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SAJC Prelims 2013

(a) Explain how the price mechanism allocates resources efficiently. [8]

(b) A government imposes taxes on a variety of goods and services which include alcohol, fuel and some imported goods. Discuss whether taxation would lead to a more efficient allocation of resources. [17]

AJC Prelims 2013

In Singapore, there are many small home interior design firms in the industry. With low startup costs, these firms, such as Meng Design, usually market themselves as providing exclusive designs or affordable services. On the other hand, in the budget airline industry, Jetstar and Tiger Airways often offer lower-priced tickets.

(a) Explain why some firms remain small. [10]

(b) Discuss whether Jetstar’s and Meng Design’s strategies are due to the characteristics of the industry they are in. [15]

GCE A Level 2009

A very popular band is due to play at one concert at a 5000 capacity venue. The plan is to charge different prices according to the area in which the seat is located.

Explain whether this pricing policy could be considered to be an example of price discrimination. [10]

NYJC Prelims 2013 (modified)

Technological improvement like faster broadband and internet connections has made the production and consumption of e-books more convenient. Such development has major impacts on the demand for and supply of print and non-print materials.

(a) Explain how the markets for print and non-print materials might be affected by these developments. [10]

(b) Assess how price elasticity of demand, income elasticity of demand and cross elasticity of demand could be of relevance to a publisher of print materials. [15]

A Level Economics Exam 2016 – Microeconomics

[2016 Q1]

The price of a pair of jeans can be as little as S$20 or as much as S$500.

(a) Explain what might cause price elasticity of demand and cross elasticity of demand to be different for different products. [10m]

(b) Assess the likely effects of a rise in price of one brand of jeans on the revenue earned by both retailers of that brand of jeans and those who sell other related goods. [15m]


[2016 Q2]

Singapore’s spending on healthcare is about 4% of GDP. This is lower than many developed countries. However, Singapore’s population is ageing and economic growth may not be as high as before. The government’s share of national healthcare expenditure is expected to rise from 33% in 2012 to over 40% in the future.

Source: adapted from Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review, 2014

(a) Explain why a government intervenes in the provision of healthcare. [10m]

(b) Discuss how the opportunity cost of increased healthcare expenditure differs, depending on whether it is financed by individuals or the Singapore government. [15m]


[2016 Q3]

In Australia, small and remote communities face high and stable prices for petrol. The petrol is supplied by one or two small petrol stations owned by small independent retailers. Prices are lower and more volatile in the large cities, where there are a large number of big petrol stations owned by a small number of big oil companies.

Source: Australian Institute of Petroleum

(a) Explain why less market competition might lead to higher and more stable prices. [10m]

(b) Assess whether differences in the level of competition are likely to be the main reason for differences in the retail prices of petrol in rural and urban areas of Australia. [15m]

A Level Economics Exam 2015 – Microeconomics

[2015 Q1]

Prospective students and governments each make decisions that affect the scarce resources that are devoted to university education.

(a) Explain the determinants of a rational prospective student’s decision on whether to participate in university education. [10m]

(b) Discuss the factors that governments should consider in allocating resources to university education. [15m]


[2015 Q2]

Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in the output of compute-based products such as smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Discuss the demand and supply factors that determine the output of computer-based products and evaluate which is the most important factor. [25m]


[2015 Q3]

‘Market dominance is the main factor determining the profitability of firms.’

(a) Explain how market dominance can influence a firm’s price and output decisions. [10m]

(b) Discuss whether government intervention is always needed when a firm dominates the market. [15m]

A Level Economics Exam 2014 – Microeconomics

[2014 Q2]

In 2012 the UK had very poor harvests for grain and potatoes, which are major ingredients of many of the foods of UK consumers and also provide feed for much of Britain’s livestock. At the same time there was a decline in the real incomes of many UK citizens, especially those on low incomes.

Using economic analysis, discuss the impact these events are likely to have had on UK consumers and farmers. [25m]


[2014 Q3]

There is considerable agreement over the need for governments to provide public goods. There is less agreement over the extent to which markets fail because of imperfect information.

