Markets and market failure
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The obesity epidemic is an economic issue

The obesity epidemic is an economic issue | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ Free-market forces have helped create a health crisis – and governments must take action to stop subsidising junk food”
Via Graham Watson
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Graham Watson's curator insight, November 25, 3:21 AM
Pity. I've just looked at the obesity crisis as a form of marker failure, and then this article appears in the Guardian, with a call to action. I'm not sure that it's as simple a problem as the article makes out, but it might give those of you whose hobbies include "eating" food for thought - if you excuse the pun!
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Health advisers call for minimum alcohol unit pricing - BBC News

Health advisers call for minimum alcohol unit pricing - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
Minimum pricing of alcohol in England would improve the health of the heaviest drinkers, health experts say.
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Government Failure: Plastic bag charge: the unintended consequences of the 5p deterrent

Government Failure: Plastic bag charge: the unintended consequences of the 5p deterrent | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ Government's 5p plastic bag charge could make us less healthy, increase landfill waste, and threaten jobs”
Via Matt Smith
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Protecting South Africa's macadamia nut crop - BBC News

Protecting South Africa's macadamia nut crop - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it

Macadamia nut farming is increasingly popular across the developing world and especially in Africa. Kenya and Malawi have sizeable plantations of the valuable nut and South Africa was the world's largest producer in 2015. But the 2016 crop may be much lower because of the drought that continues to grip much of southern Africa.


Via Graham Watson
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Graham Watson's curator insight, November 21, 2:26 AM
This BBC clip looks at the spread of macadamia nut farming, and current problems as a result of drought. In short, an elementary D&S story, with both demand and supply side factors in play.
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Number of care workers on zero-hours contracts jumps to one in seven

Number of care workers on zero-hours contracts jumps to one in seven | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
The latest in a series on the increasingly precarious world of work finds accusations of ‘endemic’ abuse of minimum wage laws
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Just one person fined in UK for smoking with under-18 in car

Just one person fined in UK for smoking with under-18 in car | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
Law introduced in attempt to reduce risk of passive smoking among children branded ‘unenforcable’ by campaigners
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Oil price lifted by Russia backing Opec production freeze - BBC News

Oil price lifted by Russia backing Opec production freeze - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it

The price of Brent crude oil has risen 2.5% after Russia said it would back Opec's plan to cut production to boost prices

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Sharp fall in crude oil prices - BBC News

Sharp fall in crude oil prices - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
Oil prices tumble to below $33 a barrel as a result of China's weakening currency and rising US energy stockpiles.
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World wine output expected to hit four-year low - BBC News

World wine output expected to hit four-year low - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ World wine output is expected to hit a four-year low in 2016 after bad weather hit production in France and South America, industry forecasts say.”
Via Graham Watson
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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 20, 4:09 PM
Applying elementary demand and supply principles, I guess that I should be buying wine sooner rather than later...
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Talks to curb oil output stall amid Opec disagreement 

Talks to curb oil output stall amid Opec disagreement  | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ Disputes between Opec members over how to share out planned oil output cuts have prevented the cartel agreeing curbs with other major producers.”
Via Graham Watson
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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 31, 3:10 AM
Proof of what's always been self-evident - the chances of a long-term agreement to cut production in the oil sector is going to be hard to sustain, as oligopoly theory would predict.
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Rude awakening as price of coffee and orange juice shoots up 20%

Rude awakening as price of coffee and orange juice shoots up 20% | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ Drought in main growing areas in Brazil and a tree-killing bug have caused a spike in the price of breakfast favourites”
Via Graham Watson, Bloxham economics and business
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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 1, 4:46 AM
I want all of my Lower Sixth economists to read this! (If you are one, please spread the word). A simple use of demand and supply analysis to illustrate why the price of breakfast could be about to rise, as the effects of unfavourable weather in Brazil adverse impact coffee and orange juice prices.
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Housebuilders need to build faster, says Nationwide - BBC News

Housebuilders need to build faster, says Nationwide - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ Housebuilders should get on and build more houses, the Nationwide Building Society has declared, as prices continue to rise.”
Via Graham Watson
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Graham Watson's curator insight, September 30, 6:03 AM
I suspect that this might be the gravest supply-side threat going forward. The issue is that we aren't building houses for a variety of reasons - planning legislation and the fact that large builders are sat on sizeable land banks, anticipating even bigger profits in future.

