Introduction to Economic Analysis

Introduction to Economic Analysis
3250:244 Web-based Course
Module 7a, First Writing Assignment

•    This homework is designed to be completed after Module 7.  A second writing assignment is scheduled after Module 14.
•    This homework is graded on the basis of 10 points just like every module.
•    You will be graded on your ability to write effectively as well as your ability to answer the question.  Do not resort to cutting and pasting others’ ideas.  Rather write a thoughtful essay of your own creation.
•    Do not use the thoughts and words and images of others without a full citation using a standard bibliographic reference.  Any academic dishonesty is grounds for an F in the course and full prosecution including your removal from the university.
•    You must include a reference list with full bibliographic citation and when possible a link to the original source.
•    Think before you write and write professionally.
•    Read everything on this page!


1.    You are asked to write an analytical essay that responds to the proposition below.  You must take a position to agree or disagree with the proposition.   You must defend your position using appropriate tools from this class, including but not limited to the concepts and tools of (1) supply and demand, (2) tax incidence and (3) the price elasticity of demand.
2.    What you will need to do to complete this assignment is to draw on your own paper the appropriate supply and demand diagram(s) (for your own use, not to turn in) and write up the results in MS Word in easy to understand language.  In fact, you should adopt the style of a major newspaper journalist (not editorialist) so your ideas are clear and persuasive to your readers. Your essay should be written in an easy to understand language.
3.    Words like “I think” and “I believe” and purely normative arguments are unacceptable.  Be analytical by citing facts and analytical references.  Do not include normative opinions and references to the normative opinion of others.
4.    You must directly cite all references you use and if you use the words of others they must be in quotes and referenced to the page of the reference.  Failure to do this will result in a presumption of academic dishonesty.
5.    Do not use the work of any other student past or present.
6.    While I have no pre-set length for you write up, it would be hard for me to believe that you could do a thoughtful write-up that is less than two pages.
7.    You will write and submit your assignment through the drop box in Springboard.


“Taxes levied on goods and services always cause harm and distort the efficient operation of the economy and therefore should not be levied.”

Learning Objectives:
1.    Learning to use Supply and Demand to analyze a problem.
2.    To see how the concept of elasticity affects the Supply and Demand analysis.
3.    To learn to correctly apply concepts of elasticity.
4.    To learn about the burden taxation places on a market.
5.    To understand the difference between the legal incidence of a tax and the economic incidence of a tax.
6.    To learn about the burden that taxation places on a market
7.    To be able to explain a complex economic concept in language easily understood.
8.    Begin thinking about this problem by visualizing a market diagram with an upward sloping supply and downward sloping demand curves. Now visualize a tax levied on the suppliers of a product.
9.    Having trouble visualizing? Read your text and consult online material to see the basic model.
10.    Taxes are levied on either the buyers of a product or the sellers of a product. Economists argue that it doesn’t matter whether you tax the buyer or the seller since the end result is the same. This suggests that legislative tax policy may not achieve its desired intent due to the working of the market and what is known as tax shifting.

Grading Rubric
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
Needs improvement
(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
No Answer
(0 pts)