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Home > Wednesday Wisdoms: Newsletter > Most students have uphill hopes but downhill habits

Welcome to the 7th edition of Wednesday Wisdoms by EdGenie!

Every Wednesday I send out actionable tips, tricks and real-world application insights from my 13-year experience coaching students to achieve As and A* in their Economics and Business A Levels.

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Most students have uphill hopes but downhill habits 🎓📉

A common phrase among many students is ..
....I want an A*.
but usually, this isn't met with A* habits.
As someone who has been in your shoes and has coached over 1000+ students, I am here to guide you in transforming those habits into stepping stones towards achieving A* results in your A level Economics.
Let's break down those common downhill habits and reshape them into uphill strategies that guarantee success.
Downhill Habit 1: Procrastination
Typical Actions: Putting off study sessions, cramming at the last minute, inconsistent study patterns leading to gaps in knowledge.
Uphill Transformation: Embrace structured, daily study sessions. Schedule short, focused study periods and stick to them. Make use of planning tools to keep track and stay ahead.
Downhill Habit 2: Passive Learning
Typical Actions: Merely reading through the material or watching youtube videos without engaging with it, not discussing theories, or applying concepts, which often leads to superficial understanding.
Uphill Transformation: Become an active learner. Engage with the material, question theories, and discuss concepts actively. Seek platforms that foster interactive learning sessions to hone this skill.
Downhill Habit 3: Ignoring the Real World
Typical Actions: Restricting oneself to textbook knowledge without relating it to current economic events, leading to a lack of context and understanding of real-world applications.
Uphill Transformation: Start relating theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios. Make it a habit to connect what you learn with current events. Utilise resources that help you apply knowledge to the world around you.
Downhill Habit 4: Shying Away from Feedback
Typical Actions: Avoiding the practice of answering questions or seeking feedback, resulting in missed opportunities for improvement and growth.
Uphill Transformation: Do Question Practice consistently and welcome feedback as an opportunity for growth. Create a feedback-friendly environment where you can learn and grow through constructive criticism.
Downhill Habit 5: Singular Study Approach
Typical Actions: Sticking to one method of study, be it reading textbooks or note-making, often resulting in monotony and ineffective learning.
Uphill Transformation: Diversify your study methods. Utilise a mix of reading, watching, discussing, blurting and practising to understand and retain information better. Explore resources that offer this to add variety to your study routine.
As you embark on this A level journey, remember that transforming these habits is your stepping stone to securing those prestigious A* grades.
Make the uphill climb where we nurture uphill habits for uphill hopes.
To your A*

Unilever, Nestle, PepsiCo Should Do More to Lower Prices, French Official Says

Summary:

  • French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire calls on multinational food companies Nestle, PepsiCo, and Unilever to reduce food prices further.
  • After government meetings, supermarkets and consumer goods groups commit to freezing or reducing prices on around 5,000 food items, up from 1,500 items.
  • Le Maire praises Italian pasta company Barilla for agreeing to price cuts but criticizes other large multinationals for not doing enough.
  • French inflation accelerated in August, with food prices rising by 11.1% over the past year, more than any other sector.
  • The French government is particularly concerned with food inflation and this is the second agreement since June to try to limit food prices.
  • Le Maire announces that negotiations on retail prices will be moved up to aim for food price reductions by January 2024.

A Level Economics Questions:

Q: Discuss the economic factors that could contribute to a year-over-year food price inflation of 11.1% in France. How might this inflation rate impact consumer behaviour and government policy?​
A: Factors contributing to the high inflation rate in food prices could include rising production costs (e.g., labour, raw materials), supply chain disruptions, increased demand, and rising energy prices, which affect transportation and storage costs. Importantly, the rate of inflation could also be affected by a depreciating currency that increases the cost of imported goods.
Consumer behaviour could change in several ways:
Shift to Substitute Goods: Consumers might opt for cheaper substitutes.
Reduced Consumption: People might cut back on overall food expenditure, possibly affecting nutrition and well-being.
Expectation of Future Prices: High inflation might lead to stockpiling if consumers expect further price increases.
Government policy can also be affected:
Price Controls: As already seen, the government is negotiating price freezes or reductions.
Monetary Policy: The central bank might consider tightening monetary policy to curb inflation, although this has broader economic implications.

Q: Evaluate the effectiveness of the French government's strategy of negotiating with supermarkets and consumer goods groups to freeze or reduce prices on around 5,000 food items as a means to combat inflation.
A: While the strategy may offer immediate relief to consumers by making essential items more affordable, it poses several risks:
Producers may cut back on quality or quantity to maintain margins.
Price controls can lead to shortages if producers find it unprofitable to produce.
It doesn't address the root causes of inflation, serving more as a temporary fix.

Q: With reference to the concept of market power, analyze why multinational companies like Nestle, PepsiCo, and Unilever might be reluctant to reduce food prices despite governmental pressure. What role does market concentration play in this scenario?
A: These multinational companies might have significant market power due to their brand strength, customer loyalty, and scale of operations. With fewer competitors of similar size and scope, these companies can exercise greater pricing power. Market concentration allows these big players to be less responsive to governmental pressures, as they can often shift markets or pass increased costs onto consumers.

Q:Examine the potential economic implications of moving negotiations on retail prices forward with the goal of seeing food prices start to decline by January 2024. What are the risks and benefits of such a strategy?
A: Benefits:
Short-term Relief: Consumers would benefit immediately from lower prices.
Demand Stimulation: Lower prices could stimulate demand, potentially offsetting some of the loss in revenue for suppliers.
Risks:
Short-term Focus: Without addressing the root causes, this is a short-term solution.
Supply Chain Disruption: Suppliers might find it unprofitable to operate under reduced prices, affecting availability.
Potential for Inflationary Pressures: If demand is stimulated too much without a corresponding increase in supply, prices could rise again.

Possible A Level Economics 25 Marker Question

Assess the effectiveness of government intervention in controlling food price inflation, using the example of France's recent negotiations with supermarkets and multinational companies like Nestle, PepsiCo, and Unilever. Consider both the short-term and long-term implications of such policy measures.

Infographic of the Week

The Growth of Global Millionaires

The significant growth in the global millionaire population over the past decade is highlighted, with 1.1% of the world's adults classified as millionaires in 2022, up from 0.6% in 2012. According to the Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse, the total wealth held by millionaires in 2022 amounted to $208.3 trillion, representing 45.8% of global wealth and marking a 138% increase from 2011. The number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals has nearly tripled in the last decade. Despite economic challenges such as inflation and interest rates, the millionaire population is expected to reach 86 million by 2027. Meanwhile, wealth inequality, which worsened during the 2020-2021 pandemic period, saw a slight decline in 2022, although over half of the world's adults still hold less than $10,000 in wealth, accounting for just 1.2% of global wealth.

Chart of the Week

August proved to be a challenging month for US equities, with the S&P 500 experiencing a nearly 2% decline. Historical data indicates that September has been the worst-performing month for the index, with declines occurring in 55% of the calendar years since 1928 and an average return of less than 1%. Despite the turbulent trends in October and November, known for historic market crashes, investors have some solace in December, which has historically been the most bullish month with positive returns nearly 70% of the time.

Macroeconomic Data


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A huge thanks for hopping on board EdGenie's Wednesday Wisdoms newsletter! 
I'm Emre, and I've got a big goal - to make A* education accessible to all A-level students.
And it Starts With You!

Emre Aksahin
Chief Learning Officer at Edgenie