Microeconomics is one of two branches of economics that concerns the movement of money and resources between consumers and companies. Important concepts in microeconomics include the laws of supply and demand, specific industry structures and consumer behaviour. Microeconomics professors usually require students to apply these topics in order to analyse and potentially solve an economic phenomenon in society. These term paper projects require both a command of the subject matter as well as a deep understanding of the overarching microeconomic processes.
It is generally accepted that certain seasons generate higher revenues for businesses than average. However, this increase in revenue can be traced back to a number of different factors. For example, fruits may sell better during the spring than any other season. A student could explore how demand and supply fluctuates during spring and what conditions cause this fluctuation. Some questions to answer would be: "Do suppliers increase their production during spring?", "How does this affect prices?" and "Do differences in consumer behaviour change the demand schedule?"
Questioning Economic Assumptions
In teaching academic economics, professors usually refer to the statement, "Assuming all other things are equal...". This enables professors to teach the economic concept exclusively, without having to take into consideration other factors or economic conditions. However, real world economics often does not operate on the same terms. A term paper topic could question an economics "cornerstone" such as this by applying it to real life. An example could be how "optimum levels of production" may not be ideal when including other factors such as capacity, labour and even foreign trade policies.
Current Economic Events
Professors might defer to current economic events as a timely case study for students to explore as a term paper project. Typical economics classes often set aside a time to discuss current events, and, through the progress of the class, continually apply concepts to these examples. A student would take all of this prior analysis as well as his own to create an argument of what should be done in a current economic situation. Topics can include creating new foreign trade policies with specific countries or analysing the reasons for a recent industry boom or recession.
Extreme Economics Analysis
Extreme economies are touched upon by academic economics to highlight the advantages or disadvantages of certain economic factors. For example, hypothetical industries with a complete monopoly would have the advantage of price setting and the potential disadvantage of lack of innovation. These types of extreme economies normally do not exist, but students could create a "what if" scenario by applying extreme economics to existing industries. For example, students can make an argument of monopolising the telecommunications industry by analysing the current industry, explain the necessity of such a change and how to mitigate any negative outcomes.
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