You are an economist and are asked to comment on the following.
Mr./Ms. Economist, What is going on in the economy and how will this effect our business in our state of Ohio? What should be done to correct the current situation if anything?
Follow the following steps:
(1) Learning Objectives
• Practice and experience in reflecting on a topic in the current economy.
• Practice in analysis of economic trends.
• Gaining of confidence about talking about the economy.
• Ability to know and use the resources of economic commentary, prior analysis and data.
(2) Background on the problem at hand – lots to read first.
My aunt, who is very savvy, claims a depression is approaching. We have experienced a deep recession with a long recovery, but what does the future portend? Is this country back on track or still well below the mark?
One thing is certain, the immediate economic future is uncertain.
Your job is to write an essay on a proposition below about the current state of the economy and what it portrays for the future of business in Ohio.
First some definitions
What is a business cycle and what is a recession?
A business cycle is a mapping over time of the health of the economy, whether the economy is in recession, growing in an expansion, at a peak or contracting.
What is the difference between recession and depression?
Here is an article about the Great Depression from the CEE.
Here is an article on Business Cycles written by Christine Romer from the CEE. (Who served in the the administration of President Obama?)
Some data sources for the United States can be found at the following. You will have to find Ohio data on your own.
Economic Indicators (for the US) main page http://www.gpoaccess.gov/indicators/index.html
Economic Report of the President
Bureau of Labor Statistics Economy at a Glance
*updated* The last link used to be much easier to use and I am adding the next as a helpful data link. You will be able to use and customize graphs if you want at FRED. –
Economic Data – FRED (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
OK now that you have reviewed all of the above links… you have haven’t you? If not go back and do that now.
Now that you have reviewed / read all of the above links, the following is the Official National Bureau of Economic Research latest statement on the economy. http://www.nber.org/cycles/ Below is part of that statement and the rest of that webpage may be of interest to you as well.
CAMBRIDGE September 20, 2010 – The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.
In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month. A recession is a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. The trough marks the end of the declining phase and the start of the rising phase of the business cycle. Economic activity is typically below normal in the early stages of an expansion, and it sometimes remains so well into the expansion.
The committee also maintains a quarterly chronology of business cycle peak and trough dates. The committee determined that the trough occurred in the second quarter of 2009, when the average of quarterly real GDP and GDI reached its low point.
(3) The requirements of the homework set or how to complete this Assignment
In this exercise you will be put to the ultimate test… telling your employer what is really happening. After all, you are the in-house economist, you must know. Only you know that is a difficult task to know, but what mixture of analysis and opinion can you render in writing for your employer?
The requirements are two: answer the question posed below to the best of your ability and prepare a report for your employer. As with all employers, they do not have time to read long diatribes, so prepare an executive summary and attach supporting arguments after the summary. A good guide is the NBER announcement which contains a few paragraphs followed by a question and answer section, but the ultimate form is up to you.
You must include links to all sources used as references and support for your arguments.
(4) Grading: Your paper will be graded according to the following criteria – so make sure your essay conforms.
Level of Achievement General Presentation Reasoning, Argumentation
(10 pts) • Provides a clear and thorough introduction and background
• Addresses the question
• Presents arguments in a logical order using appropriate tools from class
• Uses acceptable style and grammar (no errors) • Demonstrates an accurate and complete understanding of the question
• Uses several arguments and backs arguments with examples, data that support the conclusion
(8 pts) • Combination of above traits, but less consistently represented (1-2 errors)
• Same as above but less thorough, still accurate • Uses only one argument and example that supports conclusion
(6 pts) • Does not address the question explicitly, though does so tangentially
• States a somewhat relevant argument
• Presents some arguments in a logical order
• Uses adequate style and grammar (more than 2 errors) • Demonstrates minimal understanding of question, still accurate
• Uses a small subset of possible ideas for support of the argument
(4 pts) • Does not address the question
• States no relevant arguments
• Is not clearly or logically organized
• Fails to use acceptable style and grammar • Does not demonstrate understanding of the question, inaccurate
• Does not provide evidence to support response to the question
(5) A statement of the question you are to discuss.
Important: You must write on the following. You must lead to a conclusion or recommendation. Your recommendation must be based on relevant data for both the US and Ohio and if available your employer. (Not employed? Then write as if you are and identify the type of business.)
Be sure to anticipate the other side’s criticism and answer that expected criticism.
Proposition: Mr./Ms. Economist, What is going on in the economy and how will this effect our business in our state of Ohio? What should be done to correct the current situation if anything?
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