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The final project combines all the questions answered in the previous weeks into essay form and incorporates all learning outcomes and course goals.

Instruction on preparing the final paper: Use an essay format for the final paper. Do NOT use an exam format with just question numbers followed by answer phrases which you have already submitted. The paper must be typed and double-spaced, using a 12-point font and 1-inch margins. Be sure that you have clearly answered all parts of allquestions. Both content and writing style are important in this assignment. Proofread your work and pay careful attention to spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure. It should be 5 to 8 pages long

1. Pick a business using the following criteria:

  • Has to be a publicly traded company (listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ stock markets)
  • Has to have operations in predominantly one industry (For example, GE operates in many industries, whereas JP Morgan Chase operates in one; However, GE has financial operations)
  • Must be a domestic company (US-based)

2. Research the business on Yahoo Finance or on the company’s website, and answer the following questions:

  • a. What is the name of the business and what product(s) or service(s) does it provide?
  • b. Who are the largest owners of the business (individuals, a family, partners, pension funds, etc.)?
  • c. What kinds of externalities (externality is defined as the uncompensated impact of one person’s actions on the wellbeing of a bystander) does the company produce, if any?
  • d. Evaluate how extensive the government regulation is in the industry the company operates in.
  • e. Does the company have absolute or comparative advantage in the market?

#2:

  • a. What is the total size of the market for the company’s product(s) (demand for the product, not the company’s products)? Is it growing or declining?
  • b. Is the company a leader or follower? Does the company have any advantages that are sustainable (patent, production process, etc.)?
  • c. Does the company have a stable product mix, or does the company introduce new products or services aggressively?
  • d. What share of the overall local, regional, national, international markets does the company have?

#3:

  • a. Suppose the company increased the price of its product/service (or one of its products/services, if there are more than one) by about 10%. Would the quantity purchased be expected to fall by about 10%, more than 10%, or less than 10%? Find out if the company increased its prices in the past 2-3 years and check if the sales declined and by how much.
  • b. What does your answer to part 3a imply about the elasticity of demand for the company’s product/service? That is, is the demand for the company’s product/service elastic, inelastic, or unit elastic?
  • c. What do your answers to 3a and 3b imply about what would happen to the total revenue from sales of the product/service? That is, would it increase, decrease, or remain the same? Explain.

#4:

  • a. What are the total taxes paid by the company?
  • b. How much deferred tax assets or liability does the company have?
  • c. What percentage of sales is international?
  • d. What percentage of the company’s inputs is imported from international sources?
#5:

  • a. Does the company in its production, distribution or marketing stages produce any externality?
  • b. Does the company face a lot of government regulations?
  • c. Does the company seem to incorporate all its costs of production in its prices?
  • d. Does the company consume common resources?
  • e. Does the company produce public goods?
#6:

  • a. What inputs does the company use to produce its product or service? (While your company’s input usage may differ from that discussed in class, a review of your course notes on fixed and variable inputs may be helpful here.)
  • b. Are the company’s inputs variable inputs? In other words, suppose the company wanted to produce more or less than it had been. For which inputs could the quantity used be easily changed in a relatively short amount of time, such as a month?
  • c. Which of the company’s inputs are fixed inputs? That is, for which inputs, can the quantity used not be changed in a relatively short amount of time?
  • d. What is the business’ largest expense per year? (Be specific; labor, research and development, materials, rent.)
  • e. How many employees does the company have? Is the company’s labor force unionized? Does the company use a lot of temporary workers?
  • f. Does the company seem to include economic and accounting costs of production? List some of the economic costs the company may have.

#7:

  • a. How many buyers and sellers (firms) are in the company’s market?
  • b. Do the company’s products differ from its competitors?
  • c. How difficult or easy is it for new entrants into the market the company operates in?
#8:

  • a. Would this business be best described as a perfect competitor, a monopolistic competitor, an oligopolist, or a monopolist? Explain.
  • b. Is the company a leader or follower? Does the company have any advantages that are sustainable (patent, production process, etc.)?
  • c. How is the behavior of the company affected by the market structure it operates under?
  • d. Would it behave differently if it were in a different market structure?
  

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