For the two writing assignments in this course, you will choose an industry to follow throughout the semester. I encourage you to read a current periodical, which provides careful industry analyses, on a regular basis throughout the semester. Periodicals that you might find of particular value include The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. There are many other sources of information on current events in various industries, so please feel free to consult other sources as you prepare this writing assignment.
The objective of this second writing assignment is for you to determine whether or not the industry you are studying is perfectly competitive. Your paper should answer the following questions pertaining to the product or service provided in this industry and to the market setting in which firms operate:
Do a large number of firms compete with each other in this industry? If not, which firms dominate the industry? Briefly describe a typical firm.
Does this market serve a large number of consumers or does is serve a
select and small group of consumers? Briefly describe a typical consumer.
Are the products sold in this industry identical? If the products are not identical, are they sufficiently similar to be very good substitutes or are products highly differentiated from each other? Be specific and provide
examples of similarities and differences among the products.
Is it easy for firms to enter and exit this industry? What is involved in
opening up shop in this industry? Discuss any barriers to entry.
Do producers and consumers have easy access to information on prices in this industry? Is it easy for buyers and sellers to find one another or is it costly to the buyers and sellers to make arrangements to exchange the
product or service in this industry?
After you have answered the questions above, provide a summary of whether or not you think the industry you are studying can be reasonably described as competitive.
Professor Darlene Chisholm Economics 311 November 4, 2014
SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
You must use at least three sources for your writing assignment. At the end of your assignment, you should provide a list of references. This list must provide complete information on each source of information. For example, if you cite an article from a newspaper, include: the authors name (if listed); the articles title; the name of the periodical (in italics); the date; and the page number. For a model on citing sources, please review the References section in the back of the Perloff text. If you cite a web page, you should include: the full url address; the date you visited the site; and any other relevant information that would allow the reader to find the source of your information readily. Be sure to choose web sites that you believe are reliable sources of industry information. If you wish to quote directly from a source, you must use quotation marks to indicate that you are doing so and provide the exact reference for the source of the quotation.
As you prepare the final draft of your writing assignment and cite your sources of information, please be aware of the following policy on cheating and plagiarism from the Student Policy and Procedures Handbook (http://www.suffolk.edu/studenthandbook/19863.php):
…[P]lagiarism and/or improper acknowledgement of sources in essays or research papers … constitute unacceptable academic conduct. It is dishonest to buy, sell, download, borrow or lend papers or to copy material from computer resources. It is unacceptable to make up or falsify data that are supposed to be collected from survey, experimentation or other means. Work that you represent as yours should be your own; if not, the source should be properly identified.
Violations of the above rule will result in an automatic failing grade on the assignment. If you have any questions about how to properly cite your sources, please do not hesitate to ask me for assistance prior to submitting your assignment.
All assignments should be typed and double-spaced. Assignments should be four to six pages in length, including references. A hard copy of the assignment is due promptly at the start of class on the due date. No late assignments will be accepted, so be sure to print out your assignment well in advance of our class meeting to avoid any difficulties with printing the document. You should proofread your paper prior to submitting it in order to correct any typographical or grammatical errors. Your writing should be clear and concise. Your grade on the writing assignment will be based on both the quality of your economic analysis and the clarity and flow of your exposition.
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