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Unit 3 Micro: Revision on the Private Finance Initiative

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Here is a short revision presentation covering aspects of the Private Finance Initiative - which figures on unit 3 for EdExcel micro economics

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The World needs Infrastructure!

According to The Economist, much of the world faces a familiar supply side constraint: the need for massive investment in infrastructure.

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2014 Marshall Society Economics Essay Prize

Tutor2u is delighted to provide details of the 2014 essay prize for students organised by the Marshall Economics Society at Cambridge University. 

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A fine nudge? Singapore MRT vs London Tube

Since moving to Singapore from London last year, I’ve been intrigued by some of the similarities and differences between the two cities but one thing that has stood out is that Singapore’s citizens on the whole, are very obedient. Its low crime rate is well known but one thing that really struck me was how much they followed the rules. Is this due to the fines, a series of nudges or perhaps a bit of both?

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Gini Coefficients - Higher or Lower

I have adapted one of Jon Clark's superb interactive Economics PowerPoint activities to add some data on Gini Coefficients! 

Download the PPT file from here and try it with your students!

Teaching Vacancy - Economics at Franklin College

An exciting teaching opportunity at a leading sixth form college here. All the details below on how to join our good friends at Franklin College.

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UK Economy: The Rise of Sterling

In recent months the external value of the pound has been rising quite strongly. Indeed it has outperformed a cluster of other countries even though we have seen a rise in the UK's current account deficit on the balance of payments. Stephanie Flanders, chief market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, talks to the Financial Times about the sterling's out-performance and what impact the strong pound is likely to have on the UK economy.

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Teaching Vacancy - Head of Economics at Queen’s Gate (Central London)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Many thanks to Mark Seccombe for letting us know about this terrific HOD Economics opportunity - well worth a look. Please mention that you saw this on the tutor2u Economics blog! All the details you need are below.

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UK Economy: Debt and Barriers to Growth

The BBC's Robert Peston looks at the broader issue of heavy debt in the UK economy and whether it is holding back economic growth.

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Unit 4 Macro: Country Profile Revision Sheet

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Here is a Country Profile revision sheet that I have created as part of my revision programme for my A2 students. 

The idea is to complete (neatly) one sheet each for six countries – leaving room on the other side for additional useful revision concepts and background context. ideally students will choose at least one African country, a middle income nation, one or more of the BRICS or MINT countries and an EU country other than the UK. 

The sheets can be duplicated for class use and make an excellent prompt for discussion. Download a free version by clicking this link. Country_Profile_Revision_Sheet.pdf

Unit 4 Macro: A2 Macro Revision Quiz 1

The first of a set of ten question revision quizzes covering A2 macro topics - good luck!

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Unit 4 Macro: Matching Definitions with Concepts

Here is a new ten question matching concepts quiz powered by the Zondle platform - good luck!

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Revision on Labour Market Failure

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Revision resources on the topic of labour market failure

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Revision Classes for AS & A2 Economics on Zondle

We know that some students appreciate the opportunity for some extra and/or different revision support as they prepare for key summer exams.

As a trial, we've set up a series of revision classes for AS & A2 Economics on the tutor2u section of our sister company Zondle.

We'll add a series of key topic tests to these classes which students who are registered on Zondle (it's free!) can use as part of their exam revision.

To join a class, first register as a student on Zondle and then enter the relevant class codes which are listed below.

Students can register for one or more classes

Summer Revision Classes on Zondle (enter the class codes for the classes you would like to join)

ECON1 AS Micro: (290-66327) 

ECON2 AS Macro: (290-66328) 

ECON3 A2 Micro (290-66329) 

ECON4 A2 Macro (290-66330)

To register for more than one class, follow these instructions

Unit 4 Macro: Rethinking Development Aid

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Private capital flows are now much bigger than traditional aid and there has been a geographical shift in where the world's poorest people live. This OECD video provides some useful background on these important changes as we head towards changes to post-2015 development goals.

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Unit 4 Macro: Brazil’s Unfinished Mega Railroad

Government failure and the harm it can wreak on local communities is evident in this short piece from the New York Times

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UK Economy: Is the Real Wage Squeeze Ending?

