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Assignment #1

Purpose of Assignment

To locate, retrieve, and evaluate the effects of macroeconomic indicators on your own decision making.

Assignment Steps

Resources: Tutorial help on Excel® and Word functions can be found on the Microsoft® Office website. There are also additional tutorials via the web offering support for Office products.

Scenario: Consider your last big purchase such as a car, appliances, home repairs, home purchase, computer equipment, college tuition, or another “big-ticket” item, which are often purchased using loans/financing (by borrowing money). Also consider your decision-making process that led you to choose a particular make, model, or brand of the product (or service) you purchased and whether it was the right time to make the purchase given economic conditions at the time of your purchase. While analyzing your decision, keep in mind everything from interest rates to the prices of complementary and substitute goods are driven by human economic behavior. 

Develop a minimum 1,050-word analysis of your decision-making process in which you include the following:

  • Retrieve statistics on Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and on Real Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) by year for the last ten years. You can retrieve those statistics from internet sources including, but not limited to, the Federal Reserve of St. Louis’s FRED web site, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) web site, or another credible source of your choice. Post these statistics in a single worksheet of an Excel® workbook and submit your Excel® file with your report. In your report, discuss the latest 10-year trends in both GDP and PCE. Also discuss how the trends in GDP compare with trends in PCE. You are encouraged to include graphs of these statistics in your report; you could create the graphs in Excel®and copy them into your report.
  • Retrieve statistics on the Effective Federal Funds Rate and on the Consumer Price Index: All Items Less Food and Energy by year for the last 30 years. You can retrieve those statistics from internet sources including, but not limited to, the Federal Reserve of St. Louis’s FRED web site, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) web site, or other credible sources of your choice. Post these statistics in a single worksheet of an Excel® workbook and submit your Excel® file with your report. In your report, discuss how the trends in the Effective Federal Funds Rate compare with trends in inflation. If you took out a loan to pay for your “big-ticket” purchase, what was the interest rate on your loan? Were interest rates rising or falling at that time?  Were interest rates relatively high or low at that time? You are also encouraged to include graphs of these statistics in your report.
  • Discuss the influence of any Federal government or state government programs, such as tax credits or tax deductions for energy-saving/efficiency purchases, on your decision to make your last big purchase; or if government incentives did not factor into your decision, explain why not.
  • Develop conclusions about the economy’s influence on personal and business decision-making relative to purchases of big-ticket items, investments, or other major purchases. 

Cite a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources. Note: The Federal Reserve of St. Louis, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be cited to fulfill this requirement. 

Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.

Click the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment. Be sure you submit your paper as well as the two required Excel® files.

Assignment #2

Purpose of Assignment

The theory of market economies emphasizes freedom of choice and limited government intervention. The classic argument for government intervention is market failure – the inability of the market economy to correct itself from a dysfunctional state (such as the Great Depression). Students will examine articles from the University library to analyze real-world examples of U.S. government intervention programs and apply current week readings to make intelligent conclusions about the economic policies.

Assignment Steps

Resources: Tutorial help on Excel® and Word functions can be found on the Microsoft® Office website. There are also additional tutorials via the web offering support for Office products.

Using the University Library, EBSCOhost, or ProQuest data bases, locate up to three different articles/publications and/or use The Economist Online from the University Library to examine one case of significant government intervention as it relates to your current industry of employment or an industry in which you are interested in working. You may access EBSCOhost, ProQuest or The Economist Online through the University Library homepage: 

  1. Click on the Library tab. 
  2. Click on the underlined University Library link.
  3. Click on General Resources under Library Resources.
  4. Click on either EBSCOhost or ProQuest.
  5. Go back Library Resources list.
  6. Click on View All Resources Alphabetically.
  7. Click on Economist.com.

Examples of intervention programs you may select, but are not limited to:

  • US agriculture support programs
  • Low income support programs (Food Stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families)
  • Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
  • Low-income rent controls and housing vouchers
  • Government promotion of renewable energy sources to discourage use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Bailout of U.S. banks and other financial institutions during the Great Recession
  • Bailout of U.S. auto makers during the Great Recession
  • Social Security retirement benefits

Develop a minimum 10-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation including detailed speaker notes or voiceover including the following:

  • Describe the intervention and detail its history.
  • Analyze the arguments for government intervention as opposed to arguments for market-based solutions. Hint: See the information in our course textbook on market failures.
  • Examine who may be helped and who may be hurt by the selected government intervention.
  • Examine externalities and/or unintended consequences of such intervention.
  • Determine the cost trend of the intervention program since its implementation including whether costs are increasing, decreasing, or vary with the state of the economy.
  • Evaluate the success or failure of the intervention in achieving its objectives and develop conclusions.
  • Recommend whether the program should be continued as is, discontinued, or modified and defend your recommendation.

Note: The use of tables and/or charts to display economic data over the time period discussed is highly encouraged. However, if your source includes the copyright symbol, which looks like this: ©, then you should not copy any table and/or charts from that source. You could use, but are not required to use, charts/graphs retrieved from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis FRED web site as long as the data sources used by FRED to create those charts are government sources such as the Bureau of Economic Analysis or the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Cite a minimum of three scholarly, peer-reviewed references.

Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.

Click the Assignment Files tab to submit your assignment.

It is very important that you read and understand what needs to be done and that these are two seperate assignments.







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