Heathrow – the final decision awaits?

Many thanks to Mr Graves, who directed my attention to this excellent article from today’s Daily Telegraph.  It is essential reading as you finalize your essays.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11692124/The-moment-of-truth-is-dawning-for-Cameron-on-Heathrow.html

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L6 AS Economics homework for the week beginning 22 June 2015

By the end of this week you should have completed your essay, ready to submit it next week.  You will need to start a new Google document which you will use to write your final essay and then share it with your two economics teachers using their school email addresses.  As you write they will provide you with advice and guidance.  Remember that the final essay should not exceed 2500 words in length and should be properly referenced.  You will be writing your essay both during lessons and for homework and you should, if possible, bring a laptop computer to lessons with you.

Privatization – more to do?

The issue of state ownership of public assets has been in the news recently as the UK government has sold off part of its remaining stake in the Royal Mail and announced its intention to start liquidating its assets in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), as this article explains:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33088599

It is easy to think that the sale of state owned enterprises (SOEs) is the beginning and end of the economics of state owned assets.  However, governments in most countries continue to own a large number of very valuable national assets which could be managed much more profitably and efficiently than is currently the case.  This article from The Economist shines a light on this partially hidden world:

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21654085-cash-strapped-governments-are-leaving-riches-wayside-neglected-wealth

Given that most developed nations are concerned about budget deficits and are contemplating considerable cuts in public spending could better management of their assets to deliver a greater return offer a valuable additional source of revenue?  This might allow state provision of merit and public goods to continue whilst still allowing cuts in the national debt.  Food for thought……

Virtually perfect – the economics of video games

Mr Clements directed my attention to this excellent article from the Washington Post relating to the virtual worlds created by multiplayer computer games with many thousands of participants.  Many of these virtual worlds include quite sophisticated economic systems and these can be very useful for economists who want to see the effects of changing economic variables.  In many ways they are our version of a petri dish.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/09/28/the-economics-of-video-games/

Read and enjoy.

L6 AS Economics homework for the week beginning 8 June 2015

In order to help you understand the arguments surrounding airport expansion in the UK you need to read some of the background documents.  The UK government has set up an Airports Commission specifically to make a decision about airport expansion and they have collected some useful evidence and drawn some interesting conclusions.  You should read the following documents before the end of the week.

The Commission has published a report explaining why new airport capacity is needed and why the new runway will need to be at either Gatwick or Heathrow.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/381912/AC01_tagged_amend_25_11.pdf

The Commission also published as assessment of a new airport in the Thames Estuary, popularly known as “Boris Island”, and explained why they felt it was untenable.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/349518/decision-and-summary.pdf

These two documents contain vital information which you will need to be able to write a competitive essay, so read them carefully and be prepared to discuss them during lessons.

RES Essay Competition 2015

As part of your L6th economics studies you will submit an entry to the Royal Economics Society Essay Competition 2015. The competition provides an excellent focus for the remainder of the Trinity Term and affords you an opportunity to start some of the A2 content. In addition, you will develop the kind of extended writing skills so necessary for higher level study and give you something to write about in your future university applications.

The Economics Department has decided that all students should complete essay title 8. This particular essay has very close links to many of the topics you will study next year.

“Does the economic case favour a new airport runway at Heathrow, Gatwick or elsewhere?”

Drafts can be submitted to your teacher for checking, but ultimately the final submission is down to you. Details regarding the competition can be found here.

In addition, support resources will be posted to a dedicated Scoop It board found here.

Competition is tough, but there are CASH prizes (£1,000 for the national winner). Previous winners’ essays can be found here. Judges include Sir Charles Ben (OB), Stephanie Flanders (ex-BBC Economics Editor), and Professor Johnathan Haskel (Imperial College).

A focus on the economy

Economic case for new runway, notes

TFL interim runways report

A guide to using the Harvard reference system (see comments for video explanation).

Harvard Reference Guide – CCCU