Applying COVID Vaccines in Economics Assessment Answers
- AS, A-Level, IB
- AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC
Last updated 22 Mar 2021
In this video we explore some ideas for applying the issue of covid-19 vaccines to Economics assessment answers.
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.
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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