It is interesting that the industry itself should be calling for increased house building - but short of public sector building, it is difficult to see how the government can encourage this, unless it's prepared to relax planning restrictions, something that might cost it votes.
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Oil price: Is OPEC back in charge? - BBC News

Oil price: Is OPEC back in charge? - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ The oil producers' group OPEC agreed a preliminary deal on Wednesday to reduce supply. The decision at a meeting in Algiers marks the first time in eight years that OPEC's members have agreed to cut production, and oil prices rose on the news. But will the deal hold?”
Via Graham Watson
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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 1, 7:21 AM
Andrew Walker writes a perceptive piece on the current state of OPEC, suggesting that the cartel is increasingly on its last legs and that its capacity to shape the oil market has been undermined to the extent that its difficulties in agreeing supply reductions are indicative of its lack of clout.

All standard economic theory - relating to the number of members of a cartel, the number and relative size of outsiders, the changing technology within the sector - but none the worse for that.
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Children's online junk food ads banned by industry - BBC News

Children's online junk food ads banned by industry - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ Online ads for food and soft drinks high in fat, salt or sugar aimed at children are to be limited.”
Via Graham Watson
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Graham Watson's curator insight, December 8, 2:59 AM
Information is an important part of what makes markets work, or in this case generate market failure. This BBC piece flags up the fact that new advertising rules are going to restrict the ability of producers of unhealthy foodstuffs, high in fat, salt or sugar are not going to be allowed to advertise online.

However, critics argue that these measure don't go far enough and are likely to have limited, if any, effect. It's worth a read, if only for data about the extent of childhood obesity, and that might get you thinking about the external costs of this for society. 
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Opec countries agree first oil output cut in eight years - BBC News

Opec countries agree first oil output cut in eight years - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
Oil cartel Opec agrees first supply cut in eight years, sending the price of crude surging 10%.
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Alcohol limits cut to reduce health risks - BBC News

Alcohol limits cut to reduce health risks - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ The first full guidelines issued on alcohol for 20 years cut recommended drinking limits and say that any amount of alcohol carries a risk to your health.”
Via Matt Smith
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The obesity epidemic is an economic issue

The obesity epidemic is an economic issue | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ Free-market forces have helped create a health crisis – and governments must take action to stop subsidising junk food”
Via Graham Watson
more...
Graham Watson's curator insight, November 25, 3:21 AM
Pity. I've just looked at the obesity crisis as a form of marker failure, and then this article appears in the Guardian, with a call to action. I'm not sure that it's as simple a problem as the article makes out, but it might give those of you whose hobbies include "eating" food for thought - if you excuse the pun!
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Just one person fined in UK for smoking with under-18 in car

Just one person fined in UK for smoking with under-18 in car | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
Law introduced in attempt to reduce risk of passive smoking among children branded ‘unenforcable’ by campaigners
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Record prices for avocados spark strikes in Mexico and a crime wave in New Zealand

Record prices for avocados spark strikes in Mexico and a crime wave in New Zealand | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ Championed by Nigella Lawson, beloved by healthy eaters and a staple on the Instragram accounts of foodies, the avocado has become so ubiquitous that some wags have christened it the over-cado.”
Via Graham Watson
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Graham Watson's curator insight, November 5, 7:14 AM
A clear bid for article of the day - and great headline - that looks at the market for avocados. Demand-and-supplytastic! Lots of opportunities for diagrams and so on.
Ubi's curator insight, November 7, 4:07 PM
The first cause or initiation of the chain of events that has ensued in the avocado market is the change in taste. This change in taste, which can be categorised as a sudden rise in the popularity of the avocado particularly in the US and the UK, can be attributed to its classification as a 'healthy food' by many preachers on the topic - Nigella Lawson to name one. The statistics reveal this new-found popularity clearly; 'British shoppers spent a record £128million on avocados in the 12 months to March this year' and 'Across the Atlantic, Americans are also consuming vast quantities of the fruit, with 1.9billion pounds consumed last year - nearly double what was eaten a decade ago'.

