Below are a list of some of the questions that is available in our econs pack. Answers are provided when you purchase the pack.

 

JC Economics (H2)

Essay – Government Intervention and Market Failure

Question 1

Explain why the level of innovation in markets is likely to be less than desirable and discuss the view that innovation should therefore be solely carried out by the government. [25]

 

Question 2

(a) Explain why the presence of traffic congestion is a source of market failure.          [10]

(b) Evaluate the relative effectiveness of the current measures by Singapore government to reduce the problem of traffic congestion.   [15]

 

Question 3

Discuss if the free market is the most efficient way of allocating resources in Singapore. [25]

Question 4

Market dominance and immobility of factors of production lead to imperfect market. Explain why this may lead to market failure and discuss the economic policies that could be used by the government to correct this market failure.   [25]

 

Question 5

“Motorists face more misery at petrol pumps as oil prices hit record high. The government has proposed to use price controls and subsidies to curb the problem.”

Adapted from Daily Mail 26/10/2007

 

(a) Explain why the price of oil would increase. [10]

(b) Discuss the effects of government’s intervention in the petrol market on the economy. [15]

 

Question 6

If all individual consumers and producers seek to maximize their own gains, society will have an efficient allocation of resources. Discuss.   [25]

 

Question 7

Microsoft Operating System runs about 90 percent of personal computers worldwide, while its Microsoft Office is the popular choice for all-in-one software.

(a) How may a firm such as Microsoft present a case of market failure?                         [8]

(b) Assess he government policies to correct the above market failure.                         [17]

 

Question 8

Motorists using the Upper Serangoon Road have to wait for 3 or more traffic light changes before they are able to cross the junctions. The public has for the government to build flyovers to reduce the problem of traffic congestion in the area.

(a) Explain whether traffic lights and flyovers are examples of public goods.               [10]

(b) Which policies in Singapore would you recommend to another country to reduce the problem of traffic congestion? Justify your answer.                                                       [15]

 

Question 9

In 1955, the Singapore Telephone Board (now Singtel) was incorporated as a statutory board with exclusive rights to operate telephone service within Singapore. These exclusive rights were maintained up to 1997 that ended with the partial liberalization of the telecommunications industry.

Adapted from Singtel’s Company Profile

(a) Explain how the existence of monopolies leads to market failure.   [10]

(b) Discuss the possible measures the Singapore government could have taken to regulate the telecommunications industry in Singapore.  [15]

 

Question 10

Performing arts can be seen as a merit good that also generates positive externalities.

Discuss how market failure may arise and the measures adopted by the government in promoting the performing arts in Singapore. [25]

 

Question 11

(b) Comment on the economic impacts of government provision of public housing on the Singapore economy.      [13]

 

Question 12

The EU has reached agreement with the USA on what is termed an ‘open skies’ deal. The ‘open skies’ deal eases restrictions on air travel between the EU and US airlines and will increase the level of competition in the transatlantic market for air travel. Officials said the agreement could generate 26 million more airline passengers over the next five years, and create up to  80,000 new jobs in the EU and US.

BBC (22nd March 2007)

Discuss whether the liberalization of the transatlantic air travel market will always lead to an increase in economic efficiency and economic growth.   [25]

 

Question 13

To what extent can the presence of government in the market for health care services improve the allocation of resources?      [25]

Question 14

Discuss, with economic reasons to support your arguments, whether the Singapore government currently adopts the most appropriate policies in the provision of healthcare.  [25]

 

Market Structures

Question 1

Firms’ pricing and output decisions are primarily determined by their cost conditions. Comment.   [25]

 

Question 2

“SingTel launched its much-anticipated pay TV service today, bringing an end to StarHub’s 12-year monopoly in this market.”

Adapted from Straits Times, 21st July 2007

a) Explain how price and output decisions of firms are affected by competition in the market above.   [10]

b) Discuss the view that greater competition in the above market is beneficial to the society.   [15]

 

Question 3

a) Explain how firms determine their price and output in response to the actions of their rival firms.   [10]

b) Discuss the extent to which the survival of firms in the real world depends on the actions of their rival firms.   [15]

 

Question 4

a) With the use of examples, differentiate between the key features of the economic models of monopolistic competition and monopoly.     [8]

b) Discuss the view that more market power leads to the exploitation of consumers.   [17]

 

Question 5

(a) Using appropriate diagrams, compare price determination in a perfect market with that of imperfect market.                          [10]

(b) Discuss whether the conduct of firms that operate in an imperfect market is necessarily harmful to society.                             [15]

 

Question 6

The objectives of government microeconomic policies are to achieve efficiency in resource allocation and to promote equity in income and wealth distribution.

