Wednesday, 08 April 2015 08:17

Unemployment - Video

Unemployment is a measure of the number of people who are willing, able and actively seeking work at the going wage rate but cannot find it. Typically it is measured by the Labour Force Survey which seeks to establish whether people have been looking for work recently and whether they can start work soon. Sometimes the government uses the Claimant Count, which simply measures the number of people claiming unemployment benefit. This produces a much lower number which could mislead people into thinking that a far greater proportion of the population are working, however it does reflect the number of unemployed people that the tax payer is supporting.

There are a number of different types of unemployment such as frictional - those in between jobs, cyclical - because of a lack of aggregate demand due to the economic cycle and structural - due to a skills mismatch when workers do not have the skills required by an ever changing economy. Each of these types has a different solution. Frictional unemployment is best reduced by improving information on job vacancies, cyclical by improving aggregate demand and structural by offering retraining programs.

The key to most exam questions on inflation is to establish and explain which cause(s) of unemployment are relevant to the specific context of the question and then explain which problems and solutions are most relevant and why. The sources will give you hits and clues so use them wisely.

The revision video below will give you a brief overview of the unemployment topic and cover all the major concepts you need for AS and A2 Economics exams such as measurements, causes, problems and solutions.

Published in The National Economy
Wednesday, 08 April 2015 07:48

Inflation - Video

Inflation is the sustained rise in the general price level and is measured by calculating the percentage change in a price index. The main measures you will come across are the CPI (consumer price index) and the RPI (retail price index). They are calculated in different ways and so will give different results but both take the same approach - calculating the change in price of a weighted basket of goods.

Cost-push inflation is caused by the increase in firms'  costs leading to increasing prices. It can create a wage-price spiral where workers demand increased wages, which in turn increases firms'  costs, increasing prices, resulting in further wage demands. Demand-pull inflation on the other hand is caused by demand for goods outstripping supply, leading to shortages and price rises.

Each of these types of inflation can cause problems such as menu and shoe leather costs - the cost of changing price prices and searching out the best prices each time prices change. Inflation also tends to redistribute wealth from savers to borrowers as it erodes the value of debts and savings. This is particularly problematic if inflation is high and interest rates are low. Typically these costs are small if inflation is low and predictable but they can become significant with high or erratic inflation.

The solutions to inflation depend on the type of inflation. Reducing aggregate demand, for example by increasing interest rates, will help to solve demand-pull inflation but will have a limited impact on cost-push inflation, which is better tackled by policies to increase competition amongst firms or reducing trade union power which will help to prevent a wage-price spiral becoming established.

The revision video below will give you a brief overview of the inflation topic and cover all the major concepts you need for AS and A2 Economics exams

Published in The National Economy
Monday, 16 March 2015 00:00

Economic Growth - Video

Economic growth is an increase in the productive capacity of an economy. It is measured by comparing the GDP (total value of goods and services produced in an economy) in one year to GDP in the next. For the A Level course you need to understand what economic growth is, how to calculate it, what causes it, how to draw it and its costs and benefits. This video will give you an overview of the growth topic and what you should know.


Published in The National Economy