Writing assignments are an opportunity for you to utilize your new skills as an economist. It will also help you study for exams by applying the concepts we have covered so far. To complete the assignment for full credit, you will need to do the following:
Read the article “Why there is a worldwide shortage of vanilla” by C.D. in The Economist.
Download the article by clicking here: Article
In a word document, write up your completely original responses in one paragraph (4-5 sentences ONLY) for each of the following 5 parts below:
1. (20 points) Briefly summarize the article. Are recent market prices decreasing or increasing for natural vanilla?
2. (20 points) Read section 5.4 in the textbook and think about the shape of the market supply curve for pure vanilla in Madagascar. How would you describe its shape? Do you think it is relatively elastic or inelastic?
3. (20 points) Read section 5.1 in the textbook and think about the shape of the demand curve for pure vanilla at the global market level. Do you think it is relatively elastic or inelastic? How does the availability of artificial vanilla (synthetic vanillin) affect the shape of the demand curve?
4. (20 points) The article mentions that public tastes started shifting in 2011. How would this change in tastes be captured in a supply and demand model of the market for pure vanilla? What is the predicted effect on the equilibrium price for pure vanilla?
5. (20 points) If a new higher quality synthetic vanillin became available at a lower price than pure vanilla then what would you expect to happen to global demand for pure vanilla? How would the equilibrium price change as a result?
Explain your answers to these questions in detail using concepts discussed in the textbook; however, make sure not to copy sentences directly from the lecture slides, textbook, or any other source. ZERO credit will be given if any plagiarism is evident. In the event that you share your writing assignment with classmates and they copy sentences from it then everyone will receive ZERO credit.
Remember, no late submissions are accepted.
If you have any questions, post your questions in our Course Q & A discussion board or send me an email.
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