Assess the various policy measures that the Singapore government currently adopts to achieve the above microeconomic objectives.    [25]

 

Question 7

(a) With the use of an example, explain the concept of price discrimination and the conditions under which it may occur.[10]

(b) Discuss the view that a price discriminating monopolist will always be preferred to a perfectly competitive market.  [15]

 

Question 8

Competition is increasing, rental and wage costs are rising sharply. Life as a neighbourhood general practitioner is becoming tougher.

a) Using the relevant economic concepts, explain how the above changes might affect the survival of a private medical clinic.  [12]

b) Evaluate the strategies it can adopt to cope with these challenges.  [13]

 

Question 9

(a) Account for the different types of profit between a perfectly competitive firm and a monopoly in the long run.  [10]

(b) Discuss how realistic it is to assume that firms want, and are able, to maximize profits.   [15]

 

Question 10

(a) Why would a firm expand in size?    [10]

(b) To what extent is an oligopolistic market structure the most realistic model in explaining real world competitive behavior? [15]

 

Question 11

“Monopolistic competition is the worst or all possible worlds, failing to achieve either the pricing efficiency created by the intensity of perfect competition or the scale economies and innovation of oligopoly and monopoly.”

a) Explain what is meant by monopolistic competition, and why the majority of firms in Singapore are operating in such a market. [10]

b) Does the existence of so many monopolistically competitive firms lead to inefficiency in the Singapore economy. [15m]

Macro Economics, Economic Growth 

Essay Questions

Question 1

“Full employment should be the macroeconomic policy of a government.”

a) Explain the main macroeconomic goals of the Singapore government. [10]

b) Discuss the conflicts that may arise between the pursuit of full employment and other macroeconomic policy objectives. [15]

Question 2
Discuss the relative significance of the size of multiplier and the degree of openness of the Singapore

economy in influencing its macroeconomic policy decisions. [25] Question 3

Discuss whether domestic or foreign factors are more likely to affect the balance of payment of Singapore.
[15]

Question 4

Assess the policies that the Singapore government currently adopts to achieve low unemployment, low inflation and satisfactory balance of payments. [25]

Question 5

Explain the key Macroeconomic aims of the Singapore government and discuss the view that fiscal policy adopted by the Singapore government is beneficial because of its supply side effects. [25]

Question 6

(a) Explain how the current global recession would impact Singapore’s economy. [10]

(b) Discuss the appropriate policies that should be adopted by the Singapore government to reduce the most harmful effects of this impact. [15]

Question 7

How far do you agree with the common perception that globalization holds more demerits than merits for a developed economy? [25]

Question 8

“In July of 2001, Beijing was awarded the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

Most people assume that such an event will bring enormous economic benefits to the host city not just during the event, but for years afterward.”

Adaped from The Industrial Geographer, 2005 a) Explain the effects of the above on China’s actual and potential output. [10]
b) Discuss the extent to which hosting the Olympics impact on China’s external stability. [15]

Question 9

“In tandem with the slowing economy, prices pressures have eased. After averaging 6.5% in 2008, inflation fell to 2.1% in Q1 2009……” (MAS ANNUAL REPORT 2008/2009)

(a) Explain the causes of falling inflation in Singapore. [10]

(b) Discuss the view that a strong Singapore Dollar is the most appropriate policy to maintain price stability. [15]

Question 10

Central bankers around the world took emergency action with co-ordinated interest rate cuts designed to lift investor gloom in the face of recession.

Discuss the likely impact of a fall in worldwide interest rates on the Singapore economy. [25]

Question 11

(a) Explain the effects of an increase in investment by firms on output and prices in an economy. [10]

(b) Discuss how the Singapore government influences private investment to ensure sustained economic growth. [15]

Question 12

a) Explain the main factors that influence the level of private investment in Singapore. [10]

b) Discuss the relative importance of trade and investment in achieving economic growth in Singapore. [15]

Question 13

Singapore’s trade-sensitive economy has entered a recession for the first time in six years due to the impact of the worsening US financial crisis and the deepening credit crunch. Singapore will have an expansionary budget next year to help its citizen cope with weaker economic growth.

Source: Channel News Asia, 6 November 2008

(a) Explain how an expansionary budget can be used to bring an economy out of a recession. [10]

(b) Discuss whether an expansionary budget is the best policy the Singapore government can adopt to deal with the recession caused by the ‘worsening US economy’. [15]

Question 14

(a) Explain why economic growth is regarded as a major macroeconomic objective by most governments. [10]

(b) Discuss the view that, in the long run in the Singapore, the macroeconomic objective of economic growth, price stability, full employment and a strong balance of payments can be achieved without conflicting with each other. [15]

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Question 15

The United States should not be indifferent to the fact that rising currency values (of other countries) can threaten economic prosperity in those countries, but the right solution to this problem is to encourage our trading partners to stimulate their own domestic economies, rather than to keep the dollar overvalued and let them achieve export-led growth at our expense.

