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Student Reflective Essays

These have been extracted by Dr. Kay Strong from her students' work and are provided as an appendix to her case study, "Use of Portfolios for Assessment in Introductory Economics" .

From the portfolio of AMF:

My reflective essay:.

Economics is the study of how people interact with their environment to provide material (goods and services) that we need and want. This was one of the very first things that I have in my notes from the start of this class in August. My newly un refined definition is the study of how the decisions we make determine the consequence of how the entire world's energy and resources are divided up in order to make the whole world flow. Whether that decision is to start a business or look for a job, get married, buy a new sweater, or make a phone call, everything we do has a dollar amount attached to it. Gained or lost, money is the bottom line for many of our life's decisions.

Prior to this class, I assumed economics was for the people in dress suits on Wall Street. I never cared much to learn about unemployment rates, for example, because that was something that never affected me. Now, I realize that I couldn't have been more wrong. Many times, since I have been hired, people have been laid off at my factory, and it always occurs around January. This is because many of the factories that we supply close down for a few weeks to a month due to the slowdown in car sales. What happens prior to January that makes such a drastic dent in wallets every year? Could it be the holiday season sucks everyone dry and it takes awhile consumers to get back on their feet? It could be one factor. Layoffs are already planned for some plants that we support, and a slow down in overtime is forecasted for our plant.

I now pay more attention to economic reports that I see on the news or in the papers because I understand the basic concepts that they are talking about. I don't just hop right to the comics anymore, and I actually flip through the Money and Business sections! I feel that it has expanded my knowledge base to be able to speak more intelligently about economic topics when they come up in conversation. I play the devil's advocate with people to see if they can notice the whole picture of a news story instead of just seeing it as one person in small town USA.

I also feel that this class has opened my mind to new possibilities. Realizing that what might be great in the here and now might be bad for the long run. For example, the wonderful tax money that we got back last year. Sure it was great to have an extra $300, but in the long run it did not really have the affect on the economy that it was planned to have. Worse, the government is now facing quite a large deficit and could have used that money in the fight over sees.

I had no idea of how much information the web can really provide for you if you look for it! I must admit that I used to get online check my email and then get offline again. I never really surfed the web as much as I have in the last few months. I have learned a great deal and have even passed on some information to people at work and family. So many interesting facts are out there if you just look for them. Unless you research both sides of a story you may never come up with how you really feel about a topic.

I feel that my writing and vocabulary skills have been sharpened. Working in a factory you tend to use poor speech, and very rarely do you pick up a pencil to write anything but your name. This class gave me an avenue to be creative and use my brain to think in ways I usually don't have to think. Even in my other classes I could easily memorize data and information for exams that is just as easily forgotten. In this class we were challenged to apply the data to our every day lives making it a part of who you are. This kind of learning is a lot harder to forget.

From the portfolio of DMK:

Reflective essay:.

There is an enigma to the study of economics: while it seems simplistic in design, weighing costs and benefits to find solutions to macro-level problems, economics is also very personal. This was a great surprise I found in this class.

Consider poverty and public assistance, an issue many disagree on. While government websites can spew out statistics and policy solutions, and textbooks can define the reasons behind poverty and draw nice curves showing the distribution of income in various nations, it still comes down to people and families. What possibilities await one family who can be lifted from impoverished conditions, and what possibilities await a country whose future livelihood depends in part on the children within that impoverished family? Federal and state budgets are another conflicting matter: what child will go to class hungry when government cuts school breakfast programs, or whose car will need tire replacements when budgets fail to appropriate enough to maintain roads? Can we really put a price on a child’s life for the issuance of airbags in cars, and who will determine the price tag, the parent or someone sitting behind a desk at an insurance company? Individuals are grossly affected by studies in economics.

To examine policy at a macro-level can be awesome: the natural balances found in such things as wage equilibriums and how many pizzas Dominos should be making, appears to be as forceful as any natural occurrence. To make policy at a macro-level, on the other hand, must be some sort of hell reserved for politicians: knowing that every dollar one appropriates, every trade treaty one signs, and every pre-decided maximum penalty for crimes committed can have an enormous impact on just one individual is a terrible responsibility. It is an awesome power, and not one that lets people sleep peacefully at night.

