Plunging Oil Price Discussion

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I’m working on a Business question and need guidance to help me study.

Find an article in a recent newspaper or magazine illustrating a change in price or quantity in some market. Analyze the situation using economic reasoning.

  1. Has there been an increase or decrease in demand? Factors that could shift the demand curve include changes in preferences, changes in income, changes in the price of substitutes or complements, or changes in the number of consumers in the market.
  2. Has there been an increase or decrease in supply? Factors that could shift the supply curve include changes in costs of materials, wages, or other inputs; changes in technology; or changes in the number of firms in the market.
  3. Draw a supply-and-demand graph to explain this change. Be sure to label your graph and clearly indicate which curve shifts.

Students to turn in a copy of the article along with their explanation. Warn students to avoid advertisements because they contain little information. They should be wary of commodity and financial markets unless they have a good understanding of the particular market. Markets for ordinary goods and services are most easily analyzed.

Points for Discussion

Most changes will only shift one curve—either supply or demand—not both. Remind students that price changes will not cause either curve to shift. (But shifting either curve will change price.)

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