Testimony on the impact of overvalued dollar on the American Economy by Robert A. Blecker 9 Mar 2003

(a) Explain how ‘rising currency values can threaten economic prosperity’ in a country. [10]

(b) To what extent is the assertion that the United States should ‘encourage trading partners to stimulate their domestic economics, rather than to keep the US dollar overvalued valid?
[15]

Question 16

The sources of growth can be internal or external, but China will need to prepare for a future in which it relies more om the strength of growth at home rather than the strength of growth in the rest of the world.

Discuss this assertion. [25]

Question 17

“The government has not pursued a ‘grow-at-all-costs’ policy. It ‘went for growth’ by making Singapore more competitive.”

Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, The Straits Times 28.02.2008

  1. a)  Explain why the government has not pursued a ‘grow-at-all-costs’ policy. [10]
  2. b)  Assess the supply-side policies that the Singapore government has adopted to promote long-term

    economic growth. [15]

Question 18

The two casinos set to open in the integrated Resorts in Singapore are part of the government’s longstanding effort to reorient the economy towards higher-value service inductries like tourism and biosciences as it loses manufacturing competitiveness to China.

New York Times, 19 April 2005

Explain the rationale for the above policy and dicuss whether it is the best policy to achieve the government’s macroeconomic goals in a globalized world. [25]

 

AD AS

Essay Questions

Question 1

In 2009, economic activity in Singapore experienced a steeper-than-expected decline amid deterioration in the trade-related industries. Singaporeans are saving even more of their income and spending less.

(a) Explain what is needed to determine changes in standards of living for Singaporeans. [10]

(b) In the light of the economic situation described above, evaluate the short and long run implications of a rise in savings on the improvement in welfare for Singaporeans. [15]

Question 2

(a) Explain why the impact of a world-wide recession on Singapore is a cause for concern for the Singapore government. [10]

(b) To what extent is GDP a good measurement of economic performance as well as standard of living in Singapore? [15]

BOP, FOREX, POLICIES

Essay Questions

Question 1

Discuss how the characteristics of being ‘small’ and ‘open’ has influenced the policy options of the Singapore government. [25]

Question 2

The objectives of government microeconomic policies are to achieve efficiency in resource allocation and to promote equity in income and wealth distribution.

Assess the various policy measures that the Singapore government currently adopts to achieve the above microeconomic objectives. [25]

Question 3

“A RECESSION in the United States and Europe would badly hurt Asian economies, especially Singapore’s, which still rely heavily on these two export markets for growth, according to economists.”

Source: The Straits Times 23/01/2008
(a) Explain the effectiveness of the US slowdown on the Singapore economy. [12]

(b) Assess the effectiveness of the current policies adopted by the Singapore government to improve the economic performance in this current downturn. [13]

Question 4

….unemployment rates in times of recession. Do you agree? [25]

Question 5

Singapore’s unemployment rate rose to 3.3% in March 2009.

(a) Explain whether demand-side factors or supply-side factors are responsible for the rise in unemployment in Singapore. [10]

(b) Discuss the extent to which problems are likely to arise from the use of fiscal policy to achieve full-employment in Singapore. [15]

Question 6

“This global crisis will see a reshuffling of the deck. Some countries will move up, while others falter and fall behind. We will do everything we need to ensure that Singapore emerges stronger and more competitive.

Budget Speech 2009

(a) Explain how government expenditure and taxation influence Singapore’s competitiveness. [10]

(b) Discuss the view that fiscal policy is the best way to “ensure that Singapore emerges stronger and more competitive.” [15]

Question 7

While the recent energy and food crisis resulted in inflation and potentially rising unemployment, the current global economic downturn has dampened inflation. However the threat of rising unemployment remains.

Explain the above statement and comment on the measures that could have been used in your country to manage the unemployment arising from the global economic downturn. [25]

 

Question 8

Assess the view that in a small open economy like Singapore, demand management policies are largely irrelevant, and therefore governments should focus their efforts on supply side policymaking. [25]

Question 9

“High oil prices are fueling one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history. Oil consumers are paying $4 billion to $5 billion more for crude oil every day than they did just five years ago, pumping more than $2 trillion into the coffers of oil companies and oil-producing nations this year alone.”

The Washington Post, November 10, 2007
(a) Examine the effects of a sustained rise in the price of crude oil on the balance of payments of a country.