I am yet undecided whether I enjoyed this class. If ignorance is bliss then I am in agony, for I might have received less of a fright watching old “Tales from the Crypt” reruns. Happy or not, my appreciation for the study of economics has grown considerably, as I used to believe it was a subject found only in the business section of newspapers, rather than a tool used in many areas of life. Criminal activity, for example, is moral issue, but one that finds its roots in cost/ benefit analysis, for if we raised the costs would the activity be deemed profitable? Or on the flipside, if we pull the morality out of the equation, what would the benefits be? Policy isn’t always about money spent and results from that spending, but can also be where we as a society, at a given time, desire control over certain behaviors.

One of the greatest conclusions I have come to, in completing this class, is that government is not always a good thing. Yes, it serves some purpose and offers some services that would not else be available, but the costs to which government extracts for their services is far too high. As noted previously, policy making is an awesome power, blend that idea of power with billions of dollars, a tablespoon of moral ideals and a pinch of elitism and policy makers start believing they’re playing God. Theological arguments aside, there are two main difference: One, God knows His outcomes before His actions—Government does not have that ability, and never will; two, when Government intervenes, their actions typically produce some unintended results. Government makes too many value-based judgments, although ideas of value are often defined by us, the voters. It is not good economic policy to spend tax dollars to save family farms, but we do because we find security in memories of summers at Grandpa’s farm and gawking at ponies at a roadside fence during Sunday afternoon trips. It is not good economic policy to levy high taxes on imported steel, yet we do because we uphold American union organizations as a great pastime, second only to baseball. Morals and ideas of value do not mesh with economics, yet Government tries to blend the two.

With that idea arises a new question: whose perspective should be followed in regards to policy making? From Governmental economic advisors, to steel workers, to welfare recipients, there are far too many sides of an issue to find compromises, and people’s perspectives are far too unstable. When I take off my Student Hat, and place on my head my Church Hat, there is an innate pro-life perspective, even though my Student Hat tells me that the costs of illegalizing abortion is far greater than any personal benefit I might extract from such policy. When a worker in Washington takes off their Government Hat and visits an elderly Aunt in a nursing home, their perspective on the costs of Medicaid and Social Security might be minimized when they see first-hand the benefits of these programs. If one person cannot always decide whether the costs of a societal issue outweigh the benefits one reaps from it, how on earth can 535 Congressional members plus an Executive office-holder do so?

Finding solutions and analyzing information in print can be an enormous task itself with all the data we have ready for viewing on the Internet. However, too much of this information is contradictory, and even within Government sites there are discrepancies that must be hunted down, such as the spending of the Social Security surplus for 2003 and a true figure on what war with Iraq might cost. Furthermore, the dollar figures in Government spending are simply too high to fathom: visualizing a trillion dollars is like staring at an abstract painting, you can look at it, but you cannot always see the form and structure it takes.

Economics shouldn’t be abstract, but a simple study of resources and the best possible way to use them. However, first it must be decided when it is best to allow markets to find their own natural equilibriums and when it is best to ask for Government intervention.


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How to Write a Reflection Paper in Economics

Reflection papers are common assignments in economics classes. The purpose of writing a reflection paper in economics is to help you apply the material you have learned during lectures and when reading independently and learn to recognize how economics course content directly relates to your daily life. You need to reflect on what new things you have learned and map your progress and certain changes in your thinking and your views on a specific subject or topic.

Think this is too challenging for you? Read this easy step-by-step guide where we discuss different aspects of writing a successful reflection paper in economics. You will learn how reflective writing differs from other types of academic writing, how to structure your reflective paper, and how to write and edit your draft. You’ll also find 15 great topics for writing reflection papers in economics. If you struggle with any other type of college assignment, at our website, you can find a lot of full guides to all writing assignments out there.

What Is Reflection Paper in Economics?

Reflection papers are typically assigned in a variety of disciplines, including economics, where relatively complex and practical tasks are concerned. Reflecting writing is based on reflective thinking that involves looking back and evaluating your personal experiences and certain actions from the perspective of relevant literature on a specific topic with an objective of improving your analysis and practice.

