The assessment for this unit consists of two assignments and a final examination. The two assignments are designed to test your understanding of issues and principles raised in the topics being studied.

The first assignment consists of five questions based on topics covered in the first section of this unit. The second assignment is a report on the economy and policy in Australia. The purpose of these assignments is to give you the opportunity to demonstrate the skills you have acquired in this unit. You will need to start gathering information for the second assignment almost immediately.

Assignment due dates and the examination period provided here apply to the Australian study period. These may be varied for students studying elsewhere, please confirm dates with your local tutor.

Students studying in Australia must submit their assignments online via the online submission facility on the MySCU website for this unit. Students studying in overseas locations will be advised on assignment submission by their local tutors. For instructions on how to submit an assignment electronically please click on to the tab in the MySCU learning site for this subject. You must attach an electronic cover sheet (available in MySCU) as the first page of your assignment. You should keep a copy of all submitted materials. You need to submit Assignment 1 and Assignment 2 via Turnitin. You are advised to check your Turnitin score before you submit your assignment.

The final examination will be based on topics covered throughout the whole study period. It will use a range of test questions. Details of the examination format will be provided at a later date.

 References and Referencing

You will be required to gather information for your assignments and it is important to be aware that material posted on the web may not always be reliable. You are advised to carefully consider the authenticity of all sources of the information before using it in assignments. In addition, it is expected that some of the information you reference will be from refereed journals.

It is also important to use Harvard-style referencing for ALL material used in your work.


SBaT Extension Policy

It is VERY important that YOU make yourself aware of the School’s Extension Policy and Special Consideration Policy.

Students wanting an extension MUST make a request at least 24 hours before the assessment item is due and the request must be received in writing by the unit assessor or designated academic.

Extensions within 24 hours of submission or following the submission deadline WILL NOT be granted (unless supported by a doctor’s certificate or where there are exceptional circumstances – this will be at unit assessor’s discretion and will be considered on a case by case basis). Extensions will be given for a maximum of 48 hours (longer extensions supported by a doctor’s certificate or exceptional circumstances will be considered on a case by case basis).

A penalty of 10% of the total available marks will accrue for each 24 hour period that an assessment item is submitted late. Therefore an assessment item worth 20 marks will have 2 marks deducted for every 24 hour period and at the end of 10 days (including weekends) will receive 0 marks.

Students who fail to submit their assignments according to the correct guidelines provided above will be deemed to have not submitted the assessment item and the above penalty will be applied until the specified submission guidelines are followed.

Extensions can be sought by emailing Jeremy Buultjens ( When emailing Jeremy it is essential to put ECO10250 in the subject area of your email otherwise it may be deleted as SPAM.


Re-submissions and re-sits

In this unit there are no provisions for re-submitting assignments. If you have failed the unit after completing all three assessment items, there is an opportunity to re-sit the exam. The following conditions apply in this case:

  • If you take up this option, the exam outcome (a pass or a fail) will be used as the sole determinant of your final result for the unit.
  • The ability to re-sit the exam will only be open to you if you have submitted ALL assessment items.
  • For any student who takes up this option a pass will be the highest result achievable.




Assignment 1

Due:                         9pm Monday, 17 August, 2015 (Week 9)

Weighting:               25%

Note that when you are answering questions that require mathematical calculations, you should provide details as to how the answers were derived. In completing your answers, you should use graphs wherever possible. Always provide a brief explanation of each graph, including how it relates to your overall answer/argument.

Question 1

  • The following is a set of hypothetical production possibilities for a nation A.


Combination Bicycles



(thousands of tonnes)

A 0 10
B 2 9
C 4 7
D 6 4
E 8 0


  • Plot the production possibility for nation A.
  • What is the opportunity cost of the first 2000 bicycles produced?
  • Determine between which point the opportunity cost per thousand bicycles is highest.
  • Show what would happen to the production possibility frontier if nation A introduced an improved fertiliser that is used by its wheat farmers.
  • Explain how the production possibilities frontier reflects the law of increasing opportunity costs.

       (Parts i to v are worth a mark each.)

  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of a planned economy and a free-market (300 words maximum).       (5 marks)


Question 2


  1. The Australian wine industry has prospered over the last two decades, expanding rapidly into overseas markets. However, in recent years it has faced some problems. Use demand and supply analysis to explain how these two factors (problems) stated below would affect the price and quantity of Australian wine.
  2. i) There has been a rapid increase in the Australian production of wine grapes.
  3. ii) New wine producers in China and India are producing good quality low cost wine.

       (Parts i and ii are worth 2 marks each.)

  • In an attempt to support the Australian wine industry the government sets a minimum price. Do you think this is a good idea? Explain your decision using graphs.        (6 marks)


Question 3


  • Explain why a firm can make a loss and continue operating in the short-run, and under what circumstances it will shut down. (3 marks)
  • Discuss and show how a price-taking firm determines its profit-maximising output level.

       (3 marks)

  • The Byron Bicycle Company produces high quality bicycles. The firm has fixed costs of $1,000 and the wage cost for each worker is $500 (assume these are the company’s only cost). Complete the table below.
Workers Output Marginal Product Total Cost Average variable cost Marginal cost
0 0
1 20
2 50
3 90
4 120
5 140
6 150
7 155

       (4 marks)

Question 4

Use graphs to explain and illustrate the profit-maximising price and output for firms in the perfect market and for those in the monopoly market. Explain why monopoly firms are able to earn supernormal profits in the long run.(10 marks)

Question 5

Explain why pollution is an example of market failure and why the free market will not provide an efficient solution to the problem. Provide a critique of a carbon tax as opposed to the Australian government’s ‘Direct Action’ as a solution to this problem (700 words maximum).(10 marks)