Nominal weekly wage growth is now running at approximately the same pace as consumer prices inflation hinting that a long period of declining real wages might be coming to an end. The precise measurement of whether real wages are no longer falling is open to doubt, what matters more is the longer run context. The UK has seen a persistent decline in real wages and this has undoubtedly affected the strength of the economic recovery from the 2008-09 recession. 

As this short FT video shows, younger workers have seen the steepest declines in real wages.

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Unit 3 Micro: Tanzania’s cola wars

Tanzanian cola producers are taking on Coca Cola and making headway in the battle for market share. Despite economic growth, there is a fragile middle class vulnerable to changes in world commodity prices and unstable employment and wages. This opens up an opportunity for indigenous food and drinks manufacturers who might be able to supply products at a lower price harnessing environmental aims such as recycling the majority of plastic bottles used.

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Unit 1 Micro: Legal Highs and Information Failure

Here is an example of a product which has important market failure implications. BBC Newsnight investigates the open sale of legal highs - not approved for human consumption - but which are a growing presence even on mainstream high streets.

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Key Data on the UK Economy

Friday, April 18, 2014

At this time of the year many students are wanting to get up to speed with some of the important data for the UK economy so that they can consider including it in some of their exam answers. Here is a one page revision handout on the UK drawing on a large number of indicators and (as far as possible) providing the data for 2013. Sources used include the IMF, OECD and UK Treasury.

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Policies to reduce collusion

Investigating and understanding price fixing and collusion are an important part of analysing behaviour in oligopolistic markets. Not all of these corrupt practices are headline grabbers: most are in such unglamorous areas as ball-bearings and cargo rates, which go on unnoticed for years, quietly bumping up the end cost to consumers of all manner of goods and services.

What steps can be taken to undermine the incentives for business to engage in these illegal activities?

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Nigeria becomes the biggest economy in Africa after GDP revisions

Measuring the size of an economy is difficult on so many levels. Of course, there’s always the GDP debate, which asks about the best way to measure economic and social progress. But even measuring GDP is a huge challenge. Nigeria has just experienced a vast 89% increase in GDP having ‘rebased’ its figures.

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More on the Dubai Revision Workshops

Some thoughts from Mashiat and Adrianna, AS Economists from Kuwait English School, on their experience at the Dubai Revision Workshops:

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

This famous quote from economist Milton Friedman played a center role in the 2 day Tutor2U Economics Revision Conference. On the 5th and 6th of April, we, students of Kuwait English School, attended this Economics Revision Conference at Dubai College.

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Economics News Quiz - 16 April 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Here is our weekly economics news quiz. Ten questions on the latest economics and business news in a quiz format powered by the Zondle website!Have a go and good luck!

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Test your Knowldge on A2 Diagrams (Day Three)

Today is the final day of posting resources aimed at testing knowledge on diagrams (please see the links at the bottom of this page for easy access to Monday and Tuesday's blog posts).  The resources are aimed at testing knowledge on some of the key diagrams that students need to know for their exams.

Today's diagrams are for A2 students in both micro and macro economics.  We're sorry, but the diagrams are primarily aimed at students undertaking the AQA version of the Economics qualification.

For both micro and macro, you have a Powerpoint file that can be used in class to test knowledge using a scrolling slideshow.  There is also a static diagram file for both topics that can be used in class or as a revision tool for students.

Click here to download a Powerpoint scrolling slideshow for A2 Micro

Click here to download a document testing diagrams for A2 Micro

Click here to download a Powerpoint scrolling slideshow for A2 Macro

Click here to download a document testing diagrams for A2 Macro

Click here to go to Monday's blog post for diagrams on AS micro economics

Click here to go to Tuesday's blog post for diagrams on AS macro economics

Unit 1 Micro: AS Micro Revision Quiz 4

Here are twelve more questions covering markets and market failure - test your understanding with this zondle-powered quiz!

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Economics CPD for the Summer Term in 2014

We’ve got a busy programme of CPD for Economics and Business Studies in the summer term and we’d be delighted if you and your colleagues were able to join us. Brief details below.