The purpose of writing a reflection paper in economics is to critically engage with different economics theories and important concepts by making connections between your personal experiences, observations, and opinions.

Keep in mind that reflective writing style differs from traditional academic writing.

How to Choose a Powerful Topic for a Reflection Paper in Economics?

Typically, students are assigned topics to write about in their reflection papers. But sometimes, you may be given an opportunity to choose reflective essay topics according to your preferences. We recommend that you should select an economics topic or a problem that interest you most of all and then consider how it is relevant to your experience. Economics is a complex subjects and there are plenty of interesting topics to choose from so you may need a lot of time to make a choice. To help you get started with your reflective writing, we created a short list of amazing topic ideas for writing a reflection paper in economics. Feel free to use them for your own projects.

Try a quicker way

How to Structure of a Reflection Paper in Economics

Reflective thinking is almost always free and unstructured but your reflection paper should be carefully structured and logical in order to convey your ideas clearly. There different models for organizing ideas in reflection papers. You can use the basic one and break down the content of your essay into 3 parts:

How to Organize the Writing Process

You can easily write your reflection paper in economics if you follow these simple steps.

1. Review the Assignment

Before you start working on your reflective writing assignment in economics, you need to read it carefully to get a clear understanding of what exactly you are expected to do. You need to identify the key words that will help you see your direction. For example, your instructor may ask you to write a reflective commentary on a certain economic theory or to give a reflective account of a lecture in economics that you have attended. So your reflection paper should be all about you, your own thoughts about some economics idea or concept, and the development of your academic skills .

2. Create an Outline

Now you know what you are supposed to write about so it’s time to gather your ideas. There are different effective brainstorming techniques that can help you in doing that, for example, free-writing and mind mapping.

Freewriting involves writing every thought that comes to your mind for 3-5 minutes. When you do that, you shouldn’t worry about spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Then you need to review your notes and identify the main ideas and key words that can be explored further in your reflection paper. Choose several main themes and include them in your outline.

Mind-mapping is a useful technique that can help you structure ideas for your essay and identify connections between them. You need to write the subject in the centre of a blank page and draw other ideas associated with the subject on branches that are connected to the central subject. Then review what you have created and draw circles round the key points and ideas. Think about connection between the ideas in the circles and map their relationships with arrows and lines of different colors.

Use the key themes that you have identified during brainstorming to create a detailed outline for your reflection paper in economics. Although there is no standard format for a reflection essay, make sure that it includes 3 basic parts: introduction, main body and conclusion. Your reflection should start with descriptive writing, followed by analysis and interpretation, and include your explanation of significance for future actions.

3. Write an Introduction

You introduction may be brief but it should include the statement of purpose for your reflective paper and your thesis statement. Besides, you will need to introduce the main themes that will be addressed in the body paragraphs to support your thesis. You can formulate the thesis in a form of evaluative or interpretive claim. It must show that you fully understand what you have learned and know well how to use that new knowledge in the future. For example, your thesis statement for a reflective paper in economics may look like this one:

In this economics course, I learned that economics is not just all about money; it is all about making choices that can help us achieve our goals and change our lives for the better.

4. Write Body Paragraphs

In the body, you need to use the critical thinking model and develop a deep analysis. The main body of your reflection paper should include as many paragraphs as there are key themes that you are planning to cover. Devote a separate body paragraph to a specific theme. Use the past tense when you write about your experience (I thought) and the present tense when you refer to the existing literature (Brown suggests).

Start every new paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces your theme. Then you need to provide additional explanation and support your theme with personal experiences. Don’t forget to make connections between your experiences and the theme as well as other ideas from economics course material. You can also support your theme with evidence from relevant authoritative literature and quotes. Reflective writing allows you to use different types of non-traditional evidence, for example, speculations, definitions, explanations of logic, and anecdotes. Finish every body paragraph with a concluding sentence that also serves as a transition to the important ideas presented in the next paragraph.

