, before Lord Deighton discusses the project with presenter Sarah Montague.
Marist Economics's insight:

Those who live in Maidenhead will be able to commute to the City in less than 45 minutes, where it currently takes over 1.5 hours.

Think CoBA: £40 billion of economic benefits

But you'll' have to wait until its finished:  2019!

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Miliband urges bank branch sell-off

Miliband urges bank branch sell-off | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Labour leader Ed Miliband says the "big five" banks must give up "significant" numbers of branches to make the industry more competitive.
Marist Economics's insight:

Will breaking up the concentrated banking market by forcing large banks to sell off significant number of branches work to encourage greater competition in retail banking (and therfore benefit consumer choice and welfare)?

Some are cynical that branches are no longer key to leveraging economies of scale, so criticise Labour's plans as ineffective.

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Twitter / TheEconomist: Predictions from #TheWorldin2014: ...

Twitter / TheEconomist: Predictions from #TheWorldin2014: ... | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Marist Economics's insight:

Technological change and its effects on Firms and Markets:

None is as marked as Digitalisation of music (and video) content. Overall revenue growth predicted but more streaming, less downloads.

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Economy looks bleak for British workers losing out to technology

Economy looks bleak for British workers losing out to technology | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Wage protesters marched over the greatest slump seen in real pay for 150 years, last Saturday, but it is the march of technological advance that is driving a wedge between the country’s highest and lowest paid workers...
Marist Economics's insight:
Fall in real wage since recession as a result of technological unemployment in the mid skilled sector. Good for evaluating so called 'sticky wage' phenomenon within labour market.
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Monopsony Power: Dairy farmers protest over milk price

Monopsony Power: Dairy farmers protest over milk price | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it

Via Matt Smith
Marist Economics's insight:

We have considered MILK market to be PERFECTLY COMPETITIVE as many small producers unable to dictate market price of homogenous output -milk. Nothing is perfect however...in this market there a few buyers have significant buying power over the market- these are the major supermarkets. This can distort the market price lowering it and reducing producer surplus. We will consider 'MONOPSONY POWER' when looking at Labour markets next term.

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Dan Martin's curator insight, October 15, 2014 3:32 PM

Look at this for an example of monopoly style power except it's in the hands of the buyer not the seller.

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Malaysia Airlines's near-empty planes ply the world's skies, losing $2M/day

Malaysia Airlines's near-empty planes ply the world's skies, losing $2M/day | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Malaysia Airlines, who suffered the unprecedented and tragic loss of two jets this year, is having an understandably hard time attracting passengers; though the circumstances of the two losses do not appear to be related to negligence or anything other than terrible, awful random chance.

Via Geoff Riley
Marist Economics's insight:

Falling demand, excess supply and over-capacity- leads to...?

Micro unit 1 should be able to demonstrate effect on revenues on a diagram. Micro unit 3 effect on profits.

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Geoff Riley's curator insight, August 29, 2014 6:33 AM

A highly topical and superb example of falling demand, excess capacity and huge losses. I'll be using this in my business economics teaching

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We know Dave Lewis can sell soap. Can he really run Tesco?

We know Dave Lewis can sell soap. Can he really run Tesco? | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
After 27 years at Unilever, it looked like he might become chief executive. Instead he took on the biggest retail job in Britain
Marist Economics's insight:
Risky business? Taking on a new Chief Exec to run Tesco who has zero retail experience. ...but plenty of brand building and supplier experience.
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Is tech saving the music industry?

Is tech saving the music industry? | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it

Digital technology, once accused of nearly destroying the music industry, is now being hailed as its saviour. Online streaming services, from the likes of Spotify, Deezer and MixRadio, have flourished along with the rise of the connected smartphone and tablet computers.


Via Graham Watson
Marist Economics's insight:

Technological change creates threats to existing markets, but also opens up opportunities. Witness streaming music at the expense of downloads 

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Graham Watson's curator insight, June 28, 2014 3:13 AM

You want 'creative destruction', I'll give you it. This is a fantastic example: 10 years ago I was marking pieces of A-Level coursework on this, looking at how the business model of the music industry was changing, now the debate is over. There are lots of applications of simple things - like PED and so forth - but the industry has changed - as the article highlights, digital now accounts for 50% of UK industry revenues.

 

Good Economics students will really engage with this; it is about a world you inhabit and one which economic principles help you to explain.

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More staff 'should get living wage'

More staff 'should get living wage' | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it

The UK government should make it a goal to cut the number of low paid workers by one million by 2020, says the Living Wage Commission. Its chairman, Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has recommended that the government should pay its own workers a "living wage".


Via Graham Watson
Marist Economics's insight:

Moral arguments abound for raising minimum wage to living wage level. Is there an economic argument too?

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Graham Watson's curator insight, June 24, 2014 6:44 AM

This article bridges the micro-macro divide - it's microeconomic, in that it involves government interference in the labour market; its macroeconomic in that it has implications for unemployment, inflation and income inequality

 

Whether or not it's a good idea is moot - there are those who suggest that it will cost jobs and damage international competitiveness. You should be able to construct cases both for and against this perspective.

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Is Beats a mistake for Apple? No diggity!

Is Beats a mistake for Apple? No diggity! | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
The Beats brand resonates with music customers, but Apple could do better.
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BBC Two - Business Boomers - Episode guide

BBC Two - Business Boomers  - Episode guide | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Four-part series on businesses that have boomed despite tough economic times.
Marist Economics's insight:

A light hearted series that raises important business points, including the infamous secret short from Starbucks, illustrating how sly profit maximising firms get in concealing product choices that are less profitable for them to focus on.

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Big six energy companies get retaliation in before inquiry announced

Big six energy companies get retaliation in before inquiry announced | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Report for Energy UK says market is changing but Ofgem expected to call for formal monopoly investigation later this week
Marist Economics's insight:

Monopoly power investigation expected to be instigated by OFGEM regulator, so energy companies get preemptive strike in

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Big companies’ revenue and profit

Big companies’ revenue and profit | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Amazon is a retailing juggernaut, but its revenues are still a fraction of those of Walmart, whose tills ring up about $900,000 a minute. The bricks-and-mortar...

Via Geoff Riley
Marist Economics's insight:

Evidence here of Amazon's Sales maximisation objective. Watch the shocking Panorama programme to show how they are also ruthlessly pursuing productivity at the expense of human workers: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03k5kzp/Panorama_Amazon_The_Truth_Behind_the_Click/

 

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Geoff Riley's curator insight, February 7, 2014 2:03 AM

This is a superb chart to use when discussing revenues and profits as part of the A2 business economics course

Mr Jones's curator insight, April 2, 2014 7:38 AM

Why are the net profit margins so different

1) between different business sectors?

2) within a particular sector?

What does this tell us about competitive advantage and the ability of firms to sustain their profit making long term?

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Lagarde warns on eurozone deflation

Lagarde warns on eurozone deflation | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, warns that deflation remains a real risk to economic recovery in the eurozone.
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The new drugs war

The new drugs war | A2 Microeconomics: Business | Scoop.it
OF ALL the goods and services traded in the market economy, pharmaceuticals are perhaps the most contentious. Though produced by private companies, they constitute a...
Marist Economics's insight:

Patents afford the inventor 20 years monopoly rights- Economist argues in favour of this reward incentive if society is to continue to benefit from firms considerable risks in investing huge sums in R&D searching for the next big drug cure.

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