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Home > Wednesday Wisdoms: Newsletter > Why is the Elaboration technique so important?

Welcome to the 5th 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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Why the Elaboration Technique is so important

What is the Elaboration technique?

The Elaboration Technique is a study method wherein students seek to understand a concept more profoundly by asking probing questions like "how?", "why?", and "what if?". It involves building upon basic knowledge by adding layers of detail, examples, and connections.

Why is the Elaboration Technique important?

Elaboration involves delving deeper into a topic by asking how, why, and what-if questions. For instance, instead of just stating that an increase in interest rates can decrease consumer spending, elaborate by explaining how this increase makes borrowing more expensive, which can subsequently lead to a decrease in consumer spending on big-ticket items like cars and houses.

A Real-World Economics Example:

Take the case of Brexit. Instead of merely stating, "Brexit impacted the British economy," you could elaborate:
"How did Brexit affect the British economy?" - Brexit led to uncertainties in trade agreements, impacting sectors reliant on exports and imports.
"Why did this happen?" - The UK had to renegotiate trade terms with many countries, leading to initial hesitations in investments.
"What if the UK had a pre-determined trade agreement with major trading partners?" - It could have potentially mitigated some of the economic shocks.

Why will this make your essays better?

Elaboration equips you with a robust understanding, enabling you to write comprehensive essays. This technique promotes clarity and depth. Rather than merely touching the surface of economic theories, you can delve into the nuances, interlinking different concepts and presenting well-rounded arguments.

Why will this help you understand A level Economics in depth?

Economics isn't just about memorising definitions and theories. To genuinely grasp the intricacies of the subject, one must comprehend the underlying mechanisms and connections. By using the Elaboration Technique, you're training your brain to see these connections, ensuring a thorough understanding of each topic.

How will this get you the highest marks in A level Economics?

Examiners look for more than just recited facts. They seek understanding, application, and the ability to link concepts together. By mastering the Elaboration Technique, you provide detailed, insightful answers that demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of the topic, helping you secure top marks.

In conclusion, the Elaboration Technique isn't just a study tool – it's a way to immerse yourself fully in the fascinating world of Economics. By continuously seeking to understand the deeper 'why' and 'how' behind each topic, you're setting yourself up for A-Level success and beyond

Inflation figures: Sharp fall in the rate at which prices are rising due to record gas price fall


  • Japan's GDP grew by an annualized rate of 6% over the three months to June, double the predicted rate.This growth, the most significant in nearly three years, is attributed mainly to the weakened yen boosting exports.
  • The yen has depreciated over 10% against the US dollar this year, benefiting exporters.
  • Car makers like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan saw increased profits from higher export demand.
  • Global commodity price drops led to a 4.3% decrease in the value of imports.
  • Tourism is rebounding; foreign visitors in June reached over 70% of pre-pandemic levels. The recent lift on group travel bans by China, a significant contributor to tourist spending in Japan, is expected to boost the economy further.
  • Concerns remain, such as the reduced rate of domestic consumption and declining real wages amid high inflation.

A Level Economics Questions:

Q: How did the depreciation of the yen influence Japan's export sector, and why might this be significant for major car manufacturers like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan?
A: The depreciation of the yen made Japanese products more affordable for global consumers, thereby boosting exports. For major car manufacturers like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, this translates to an increase in demand for their vehicles in foreign markets, leading to higher profits. A weaker yen can significantly reduce the relative price of their cars in international markets, making them more competitive and increasing overseas sales.

Q:Discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks for an economy when its currency depreciates.
A: Benefits of a depreciating currency include increased competitiveness in international markets as exports become cheaper, leading to a potential rise in export volumes and possibly improving the trade balance. It can also boost domestic production as imports become more expensive, promoting the consumption of domestically produced goods. However, drawbacks include increased costs of imports, which can raise production costs for firms relying on imported inputs and potentially fuel inflation. Moreover, a weaker currency might deter foreign investment if the country is perceived as economically unstable.

Q: How can changes in global commodity prices impact the value of imports for a country?
A: Changes in global commodity prices can have a direct effect on the cost of imports. If global prices for commodities (like oil and gas) fall, even if a country's currency has weakened, the cost of importing these goods might still decrease or remain stable. This can lead to a reduced value of imports, which can positively impact a country's trade balance, especially if exports are rising simultaneously.

Q: Analyze the significance of tourism in economic recovery, particularly in the context of Japan's recent tourism statistics.
A: Tourism plays a significant role in economic recovery, especially for countries where tourism is a major contributor to GDP. Tourists bring foreign currency, which helps improve the trade balance, supports local businesses, and creates employment opportunities. In Japan's context, the number of foreign visitors recovering to over 70% of pre-pandemic levels suggests a resurgence in this vital sector. The lift on group travel bans by China, a major contributor to Japan's tourist spending, further augments this recovery, potentially offsetting other economic challenges such as reduced domestic consumption.

Possible A Level Economics 25 Marker Question

Evaluate the potential short-term and long-term impacts of a weakening currency on a country's economy, using Japan as a case study.

Infographic of the Week

The $105 Trillion World Economy

By the end of 2023, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects the global GDP to reach $105 trillion, a $5 trillion increase from the previous year. In nominal terms, this growth is 5.3%, and when adjusted for inflation, it's 2.8%. GDP measures the total value of goods and services produced within a time frame. Despite challenges like the collapse of some U.S. banks and ongoing inflation, several economies have displayed resilience and are expected to grow from their 2022 figures.

Chart of the Week

This week's analysis contrasts the economic prominence of capital cities in major countries. Paris and London emerge as dominant economic hubs in France and the UK, respectively, although some cities in Britain, like Milton Keynes, surpass London in terms of GDP per capita. In contrast, Germany's Berlin, despite its booming tech and real estate sectors, lags behind its national average in GDP per capita. The US showcases a decentralized economy, with vast disparities in income and city sizes. While Washington, DC exceeds the national average due to its defense and government sectors, other regions surpass it in terms of per-capita GDP

Macroeconomic Data

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