As you write your paragraphs, make sure you use appropriate transition words and phrases to link words, phrases and sentences. Transition words show relationships between ideas and make those relationships clear for your readers. For example, such words phrases like in addition, also, moreover, as well as, in addition, equally important, furthermore reinforce ideas and express agreement with the previous content.

5. Write a Strong Conclusion

In the concluding paragraph, you need to present your final thoughts on the subject of a reflection paper in economics. It can be a brief summary that describes an overall lesson, your feelings and emotions, or explanation of how you understand the value of your experience. You can also provide recommendations for practice in the future.

6. Edit and Proofread Your Reflection Paper in Economics

Successful academic reflection papers in economics require creating several drafts, revising, and editing. You should be ready to revise and rewrite your paper many times to ensure it meets the requirements of your professors. Keep in mind that it’s always better to separate writing and revising. It would be a waste of time to worry about spelling and commas as you write your draft. You will be more productive if you focus on your thoughts, ideas, and the logic. Besides, you may decide to make significant changes in the content so it doesn’t make sense to edit your piece of writing until you are satisfied with your final draft.

It’s better to revise and edit in steps.

These are the essential steps you should follow when writing a reflection paper in economics but you can actually use this guide when writing reflectively in other college subjects. We hope that the effective techniques that we discussed in this article will help you prepare for your next reflective writing assignment in economics and improve your reflective writing skills.

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Reflection essay on economics.

Prior to taking this course, I believed that economic theory consisted mainly of supply and demand. While this is a significant component of economics (Acemoglu, et al., 2017), there is much more to the topic than my original simple understanding: as supply goes up, prices go down, as demand goes up, prices go up. Indeed, a host of other factors influence price, supply, demand, and other aspects of what we know as economics. One of the constructs that surprised me the most involved profit-making. My thoughts had been influenced by the ethical stance developed by Milton Friedman, called individualistic corporate ethics. Under Friedman’s theory, management’s ethical duty is to make money for shareholders (Salazar, 2014), and this is what I understood to be the goal of most businesses—profit motive. Upon further study, I have discovered that there are other, equally important, ethical principles involved in running a business. One is to follow laws, regulations, avoid conflicts of interest, and treat employees fairly and with dignity (Epstein, 2006). Another falls under the rubric of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (Epstein, 2006), which involves giving back to the community, preventing waste, achieving sustainability, and being environmentally conscious. Both of these ethical duties may diminish corporate profits, but they are ethical duties of corporations and their managers.

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Prior to taking this class, I believed that the free market controlled the economy. Now I am aware that there are many forces, in particular government interventions, which can skew free market results. For instance, taxes can be used to make policy. If the government wants to encourage home ownership, for example, it passes a tax deduction applicable for mortgage interest. If the government wants to discourage home ownership, the Federal Reserve raises interest rates so high that most buyers are unable to qualify. Taking the dollar off a specie standard caused its valuation to fluctuate internationally, which impacted prices in America. Certain tariffs and trade agreements have made foreign goods either more affordable or more expensive. Although the United States is a capitalist country, the government exerts considerable influence on economics well beyond that of the free market.

This class has increased my knowledge of economics by giving me a reality check. I now know that there are many influences on how much money people make, how much bang they get for their buck, and that economic choices are complex. In particular, I am now aware that if I want to make an impact on economics, I need to be aware of political stances of my elected officials and the governmental actions in many spheres that, at first glance, may not seem economics-oriented. Requiring safety equipment or health care for employees appears to fall under the category of protecting workers, yet it may result in higher costs to businesses, fewer jobs available, or higher prices. In some cases, the public is willing, even eager, to pay these costs given the benefits—but only an informed public can make such choices.

Conclusion In the future, I intend to continue looking for economic implications in all aspects of living, not just prices and wages. In particular, I plan to learn more about government policies and regulations by reading proposed laws and regulations and even corresponding with officials if I have questions. Although government requirements can be very beneficial to communities and workers, they can have drawbacks. Only an informed citizen, who looks at every angle of a regulation or law, can be confident that the outcome is consistent with the intent, and that there are no unexpected or unwanted economic ramifications. I am thankful for the knowledge of how broad the sources of economic impacts can be, for I believe this will assist me in being a more productive citizen, aware of implications that I might have missed before taking this course.