(a) Explain why markets might fail in the case of public goods and where information is imperfect. [10m]

(b) Evaluate the alternative policies that are adopted by the Singapore government to correct both these types of market failure. [15m]

A Level Economics Exam 2013 – Microeconomics

[2013 Q1]

Economics assumes rational decision-making by consumers, firms and government.

(a) Explain what is involved in rational decision-making both by consumers and by firms. [10m]

(b) Discuss whether rational decision-making by consumers, firms and government always leads to an efficient allocation of resources. [15m]


[2013 Q2]

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced that prices of private residential properties in Singapore rose by 1.3% in the third quarter of 2011, but the rise in the prices has been slowing for eight consecutive quarters. At the same time it reported that the total supply of new private residential properties nearing completion was at a record high.

Discuss the different supply and demand factors and their likely importance in determining the reported changes in the prices of private residential properties in Singapore. [25m]


[2013 Q3]

‘Recessions put weak firms out of business whilst strong firms use a recession to become more efficient.’

(a) Explain the relevance of different types of cost in the decision of a firm to close when faced by a fall in the demand for its products. [10m]

(b) Discuss the extent to which firms faced by high levels of competition are more vulnerable to closure in a recession than firms in less competitive industries. [15m]

Essays by Topics: Demand and Supply, Elasticities

[AJC 2016]

Singapore is experiencing sluggish economic conditions. In addition, foreign worker levies will go up across the board from July 2014 and it will affect some businesses more than others.

Discuss how a rise in foreign worker levy and sluggish economic conditions will impact the various markets for goods and services in Singapore. [25m]


[HCI 2015]

The government collects revenue from sale of Certificates of Entitlement (COEs). There have been large increases in the COE prices for cars in Singapore over the past few years.

Discuss the likely effects of higher COE prices on government revenue and expenditure by consumers on different types of cars. [25m]

[NJC 2014]

China is the world’s largest manufacturing power, producing a large part of the world’s televisions, smartphones, steel pipes and many other products. However the era of cheap China products may be drawing to a close as costs such as wages and rents are soaring.

(a) Explain what determines whether consumers or producers of different types of manufactured products in China are likely to bear the greater burden of this increase in costs. [10m]

(b) Discuss how soaring costs in China might affect the total revenue earned by producers of manufactured products worldwide. [15m]

Essays by Topics: Market Structure

[NYJC 2016]

(a) Explain how firms can increase market power. [10m]

(b) Discuss the extent to which the performance of a firm is determined by its market power. [15m]


[RVHS 2016]

Firms make decisions based on various considerations such as barriers to entry as well as the business risks and uncertainty associated with each possible option.

(a) Explain how barriers to entry can cause firms to make differing pricing and output decisions. [10m]

(b) “Periods of falling income expose firms to higher risks of business closures.” During periods of falling income, discuss how the performance of firms can be affected by both the nature of the goods they sell and the types of markets within which they operate. [15m]


[AJC 2015]

(a) Explain why firms may practise price discrimination domestically and internationally. [10m]

(b) Discuss whether price discrimination is always undesirable from a society’s point of view. [15m]


[RI 2014]

(a) Using appropriate examples, explain how small and large firms can coexist in the food and beverage industry. [10m]

(b) Discuss whether the strategies of these two groups of firms will differ when faced with a recession and rising labour costs. [15m]

Essays by Topics: Market Failure

[RVHS 2016]

Alcohol was not a direct cause of the riot, the Committee of Inquiry said. “However, it was a major contributory factor, among others, to the nature and escalation of the Little India riot.”

(a) Explain why the amount of drinks a rational consumer decides to have often differs from what the regulator deems to be rational. [10m]

(b) Discuss whether banning alcohol consumption should be implemented given the decision of consumers differs from that of the regulator. [15m]


[RI 2015]

Discuss the view that the allocation of resources should be left to the free market as government intervention results in greater inefficiency. [25m]


[NYJC 2014]

(a) Explain why income inequality and market dominance may lead to market failure. [10m]

(b) Evaluate the policies currently used by the Singapore government to correct these causes of market failure. [15m]