 This change in popularity means that for a given price, quantity demanded now exceeds supply i.e. there is an excess of demand. This will, according to the law of demand, cause suppliers to raise the price and increase supply in order to find a new equilibrium in response to the signal. This increase in prices was also reflected by the article; Harry Yorke informs us that 'In July, avocados surged to record high prices on the US commodity markets, reaching $63.75 per tray, up 73pc from $36.75 during the same period last year'. Haas Avocado Board has declared that this dramatic change in taste has pushed the price of an individual avocado up from $1.50 to $2.50. 

 This rise in price has been exacerbated by other factors. For example, in the US the fact that 500 Mexican farmers went on strike protesting the fruits unstable price and California has suffered a drought-weakened poor harvest, has augmented the shortage of avocados. Similarly, in the UK, where imported goods are already being made more expensive due to the sterling depreciation, the drought in South Africa (UK's largest supplier) and Chile's sluggish start to the growing season has also led to price increases. If quantity demand continues to outstrip supply in the long-term there will be significant price increases in order to reach a competitive equilibrium where the market for avocados clears.
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How US shale oil production is forcing prices down - BBC News

How US shale oil production is forcing prices down - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it

Oil prices jumped over Saudi Arabian and Iranian tensions as trading began for the new year - however - most predict this rise will be short lived

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Sting in the tail for UK importers as prawn prices hit record high

Sting in the tail for UK importers as prawn prices hit record high | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ Cocktail of factors, including rising demand, droughts in Bangladesh and Vietnam, and poor harvests in China, push prices up 15%”
Via Graham Watson
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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 15, 2:18 AM
Nice D&S story for early on a Saturday - even after stripping out the effects of a weaker pound, the price of prawns has risen. This is because of adverse supply conditions in the Asian nations that produce prawns.

It will be Black Forest gateaux next, mark my words.
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Typhoo Tea: Cost of a cuppa to go up - BBC News

Typhoo Tea: Cost of a cuppa to go up - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ The boss of Typhoo says the cost of tea in the UK must increase following the fall in sterling.”
Via Graham Watson
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Graham Watson's curator insight, October 30, 2:45 PM
Nice applied microeconomics here! Add in a bit of Brexit and you've got a lot of engaging economics.

Brexit has forced up the cost of imports and the company are passing on rising costs to the consumer. However, this allows us to reflect on the nature of why this is the case? Does Typhoo exist in a competitive market? And what does this imply about its profit margins? And what about the market structure it exists in? And the PED for its product? And does it have any market power? Or a strong brand?

So much to ponder.
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Consumed: why more stuff does not mean more happiness

Consumed: why more stuff does not mean more happiness | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
A lifestyle based on aggressive consumption stresses the Earth's resources and, beyond a certain point of comfort, does not actually foster human fulfillment or happiness.
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Behavioural Economics of Plastic Bag Tax.

Joe Gladstone, Assistant Professor at University College London, discusses the plastic bag tax and why this has been so effective in just a short time. Can the nudge be applied elsewhere?


Via Geoff Riley
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Geoff Riley's curator insight, September 30, 5:31 AM
​Which works best, the carrot or the stick? In this short interview one of our favourite behavioural economists Joe Gladstone, Assistant Professor at University College London, discusses the plastic bag tax and why this has been so effective not least because of the importance of loss aversion. 

The pain of paying for something is more acute at certain trigger points - for example at the check out!
Matt Smith's curator insight, December 1, 2:15 PM
​Which works best, the carrot or the stick? In this short interview one of our favourite behavioural economists Joe Gladstone, Assistant Professor at University College London, discusses the plastic bag tax and why this has been so effective not least because of the importance of loss aversion. 

The pain of paying for something is more acute at certain trigger points - for example at the check out!
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Oil slump causes Indian workers to leave Saudi Arabia - BBC News

Oil slump causes Indian workers to leave Saudi Arabia - BBC News | Markets and market failure | Scoop.it
“ The closure of companies in Saudi Arabia has left thousands of Indian workers without jobs.”
Via Graham Watson
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Graham Watson's curator insight, September 30, 12:04 PM
I've just started looking at the interconnected nature of markets - and this is a lovely example. The collapse in global oil prices has seen a number of Saudi companies close and their Indian workers have gone home to Rajasthan. This has implications for levels of demand in parts of Rajasthan that were previously partly dependent upon the remitted incomes from expatriate workers in Saudi Arabia.

Economics is a tangled web...