[12]

(b) Should Singapore be concerned about the effect of the rise in the price of crude oil on her balance of payments? [13]

Question 10

“The fact that the world economy has become increasingly global is good because it has opened up new markets for American products, and bad because it has subjected American companies and employees to unfair competition.”

Adapted from The New York Times, 16 March 2008
Discuss the above assessment of the effects of globalization on the American economy. [25] Question 11
In the ligt of the current worldwide recession, some countries have allowed their exchange rates to depreciate.

  1. a)  Explain how macroeconomic problems might result from a depreciation of Singapore’s exchange rate. [8]
  2. b)  Using the concepts of income elasticity of demand and the multiplier, assess whether Singapore is among

    economics that have most to lose in the current worldwide recession. [17]

Question 12

(a) What might cause an appreciation of Singapore’s exchange rate level? [10]

Question 13

Since the 1980s, Singapore has concentrated on using the exchange rate policy. The primary objective is to promote price stability as a sound basis for sustainable economic growth.

Discuss the view that a strong Singapore dollar policy has been the most appropriate policy in overcoming the main economic problems faced by Singapore in recent years. [25]

Question 14

  1. a)  Explain how the inflation rate might affect the exchange rate of a country. [8]
  2. b)  Assess whether managing exchange rates is the only policy that a country might adopt to tackle ailing

    export competitiveness. [17]

Globalization and International Trade

Essay Questions

Question 1

In view of globalization, discuss the appropriate policies that the Singapore government should use to achieve its internal macroeconomic aims. [25]

Question 2

How far do you agree with the common perception that globalization holds more demerits than merits for a developed economy? [25]

Question 3

“A weaker Singapore dollar and a bigger budget deficit is unlikely to curb a rising unemployment in the era of globalization.”

(a) Explain the above statement. [10] (b) Assess the possible effects the above policies might have on the other macroeconomic objectives of the Singapore government. [15]

Question 4

Explain the effects of globalization on the Singapore economy and assess whether the Singapore government currently adopts appropriate policies to minimize the costs of globalization. [25]

Question 5

The big leap in rice prices in 2007 was due to production problems in several ASEAN countries that were caused by the oil price hike, farmers switching to biofuels, weather conditions and higher fixed costs.

(a) Explain the economic impacts on an increase in rice prices. [10] (b) Discuss some of the policy options which a government could use to intervene in the rice market. [15]

Question 6

Globalization is now a well-used term that refers not just to trade in goods but also services, technology, free movement of labour and capital flows. It represents a new and challenging reality.

(a) Has globalization been of benefit to the Singapore economy? [12] (b) Discuss appropriate policy measures that the Singapore government may undertake to increase the net benefits of globalization. [13]

Question 7

Since its accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, China has carried out major trade and trade-related reforms. More than half of China’s exports are produced by foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) who account for a particularly large share of high technology products. FIEs enjoy various tax advantages over domestic enterprise.

(a) Explain if the pattern of China’s exports in consistent with the theory of comparative advantage. [10] (b) Discuss the impact of globalization on an emerging country like China. [15]

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Question 8

“The fact that the world economy has become increasingly global is good because it has opened up new markets for American products, and bad because it has subjected American companies and employees to unfair competition.”

Adapted from The New York Times, 16 March 2008

Discuss the above assessment of the effects of globalization on the American economy. [25]

Question 9

(a) Explain why trade occurs between developed and developing countries. [10] (b) To what extent do Free Trade Agreements determine the pattern of trade between Singapore and the rest of the world? [15]

Question 10

“Modern protectionism is more subtle and varied than the 1930’s version where tariffs were

the weapon of choice.”

Source: The Economist 26//03/09

(a) Describe the different forms of protectionism in practice today. [10] (b) Evaluate the arguments for protectionism in light of the current global economic downturn. [15]

Question 11

“Singapore’s network of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) has expanded to cover 13 regional and bilateral FTAs with 23 trading partners, including countries such as the US, China, India and Japan. FTAs have been reducing import tariff rates and easing investment rules.”

Source: http://www.fta.gov.sg Discuss the extent to which the Singapore’s network of FTAs will help to achieve her

macroeconomic objctives. [25]

Question 12

The U.S. current account deficit amounted to US$738.6 billions in 2007.
(a) Explain the possible causes of US’s current account deficit. [10] (b) Discuss whether protectionism is the most effective policy to deal with a balance of payment deficit. [15]

Question 13

The U.S. trade and budget deficits were not sustainable. China was wrong to keep its currency artificially depressed and depend too much on selling cheap goods.

New York Times, 27 Dec 2008

(a) Explain whether it is true that the artificially depressed yuan resulted in US’ trade deficit. [12]
(b) Discuss whether protectionism is the best policy for US to resolve the unsustainable imbalance in its trade account and fiscal budget. [13]