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Unit 1 Micro: Revision on Market Failure

Here are some revision quizzes for students to check their understanding of market failure

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Unit 4 Macro: Tourism and Economic Development

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

For many developing countries tourism is already a major part of their economy and a significant source of extra factor incomes and employment. But there is a fierce debate about the economic and social consequences of tourism - what roles can tourism play in economic development? Can travel to developing countries do more harm than good? This revision blog provides some arguments and resources on this topic.

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Structural Change in Asian and Australasian Countries

Using pubic data from the Asian Development Bank here are some illustrations of the structural changes in output that have occurred across a selection of countries in Far East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Consider the magnitude of the changes that have taken place over the last twenty years. Note for revision which countries appear at the top and the bottom of each individual chart and think about WHY they appear in that position.

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Inequality: The Gini Coefficient

The Gini coefficient is a commonly-used measure of income inequality that condenses the entire income distribution for a country into a single number between 0 and 1: the higher the number, the greater the degree of income inequality.

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Unit 4 Macro: Mobile Technology Helps Kenyan Farmers

Here is a short report on the impact that the widespread uptake of mobile banking is having on Kenyan farmers. Kenya's Mobile banking system M-PESA is widely cited as an example of how mobile money transfer systems can act as a catalyst for growth and development. At least two-thirds of Kenyans use their mobile phones to pay bills, transfer money, pay salaries and now to get loans. The availability of a reliable mobile -payments platform has also spawned a host of mobile phone start-ups helping thousands who don't have bank accounts.

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Test your knowledge on AS Macro Diagrams (Day two)

Here is the second in our series of resources aimed to testing student knowledge of the key diagrams for their upcoming exams.  Today's files are related to AS Macro diagrams.

The two files are aimed at teachers or students in the run up to their exams and assume that they have been covered previously.

Click here to download a Powerpoint file to use in class as a scrolling test (with accompanying music).  The test lasts 4 minutes and then teachers can reveal the answers one at a time.

Click here to download a document file that tests the same diagrams but in a static document format for either teachers to use in class or for students revising for their exams.

This link takes you to yesterday's (Day one) blog for the AS micro equivalent.

Unit 4 Macro: Prospects for UK growth - A New Survey

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fears that the financial crisis will have a significant negative impact on long-term UK economic growth are unfounded, according to a majority of the UK macroeconomics profession surveyed by the Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM). What’s more, the CFM survey indicates some optimism about the UK’s immediate capacity for higher growth: while roughly half of the respondents share the views of the Office of Budget Responsibility, the other half is substantially more optimistic about the capacity for the economy to recover.

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Unit 4 Macro: Mauritania in search of growth and stability

If you are searching for a vivid example of a country experiencing primary product dependency have a look at this short video report from the Financial Times. The lower middle income west African country is trying to modernise their economy but remains deeply at risk from outside external shocks including over-dependency on a single mineral and terrorist threats. Inequality may be the biggest risk to it's future.

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Test your knowledge on AS Micro Diagrams

Being able to construct diagrams are an important part of a good student response to many Economics exams questions.  These resources are aimed at testing students ability to remember some key aspects of some of the major diagrams.

Designed by the same team who contribute to our Wow Economics Teacher CPD event, these resources are aimed at giving teachers a quick (10 minute) resource in their revision class or for students looking to test their knowledge.  This first set of resources are aimed at AS Micro Economic students.

1.  Click here to download a Powerpoint file that displays the 10 diagrams in a scrolling show (with musical accompaniment) and then allows the teacher to go through the answers.

2. Click here to download a document that can be printed off for either students or teachers to test knowledge.  The document contains the same 10 diagrams as the Powerpoint but allows anyone to answer the questions in their own time.

Note: A2 Micro and AS & A2 Macro versions of these resources will be posted to the t2u website over the next few days.

Unit 3 Micro: Business Objectives, Costs, Revenues and Profits

This blog entry brings together some of our revision resources on these crucial aspects of the theory of the firm. Scroll down below for revision notes, presentations and online quizzes for your to check your understanding.

