Too often, we flip through our magazines, newspapers and other publications without much regard to the relevance of their content to the things we learn in school. Most schools thus have reading programmes with worksheets asking about things in the articles to get students to pay attention to the things they’re reading. Unfortunately these questions are sometimes pretty overwhelming and it will probably be wiser for students to think of their own questions to answer.
Here’s a list of articles (from The Economist) together with example questions (related to Economics) you might want to ask yourself after reading through them. Try to think of such questions in future readings and relate content to the concepts and theories you’ve picked up to improve the usability of stuff you read and read more efficiently.
- How would the LRAC of the firms using Cadmium Telluride or CIGS in their solar cells be different? [Given that producers believe CIGS is cheaper on more massive scale]
- What are the implications of solar energy generation resembling the cost structures of more conventional power sources?
- What are the countries or places that are more likely to adopt thin-film solar cells rather than crystalline solar cells?
- How are the elasticity concepts relevant to explain the huge increase in profits experienced by the IT giants as a result of increasing consumer demand?
- How do the trends in America's investment in IT as a percentage of total investment in equipments (the chart on the article) affect the profitability of the different IT firms: (i) Google, (ii) Microsoft and (iii) Intel?
- How is the shifting of the IT industry's centre of gravity (ie. more reliant on their demand) to the emerging markets likely to alter the competitive strategies of the firms in the industry?
- Why is person-specific rather than song-specific pricing likely to generate greater profits for the records companies?
- How do selling things in a bundle influence the profitability of the firm?
- What might be the implications for a industry practicing price discrimination closer and closer to First Degree Price Discrimination?
- Why would the sudden recession tip the postal industry into full scale crisis?
- What might be some structural* improvements the industry have to make in order to survive?
*Structural here refers to supply-side changes, like manpower allocation, the introduction of machinery, automation and such
- What sort of competition is Nestle trying to engage in when they perform R&D and target the health-conscious?
- How would the various elasticities of the Nestle's products change with these strategies?
- How might FDA regulatory tightening end up strengthening Monopolies?
- How is the failure of the market to provide better seeds and fertilizers a market failure? What sort of market failure is it?
- How does subsidies from government for these inputs help to solve the market failure?
- How is pursuing self-sufficiency in food wasteful?
- How would Microsoft and the media firms benefit from having Microsoft pay Time Warner, News Corporation and others firms to block Google, the search giant, from indexing their content—and make it searchable exclusively through Bing?
- How is this move anti-competition or does it promote competition (against Google)?
- How does the illegal harm the consumer welfare? If it doesn't, then why is it bad?
- How do you think Spotify is able to support their free music streams with advertising?