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All in all, demand refers to how much (quantity) of a product or service is desired by buyers. And it is determined by the determinants like taste and preferences, income, population and price expectation. Price must always come first. Consumers are more tend to buy a product. if the price decreases. This kind of behavior on the part of buyers is in accordance with the law of demand. According to the law of demand, an inverse relationship exists between the price of a good and the quantity demanded of that good.

As the price of a good goes up, buyers demand less of that good.

This law will only be valid if ceteris paribus assumption is applied that means “all other things are equal or constant”. It means that the determinants of demand must be constant. This inverse relationship is more readily seen using the graphical device known as the demand curve, which is nothing more than a graph of the demand schedule.


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Change in demand means the change in the determinants of demand. So, an increase in demand shifts the demand curve to the right while a decrease in demand shifts a demand curve into the left. If there is a change in demand, there is also a change in quantity demand, this is different to change in demand because it only shows a movement from one point to another point (a price-quantity combination to another price-quantity combination).

Another thing is the supply, it is the schedule of various quantities of commodities which producers are willing and able to produce and offer at a given, place, price and time.

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Its determinants are technology, cost of production, number of sellers, prices of other goods, price expectation and taxes and subsidies. The law of supply states that “as price increases, quantity demanded increases and as price decreases, quantity demanded also decreases”.

According to the law of supply, a direct relationship exists between the price of a good and the quantity supplied of that good. As the price of a good increases, sellers are willing to supply more of that good. The law of supply is also reflected in the upward-sloping supply curve. A change in the quantity supplied is a movement along the supply curve due to a change in the price of the good supplied and a change in supply, like a change in demand, is represented by a shift in the supply curve.

Law of demand and supply explains that when the demand is greater than supply, price increases and when supply is greater than demand, price decreases. The law of supply and demand is not an actual law but it is well confirmed and understood realization that if you have a lot of one item, the price for that item should go down. At the same time you need to understand the interaction; even if you have a high supply, if the demand is also high, the price could also be high. In the world of stock investing, the law of supply and demand can contribute to explaining a stocks price at any given time. It is the base to any economic understanding.

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Reflection Paper Economics

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economics reflective Research Paper

Economics can be divided into two broad categories: microeconomics and macroeconomics. Macroeconomics is the study of the economic system as a whole. It Includes techniques for analyzing changes in total output, total employment, the consumer price index, the unemployment rate, and exports and imports. Macroeconomics addresses questions about the effect of changes in investment, government spending, and tax policy on exports, output, employment and prices. Only aggregate levels of these variables are considered.

But concealed in the aggregate data are countless changes in the output levels of individual firms, the consumption decisions of individual consumers, and prices of particular goods and services. Although macroeconomic issues and policies command much attention in the media, the microeconomics Of the economy also are important and Often are Of more direct application to the day-to-day problems facing the manager. Microeconomics focuses on the behavior of individual actors on the economic stage: firms and individuals and their interaction in the markets.

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Managerial Economics should be thought of as applied microeconomics. That is, managerial economics is an application of that part of microeconomics sousing on those topics of greatest interest and importance to managers. These topics include demand, production, cost, pricing market structure, and government regulation. A strong grasp of the principles that govern the economic behavior of firms and individuals is an important managerial talent. In general, managerial economics can be used by the goal oriented managers in two ways.

First, given an existing economic environment, the principle of managerial economics provide a framework for evaluating whether resources are being allocated efficiently within a firm. For example, economics can help the manager determine if reallocating labor from a marketing activity to the production line could increase profit. Second, these principles help managers respond to various economic signals. These signals, for example, are innovation of low cost technology, changes in the prices of different inputs etc.

The tools developed in managerial economics increase the effectiveness of decision making by expanding and sharpening the analytical framework used by managers to take decision. Thus, a working knowledge of the principles of managerial economics can increase the value f both the firm and the manager. Individuals and firms are the fundamental participants in a market economy. Individuals own or control resources that have value to firms because they are necessary inputs in the production process. These resources are broadly classified as labor, capita, and natural resources.

