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Posted: March 13th, 2023

Diverse Perspective of Economics

Diverse Perspective of Economics – Report Writing
5–6 minutes
Assignment Task

Report Prompt

In this assessment task you are required to write a report in which you critically evaluate competing economic perspectives on how best to address TWO of the FOUR significant societal problems assigned to you from the topic list below discussed in class between weeks 7 and 12

The four assign societal problems are:

The environment
Inequality (of any sort – income, gender, energy, etc)
Technological progress
(Economic) pathways to achieving health, happiness and well-being

In this assessment task you are required to:

Explore TWO significant societal problems related to Four topic areas that will be released via canvas in week 11 and assigned from topics discussed in class between weeks 7 and 12.
write an informational report directed to policymakers to provide expert opinion critically evaluating competing economic perspectives. (2000 – 2500 words). The report should:

Identify current key challenges relating to your chosen two (from the assigned 3) topic areas. This can be from an International, National or Local context.
Present competing perspectives on how to address the identified challenges.
Recommend a given path supporting your argument with research.

Your report, must:

Include a final reflection on the selection of your two significant societal problems. (500 – 1000 words) The final reflection should include:

What is your opinion of both concepts / topics?
What is the relevance / application of these topics in the broader context of your study?
What questions did this topic raise for you that makes you curious and motivates you to explore more?
What challenges did you experience when engaging with this assessment task?

Your challenge is to demonstrate your understanding of multiple perspectives yet to identify one perspective (Economic school of thought) that you mostly closely identify with as a solution to the stated problem. You will be required to defend your position by drawing on the key principles /constructs of the perspective.

Your report will take the form of a policy brief designed to inform policymakers (and stakeholders) concisely about multiple economic pathways to solving societal problems, challenges or objectives relating to two of the topics listed above. Importantly you will also have to present (in written format) your “expert” perspective on the matter.

This task allows students to apply what they have learnt from the previous weekly reflective assessment by using the different perspectives to try and solve real world problems.

The report is to be based on class readings, video presentations and discussions, in addition to peer-reviewed literature that you have sourced for yourself through literature and database searches; that is: peer-reviewed journal articles, papers, books, etc. The concept maps and reflections developed in Assessment 1 will also prove very useful when identifying the key concepts focused on by the different schools of thought. Content on Canvas and Reading lists published can also be used to help with your report.

The following structure is recommended for your report:

Introduction – state the 2 focus areas and the 4 schools of thought to be critically evaluated.
Issue 1

Statement of problem or issue
Interpretation and critical analysis
Critical comparison of differing perspectives of each school of thought
Recommendations
Conclusions
Reflection

Issue 2

Statement of problem or issue
Interpretation and critical analysis
Critical comparison of differing perspectives of each school of thought
Recommendations
Conclusions
Reflection

Reference list

Introduction

This report critically evaluates competing economic perspectives on how best to address two significant societal problems: inequality and technological progress. Four schools of economic thought will be used to analyze the issues: classical economics, neoclassical economics, Keynesian economics, and behavioral economics.

Issue 1: Inequality

Statement of Problem or Issue

Inequality is a persistent issue in society, manifesting in various forms such as income inequality, gender inequality, and energy inequality. Economic inequality refers to the uneven distribution of resources, including income, wealth, and opportunity, among individuals and groups within a society.

Interpretation and Critical Analysis

Classical economics views inequality as a natural and necessary outcome of the free market. According to this school of thought, individuals should be free to pursue their self-interests, and the market will allocate resources efficiently. In contrast, neoclassical economics emphasizes the role of human capital and market imperfections in generating inequality. This school of thought argues that education and training can enhance an individual’s earning potential and reduce inequality.

Keynesian economics emphasizes the role of government intervention in addressing inequality. This school of thought believes that government policies, such as progressive taxation and social welfare programs, can reduce inequality and stimulate economic growth. Behavioral economics views inequality as a result of cognitive biases and social norms. This school of thought suggests that individuals’ perceptions of fairness and justice influence their behavior, leading to unequal outcomes.

Critical Comparison of Differing Perspectives of Each School of Thought

Classical economics’ emphasis on individual freedom and the free market has been criticized for perpetuating inequality, as it fails to account for the unequal distribution of resources and power among individuals. Neoclassical economics acknowledges market imperfections but still relies heavily on the market to allocate resources, which can result in inequality. Keynesian economics’ emphasis on government intervention has been effective in reducing inequality but can also create market distortions and reduce economic growth. Behavioral economics’ focus on human behavior and social norms offers a unique perspective on inequality but has limited policy implications.

Recommendations

Based on the analysis, the report recommends a combination of Keynesian economics and behavioral economics to address inequality. Government intervention is necessary to reduce inequality, but policies should also consider the social and psychological factors that contribute to inequality. For instance, policies that target cognitive biases and social norms can complement traditional redistribution policies.

Conclusions

Inequality is a complex issue that requires a multidisciplinary approach. Economic perspectives offer valuable insights into the causes and consequences of inequality, but a single school of thought cannot offer a comprehensive solution. Combining Keynesian and behavioral economics can offer a more nuanced approach to reducing inequality.

Reflection

Inequality is a critical issue that affects individuals and societies worldwide. The different economic perspectives offer valuable insights into the issue, but they also highlight the limitations of traditional economic thinking. As a student, this topic raised questions about the role of government and the market in addressing social issues, and it motivated me to explore more about alternative economic models.

Issue 2: Technological Progress

Statement of Problem or Issue

Technological progress has transformed the world in various ways, creating new opportunities and challenges. One of the significant challenges is the impact of automation on employment and income inequality. Automation has replaced human labor in many industries, leading to job displacement and income polarization.

Interpretation and Critical Analysis

Classical economics views technological progress as a positive force that increases productivity and economic growth. According to this school of thought, the market will adjust to the changes brought about by technology, and employment and wages will eventually rise. Neoclassical economics emphasizes the role of human capital and education in adapting to technological progress. This school of thought argues that education and training can enhance an individual’s skills and employability, reducing the negative impact of automation.

Keynesian economics emphasizes

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