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ZBUS8148 – Economic World View Assignment 2017 Critical economic analysis – an Australian case study Assessment weight: 40% Expected word count: 2,500 words (maximum 3,000 words)
The fundamentals (approx. 20% of word count) This first part consists of two aspects. (a) Explain in your own words the economic issue to which the article you have selected draws attention. In answering this, remember that an issue is a "question open to debate". What is the question here? Is there more than one question? What is it about the question that makes it open to debate? What is it that`s being debated? A succinct, punchy summary of a few sentences should suffice here. Keep in mind that an issue that stays very close to a “textbook case” is not as challenging as one that digs a bit deeper which will be reflected in your mark. (b) Identify the economic model/theory relevant to the issue identified in (a) and demonstrate your understanding of the economic model/theory. Please note that, consistent with EE3, the terms "theory" and "model" are used interchangeably here. Here you justify and explain the theory that you are going to use in Part 2. An economic theory is a proposition derived from a logical argument built on a set of assumptions. A theory calls for first deciding on the assumptions to be used and then formulating a testable hypothesis (i.e. building a logical argument that gives rise to a proposition). The proposition or hypothesis takes the general form of "If such and such happens, then such and such will happen". In other words, we are interested in tracking cause and effect. So here you say how and why the economic variables in the model are linked together causally in a generic way, i.e. not yet in the context of the case study. Again, be mindful of the difficulty level of the model you propose; your mark will reflect the extent of the challenge involved.
The critical analysis (approx. 40% of word count) This part consists of three aspects. (a) Apply the relevant economic model in the analysis of your case study. Here you use the model identified in Part 1 to analyse the issue in the case study. This is where you demonstrate how the model works in the particular context of your case study and what the model “predicts” in terms of the cause and effects link. Make sure you clearly describe and explain every aspect of your reasoning in your analysis. (b) Compare your analysis with empirical evidence Here you say what the empirical evidence suggests about your analysis of the economic issue in your case study. You should look for such evidence, and testing of theory, in the work of economic researchers in the academic literature and/or in the research papers and official statistics produced by agencies such as the Reserve Bank of Australia, Treasury, OECD, IMF, and Australian Bureau of Statistics. Ultimately, the only way to find out if a theory "works" or has validity is to confront it with relevant evidence by way of economic data and observations. Similarly, if competing theories are in play, we have to see if one theory explains the evidence better than the other(s). You are required to use at least 8 (eight) advanced reading sources in your case study. For more detail on research sources, I refer to Section 6 below on advanced readings. In comparing your analysis with the empirical evidence, you may find that the predictions in your analysis are not consistent with the empirical evidence. There is nothing wrong with such an outcome as long as you note, and discuss the possible reasons for, such inconsistency. (c) Provide a critique of the article Based on your analysis and the empirical evidence above, critique the way in which the author presents and analyses the issue. Draw attention to any errors in logic, points excluded, misinterpretation of evidence, bias, etc. Here, you should draw on all you have learnt and what you have said in parts a) and b) above to analyse the ways in which the article might have fallen short in presenting the issue. For example, you might find key terms haven`t been defined or, if defined, there might have been ambiguity, lack of clarity or even error. The author, in your view, may have been wrong about (or have given only one possible interpretation of) the causes and effects involved; they might have omitted links in the chain of logic supporting their conclusions; they might have failed to report important evidence relevant to the argument; they might have adopted a partial and biased position; they might have drawn policy conclusions not justified by the argument(s) presented. I encourage you to keep this brief and express succinctly how well you think the author has done in tackling the issue.
Part 3 and so on.........