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Unit 1 Micro: Theory of Market Demand

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Demand is the quantity of a good or service that consumers are willing and able to buy at a given price in a given time period

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Unit 1 Micro: Production Possibility Frontier

A production possibility frontier (PPF) shows the maximum possible output combinations of two goods or services an economy can achieve when all resources are fully and efficiently employed

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Unit 1 Micro: Factor Rewards

Revision blog on factor rewards / factor incomes together with a revision quiz to check your understanding

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Unit 1 Micro: Factors of Production

There are only a finite number of workers, machines, acres of land and reserves of oil and other natural resources on the earth. Because most resources are finite, we cannot produce an unlimited number of different goods and services. Indeed by supplying more for an ever-growing and richer population we are in danger of destroying the natural resources of the planet.

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Unit 1 Micro: Economic Systems

An economic system is a network of organisations used by a society to resolve the basic problem of what, how much, how and for whom to produce.

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Unit 1 Micro: Opportunity Cost

In economics, “there is no such thing as a free lunch!” Even if we are not asked to pay money for something, scarce resources are used up in production and there is an opportunity cost involved.

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Unit 3 Micro: Some Key Diagrams for Business Economics

Here is a selection of key diagrams for the Unit 3 business economics course

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Unit 2 Macro: The Changing Face of East London

Saturday, April 12, 2014

This Financial Times video report looks at the economic transformation of East London prompted in part by high levels of inward investment from the Far East. Consider the economic benefits of this investment but also the challenges of rejuvenating a part of London which for decades has lagged behind the rest of the capital in nearly every economic and social metric,

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Unit 4 Macro: Food imports set to rise in China

This is a revealing perspective on the challenges facing China in producing enough food to feed the hundreds of millions of Chinese squeezed into their ever growing cities. 

China's policy makers are trying to increase the size of farms to exploit economies of scale and get their farmers to focus on cash crops. But the reality is that China will have to import a huge amount of food in the years to come - this creates big opportunities for farmers in China's trading partners.

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Economics in Crisis: Money, Blood and Revolution

Economics does not fit on a left-to-right political scale, says George Cooper, author of a new book 'Money, Blood and Revolution'. Cooper believes that Economics is in a scientific crisis with many competing schools of thought, all of which have some validity but which cause a log jam and contribute to policy confusions. 

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Higher of Lower? A fun way to learn predicted growth in GDP for the world’s major economies

Here's a quick a fun resource to help students learn the predicted economic growth of the world's major economies.  Although a student wouldn't be expected to quote percentage growth statistics, it is always handy to have some figures ready to use as evidence or, at least, an understanding of the world's fastest growing states.

The game is called 'Higher or Lower' and is very simple.  You are presented with the name of a country (e.g. China) and the predicted growth in GDP (compared to 2013) for 2014, as calculated by the IMF.  You are also presented with the name of another country (e.g. United Kingdom).  Your task is to say whether you think that the UK's predicted GDP growth is either higher or lower than that of China.  Get the answer correct you earn a point and are presented with a third country and must predict whether their growth is higher or lower than that of the UK.  However, get an answer wrong, you are out of the game!  The maximum score of 37 (the number of countries in the database).  Play the game a few times and really start to get a feel for the statistics for the different countries.  The game is randomly set up so you can run it a few times a get a different sequence of countries each time.

Challenge your friends!  Alternatively, you can go to the table on slide 3 of the resource and learn all of the figures off-by-heart!

Click on this link to upload the game.  It is a Powerpoint-based game so you will need to have Powerpoint on your PC or Mac (versions beyond 2003).  When prompted you should 'enable' macros.  Sorry, this game does not work on mobile devices or OS like Android.

Unit 2 Macro: AS Macro Revision Quiz 3

Friday, April 11, 2014

Here is the third of our series of AS macro quizzes - ten questions to check your understanding - good luck!

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Unit 2 Macro: AS Macro Revision Quiz 2

Here is the second of our general AS macro revision quizzes - ten questions for you to have a go at!

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