Of course, there are many types and grades of each resource. Labor specialties vary from street sweepers to brain surgeons; capital goods range from broom to electronic computers. Most people have labor resources to sell, any many own capital and / or natural resources that are ended, loaned, or sold to firms to be used as inputs in the production process. The money received by an individual from the sale of these resources is called a factor payment. This income to individuals then is used to satisfy their consumption demands for goods and services.

The interaction between individuals and firms occurs in two distinct arenas. First, there is a product market where goods and services are bought and sold. Second, there is a market for factors of production where labor, capital, and natural resources are traded. Subject Matter of Managerial Economics: Managerial Economics- also called Business Economics- is the application of economic theory and methodology to business. Business involves decision-making. Different aspects of business need the attention of the chief executive; he may be called upon to choose an option among the many open to him.

For this purpose the executive has to decide upon various aspects. Business decision can be classified into different categories as follows: Financial decisions: These relate to costing, budgeting, accounting, auditing, tax planning, portfolio composition, capital structure, dividend distribution, etc. Production decisions: These relate to quantity of raw materials as well as Output, inventory control, choice of technology, technicians, plant location and layout, production scheduling maintenance, pollution control, etc.

Personnel decisions: These relate to recruitment, selection, training, development, placement, promotion, transfer, retirement or retrenchment of staff, etc. Marketing decisions: These relate to sales volume, sales promotion, market research, packaging, after sales service, new product positioning, etc. Miscellaneous decisions: These relate to information systems, data recessing, public relations, etc. It would be in the interest of the business firm to reach the optimal decision- the one that will promote that goal of the business firm.

A scientific formulation of the business problem and finding its optimal solution requires that the business firm may be equipped with a rational methodology and appropriate tools. Managerial economics meets these needs of the business firm. Managerial economics serves as a bridge between economic theory and business decision -making. Definitions of Managerial Economics Different economists have defined managerial economics differently. Some important views have been as follows: McCain and Merman define managerial economics as ” the use of economic models of thought to analyses buss news situation. According to Spencer and Glaswegian, ‘ managerial economics is the integration of economic theory with business practice for the purpose of facilitating decision-making and forward planning by management. ” In the words of D. S. Watson, managerial economics is ” price theory in the service of business executives. ” Brigham and Pappas view that managerial economics is ” the application of economic theory and theology to business administration practice. ” Hogue believes that managerial economics is ” a fundamental academic subject which seeks to understand and to analyses the problems of business decision- making. E. Mansfield says, “Managerial economics is concerned with application of economic concepts and economic analysis to the problems of formulating material managerial decisions. ” According to Hailstones and Retell, I’ Managerial economics is the application of economic theory and analysis to practices of business firms and other institutions, such as health care facilities and government agencies. Michigan and Moyer put it as “Managerial economics deals with the application of economic theory and methodology to decision-making problems faced by public, private and non-profit institutions.

Managerial economics extracts from economic theory those concepts and techniques that enable the decision maker to allocate efficiently the resources of the organization. ” In the words of Mark Herschel and James Pappas, “Managerial economics applies economic theory and methods to business and administrative decision -making. Because it uses the tools and techniques of economic analysis to solve managerial problems, managerial economics links, traditional economics with the decision-sciences to develop vital tools for managerial decision-making. Evans J. Douglas says. ” Managerial economics is concerned with the application of economic principles and methodologies to the decision-making process within the firm or organization under conditions of uncertainty. ” These different definitions bring out clearly the following features of the subject: Managerial economics is concerned with decision-making, I. E. , it deals with identification of economic choices and allocation of scare resources. It is goal-oriented and restrictive.

It deals with how decisions should be made by business firms to achieve the organizational goals. It is prescriptive. It is concerned with those analytical tools which are useful in improving decision-making. Managerial economics is both conceptual and metrical. Managerial economics provides a link between traditional economics and the decision sciences for managerial decision-making. In short, managerial economics is the integration of economic theory and business practice for the purpose Of facilitating decision-making and forward planning by management.

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