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Tier II Writing Assignment Spring 2017
As we know, reasons for global trade include comparative advantage, increasing returns to scale, or imperfect competition. The appropriate model to apply in any given situation depends on characteristics of the market under study. Is the market highly competitive; or is it dominated by a few large businesses? Is the product homogeneous, or does it have many varieties? Are there large overhead costs of production?
I have assigned each student a different industry. See the separate list of assignments. I ask you to characterize the pattern of global trade for your assigned industry. You will characterize your findings in the form of a memo written to the president of a hypothetical company that is engaged in that industry. In writing this memo, think of yourself as director of market research.
You will find global trade data for your industry at The Observatory of Economic Complexity. You may find additional data elsewhere, though this is not necessary to complete your assignment.
Your memo should describe the world market for your product: characterizing the size of the market; identifying the main importers and exporters as well as any changes that have taken place over time. In addition to verbal descriptions of the industry, your memo should include at least one (and no more than two) charts to illustrate the data. Do not simply copy charts from The Observatory of Economic Complexity or any other source that you use. Rather, create your own charts to highlight the data in a meaningful way.
After characterizing the world market, you will then speculate on the most likely reasons for the particular pattern of trade. For example, “With its abundance of Frinkonium, it is no surprise that Wormulon is the world’s largest exporter of slurm, which intensively uses the rare mineral to create both its luminescent green color and mucous-like consistency.”
• Your memo should be between 400 and 500 words.
• It should be typed in 12 point font, double-spaced, and have 1-inch margins.
• Submit your work electronically (as a Word file or in PDF format) to the dropbox on D2L. Your
submission is due by 5:00 PM on March 1, 2017.
• You should write in a non-technical style that might be appropriate for a newspaper, news
magazine, or industry trade journal.
• Your memo should include at least one (and no more than two) charts to illustrate the data.
• In the event that you do not earn 100% on your initial submission, you will have an opportunity
to revise your essay to obtain a higher score. Revisions will be due by 5:00 PM on April 3. If the revision is better, you will receive the higher grade. If the revision is worse, you will receive the grade earned on the first submission.
• Plagiarism is a serious offense and I will treat it accordingly. Please see MSU’s guidelines.
• In the upper left-hand corner, type name, PID, date of submission, and industry. Place each
piece of information on a separate line (4 lines total).