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Applying COVID Vaccines in Economics Assessment Answers

AS, A Level, IB
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

In this video we explore some ideas for applying the issue of covid-19 vaccines to Economics assessment answers.

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Here's a handy PDF download of the contents of this video!

There are many micro and macroeconomic issues that can be linked to vaccine research, manufacturing and roll out across high and lower/middle-income nations.

Applying COVID Vaccines in Economics Assessment Answers

Microeconomics of vaccines

  • Vaccines as a good (public good aspect versus “rival” private good)
  • Conditions of supply including factors influencing elasticity of supply, fixed and variable costs, average and marginal cost
  • Derived demand for components used in making vaccines
  • Economies of scale in vaccine manufacturing
  • Vaccine market structure (an oligopoly), size of entry barriers
  • Efficiency of health care systems in rolling out vaccinations
  • Private costs & benefits from being vaccinated
  • Information failures / causes of vaccine hesitancy / rationality
  • Externalities from vaccines, social benefit-cost evaluation
  • How should covid vaccines be priced? Should prices be regulated?
  • Business objectives – are the world’s leading pharma companies profit maximisers? Is corporate social responsibility growing?
  • Price discrimination in the global vaccine market
  • Monopsony power among major vaccine purchasers
  • Behavioural nudges – how to increase vaccine take-up?
  • Game theory – co-operative agreements versus vaccine nationalism

Macroeconomics of vaccines

  • Global economic damage inflicted by the pandemic – vaccines limiting hysteresis effects from the pandemic
  • Macro impact of long covid - worsening mental health issues / lost education – damage to human capital
  • Fiscal spending involved in delivering vaccines – judging the fiscal multiplier effects of state-funded roll-outs
  • Linking vaccine research, testing and manufacturing to many positive aspects of globalisation
  • Retreat into protectionism (such as vaccine nationalism)
  • Revealed comparative advantage (consider the Serum Institute in India) – where will vaccines be manufactured? Who can supply them at lowest cost?
  • Risks to progress in cutting extreme poverty
  • Vaccines as a pathway towards normality, restoration of global tourism and other areas of trade
  • Developing countries need greater financing and debt relief for COVID-19 vaccines and future pandemics

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