Economic Analysis; Your turn to show you can do economic analysis

Your turn to show you can do economic analysis.
Web-based Course – Second Writing Assignment
You are an economist and are asked to comment on the following.
Mr./Ms. Economist, What is going on in the economy and how will this effect our business in our state of Ohio? What should be done to correct the current situation if anything?

This module is due before the end of the course, not before moving on to Module 15. After completing Module 15 and this writing assignment do not neglect to complete the evaluation module.

Complete module 15 before submitting this writing assignment.
This homework is graded on the basis of 10 points just like every module.
You will be graded on your ability to write effectively as well as your ability to answer the question.
Do not resort to cutting and pasting others’ ideas.
Rather write a thoughtful essay of your own creation.
Think before you write.
Do the 5 steps below in order.

(1) Learning Objectives
Practice and experience in reflecting on a topic in the current economy.
Practice in analysis of economic trends.
Gaining of confidence about talking about the economy.
Ability to know and use the resources of economic commentary, prior analysis and data.

(2) Background on the problem at hand ? lots to read first.
My aunt, who is very savvy, claims a depression is approaching. Some of my friends are convinced this will be remembered as a terrible recession, others are saying if we handle this right we may have a slow but sure recovery.

One thing is certain, the immediate economic future is uncertain.

Your job is to write an essay on a proposition below about the current state of the economy and what it portrays for the future of business in Ohio.

First some definitions

What is a business cycle and what is a recession?
A business cycle is a mapping over time of the health of the economy, whether the economy is in recession, growing in an expansion, at a peak or contracting.

What is the difference between recession and depression?

Here is an article about the Great Depression from the CEE.

Here is an article on Business Cycles written by Christine Romer from the CEE. (Who is she now in the administration of President Obama?)

Some data sources for the United States can be found at the following. You will have to find Ohio data on your own.

Economic Indicators (for the US) main page

Economic Report of the President

Bureau of Labor Statistics Economy at a Glance

*updated* The last link used to be much easier to use and I am adding the next as a helpful data link. You will be able to use and customize graphs if you want at FRED. ? Dr. Myers **

Economic Data ? FRED (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

OK now that you have reviewed all of the above links? you have haven?t you? If not go back and do that now.

Now that you have reviewed / read all of the above links, the following is the Official National Bureau of Economic Research latest statement on the economy. Below is part of that statement and the rest of that webpage may be of interest to you as well.

The committee maintains a chronology of the beginning and ending dates (months and quarters) of U.S. recessions. The committee determined that a peak in economic activity occurred in the U.S. economy in December 2007. The peak marks the end of the expansion that began in November 2001 and the beginning of a recession. The expansion lasted 73 months; the previous expansion of the 1990s lasted 120 months.

A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in production, employment, real income, and other indicators. A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion.
Because a recession is a broad contraction of the economy, not confined to one sector, the committee emphasizes economy-wide measures of economic activity. The committee believes that domestic production and employment are the primary conceptual measures of economic activity.

(3) The requirements of the homework set or how to complete this Assignment

In this exercise you will be put to the ultimate test… telling your employer what is really happening. After all, you are the in-house economist, you must know. Only you know that is a difficult task to know, but what mixture of analysis and opinion can you render in writing for your employer?

The requirements are two: answer the question posed below to the best of your ability and prepare a report for your employer. As with all employers, they do not have time to read long diatribes, so prepare an executive summary and attach supporting arguments after the summary. A good guide is the NBER announcement which contains a few paragraphs followed by a question and answer section, but the ultimate form is up to you.
You must include links to all sources used as references and support for your arguments.

(4) Grading: Your paper will be graded according to the following criteria ? so make sure your essay conforms.

Level of Achievement
General Presentation
Reasoning, Argumentation
(10 pts)
Provides a clear and thorough introduction and background
Addresses the question
Presents arguments in a logical order using appropriate tools from class
Uses acceptable style and grammar (no errors)
Demonstrates an accurate and complete understanding of the question
Uses several arguments and backs arguments with examples, data that support the conclusion
(8 pts)
Combination of above traits, but less consistently represented (1-2 errors)
Same as above but less thorough, still accurate
Uses only one argument and example that supports conclusion
(6 pts)
Does not address the question explicitly, though does so tangentially
States a somewhat relevant argument
Presents some arguments in a logical order
Uses adequate style and grammar (more than 2 errors)
Demonstrates minimal understanding of question, still accurate
Uses a small subset of possible ideas for support of the argument
Needs improvement
(4 pts)
Does not address the question
States no relevant arguments
Is not clearly or logically organized
Fails to use acceptable style and grammar
Does not demonstrate understanding of the question, inaccurate
Does not provide evidence to support response to the question
No Answer?
(0 pts)

(5) A statement of the question you are to discuss.
Important: You must write on the following. You must lead to a conclusion or recommendation. Your recommendation must be based on relevant data for both the US and Ohio and if available your employer. (not employed? Then write as if you are)

Be sure to anticipate the other side’s criticism and answer that expected criticism.

Proposition: Mr./Ms. Economist, What is going on in the economy and how will this effect our business in our state of Ohio? What should be done to correct the current situation if anything?

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