TOPIC:

Choose a firm that has a major presence in Australia. Define the market and identify the key competitors. Analyse the output market characteristics of this firm (e.g. perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly etc.). Justify your answer using real-time market data (e.g. market share, profits, sales etc.) for this industry in recent years. You should make use of the Herfindahl index and market concentration ratio for your justification.

Next, assume ONE change in the market conditions (e.g. changes in cost of production, new entry or exit of firms in the industry, changes in government policy etc.). How will this change affect the market as well as your firm’s position in the market? Does this change affect the profit maximising level of output and price?

Make sure to provide a rationale and justification for any of the assertions you make. You are expected to draw upon the theoretical concepts contained in the course in your discussion of such aspects as market structure, entry and exit, and rivalry between competitors. Use proper diagrams to illustrate your answer.

RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT FORMAT:

  • Your task is to write a short research paper on the above topic. Word limit: 1500 words including references.
  • Via email, submit your choice of firm and a brief progress report to me in Week 6 (not more than an A4 page:

    maximum of 500-600 words).

  • Please note that this is an individual research assignment.
  • You need to submit your assignment by the end of Week 10 (3 November 2019 – 11pm). Please note, submissions after the due date will attract a penalty of 10% per calendar day or part thereof.
  • This is a research project. I expect it to take the appearance of an academic paper and be structured as follows:

o Introduction
Mention the main objectives of this research and the reasons you chose this firm. You may cite any relevant literature to explain the importance of your research.

o Basic analysis of the firm characteristics
What kind of a market is this firm competing in – perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly etc.? Justify your answer using real-time market data (e.g. market share, profits, sales etc.) for this industry in recent years. Which firms are the main competitors? How do competitors influence the pricing decision of this firm? Comment on the overall industry.

o Change in market conditions
What happens when the market conditions change? You can use diagrams, charts, and tables to explain your findings.

o Conclusions (may be in one short paragraph)
Summarise your findings and future policy implications for this firm and the industry overall. Is there any role of the government?

o References
Do not forget to make reference of the data sources and any other references you have used to write this short paper.

You will be graded based on your writing and communication abilities to a broader audience. The assignment must be clearly written; any diagrams, charts, tables etc. must be clearly labelled and explained in your text and any equations defined and explained. The quality of your argument, the clarity with which you explain and illustrate the relevant concepts and the way in which you relate theory to the available empirical evidence is very important here. Detailed feedback will be provided upon grading.

Weighting: 25% of your total grade

Due: by 11PM, 3 November 2019 via Learnonline website. Submit in word format (not in pdf).

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