Module 1 – SLP
Supply and Demand
For the SLP this session, come up with an idea for a business you would like to start someday. This should be a business in an industry that you are familiar with and can find a lot of information about. This could be a type of business that you are currently working for or have worked for in the past, or a type of business that you are a frequent customer of. Finally – since you will have to make estimates about costs of starting up the business or what type of price you can charge, it is best to keep your business idea relatively simple.
For this first SLP, discuss your business idea and do some initial research on what prices your potential competitors in your home town are charging. More specifically, write a three-page paper discussing the following issues:
- What business do you want to start, and why? Explain your personal connection to this type of business and discuss sources of information about this business that you plan to use for your SLP.
- What prices are these businesses in your chosen industry charging? Try to get at least ten examples of businesses and the prices they are charging, and create a table that lists the prices and any other relevant information, such as whether the product they sell is high-end quality or lower-end quality.
- Do you notice a large range of prices that businesses are charging for the service or product? If so, what factors do you think explain the range of prices? Is it the quality of the product or service, location of the business, amount of advertising done by each business, other?
Based on your answers to Questions 1 and 2 above, do you think your product or service will have elastic or inelastic demand? You don’t have to do any calculations since you probably won’t have access to sales data on the businesses you are looking at – but based on the range of prices, you should be able to get an idea about how sensitive consumers of your product or service will be to changes in price. In addition to your own research about prices in your home town, cite some of the required background reading on elasticity to justify your answer.
SLP ASSIGNMENT EXPECTATIONS
Answer the assignment questions directly.
- Stay focused on the precise assignment questions. Do not go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
- Make sure to use reliable and credible sources as your references. Articles published in established newspapers or business journals/magazines are preferred. If you find articles on the Internet, make sure they are from a credible source.
- Reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 11- 14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide,” which is found under “My Resources” in the TLC Portal.
NOTE: Module 1 involves getting to know the important basics of economic analysis, including laws of supply and demand and how to measure and analyze costs. While the lessons are simple, they are profound, and you need to pay careful attention to them.
On the discussion side, you are to go to the Freakonomics page and make some commentary about the site. Now, for all of the hype, remember that Freakonomics pretty much deals with stuff that may seem to be counterintuitive, but in the end is explained by standard economic analysis, along with a dose of how social institutions influence all of us.
As always, organize your papers well, write clearly, and have sources that you use in your paper. I look forward to reading your work.